The college basketball season is in full stride right now, as conference races really start to heat up in February. With the NCAA Tournament approaching, fans from teams across the country are anxious to see who will punch their East Regional tickets. The selection process is always fluid, but here is a look at some of the teams that appear to be in line for a spot atop the East Regional.
Syracuse seems poised to emerge from the always-tough Big East, and the Orange have been made a living of earning high seeds in the tournament. Jim Boeheim and the Orange are one of the most balanced teams in the country, with G Brandon Triche, F James Southerland, F C.J. Fair and G Michael Carter-Williams all averaging over 10 points per game, and forward Rakeem Christmas providing a big defensive presence down low. Another traditional power in prime position to snag the No. 1 seed in the East is Duke, who have some work to do in the ACC, with an ugly loss to Miami now in the books. Coach K and the Blue Devils desperately need forward Ryan Kelly to get healthy, as the sweet-shooting big man presents matchup problems all over the court for Duke’s opponents. But with Mason Plumlee having an All-America caliber season, Duke should continue to rack up wins.
Finally, Florida has been very impressive in its march to the top of the SEC rankings. Led by two-time national champion coach Billy Donovan, the Gators have built another winner in Gainesville, and like the Orange sport a balanced lineup. Kenny Boynton, Erik Murphy, Mike Rosario and Patric Young are all double digit scorers, and sport a very efficient offensive game. As long as Kentucky continues to go through growing pains, the Gators should be able to get through the SEC. Of course, other teams could emerge from the fray, but Syracuse, Duke and Florida have set themselves up well for the stretch run to the tournament.
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