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Monday, October 16, 2017
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Rethinking the East Region bracketology

After the first round of action, there's a lot to rethink about the NCAA Tournament. Unexpected upsets and tight games across the board prove this will be an extremely competitive tournament. So here's my latest predictions for the second round and the Sweet 16 for the East Region:

Best team: No. 1 Kentucky. The Wildcats dominated East Tennessee State, but further separated the gap between them and other East Region teams, especially with West Virginia struggling out of the gates against Morgan State.

Contenders: West Virginia still seems like the only team that can knock off Kentucky, but with the way Cornell played Friday, we might as well put them out there.

Best matchup: No. 2 West Virginia vs. No. 10 Missouri. WVU has been hot lately and the Tigers cold, but Missouri shot the ball well Friday, got to the free-throw line and forced a ton of turnovers against Clemson. This should be a high-speed, entertaining game with the potential for the upset.

Game we want to see: Well, East Tennessee State is out of the picture, so Missouri will need to play a tougher team in this dream matchup. Let's go with No. 9 Wake Forest in the Elite 8 so the Tigers can take a trip to the Final Four.

Cinderella: Now I've got to believe in Cornell, and so should you. They looked experienced, tough and determined to win Friday. Look for them to reach the Sweet 16 and play Kentucky well.

Sweet 16 picks: No. 1 Kentucky, No. 12 Cornell, No. 3 New Mexico, No. 2 West Virginia

So, who wins?: Kentucky looked better than West Virginia, but I'll stick with the Mountaineers for now.

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