This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
Early for show, late for dough. That's an old adage that a good buddy likes to spit out when it comes to filling out his brackets, and it seems very appropriate for the East Region this year. Defending champion Villanova, the No. 1 overall seed, obviously brings chalk to this bracket, while a surging Duke squad that is loaded with lottery picks gives this region plenty of top-end potential. The rest? Well, it seems like a hodge podge of teams that all could knock each other out. Hence, those sage words of wisdom. Have fun picking some upsets early, but keep with chalk as the bracket narrows.
No. 1 Villanova Wildcats
The Wildcats bring quite the resume into March. Not only are they the defending national champion and No. 1 overall seed, they're a team that lost only three times during the regular season, two of which were to the same opponent (Butler). Led by Big East player of the year, guard Josh Hart (18.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists), Nova plays eight players at least 21 minutes, six of whom played key roles in last year's run. You'll be hard pressed to find a team that combines this much talent and experience, and the Wildcats have a good shot to become the first repeat champion since Florida in 2006/2007.
No. 2 Duke Blue Devils
Virtually every national pundit's preseason top team, the Blue Devils look like they are becoming