March Madness East Region Predictions | Who Will Advance To The Final Four?

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2024

In last year’s NCAA Tournament, we were treated to one of the craziest brackets of all time in the East region, with 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson taking down top-seeded Purdue and No. 9 FAU making it to the Final Four.

Will similar chaos be in store this year? Let’s take a look at the East section of the bracket and make some March Madness picks.

March Madness East Region Winner Prediction

(1) UConn defeats (6) BYU to Win East Region

This is one of the most stacked regions in the tournament, with three of the top five teams in the KenPom rankings, including top-seeded UConn, No. 1 in the nation by both that metric and the committee’s rankings. Based on Pomeroy’s well-respected metrics, the Huskies are the country’s top offense and the No. 11 defense to boot, and while it may feel like a “chalky” pick, they should move on to the Final Four.

Meanwhile, BYU is lucky to be on the weaker side of the bracket but a bit unlucky to be a 6-seed; they’re a top 15 to 20 team by many metrics; expect them to run past defensively challenged Illinois and Iowa State’s inefficient offense.

Track the rest of our NCAA Tournament regional breakdowns:

March Madness East Region Best Bets

UConn to Win NCAA Tournament (+400) • DraftKings Sportsbook

It may be the easy bet, but it’s there for a reason; the Huskies are absolutely phenomenal this season, a year after they won it all. They were just a four-seed a year ago but ran through the bracket in dominant fashion; they won’t be underestimated again and should be big enough favorites in most games that you should be able to hedge this number if need be.

This may not be a groundbreaking bet, but be sure to look at some March Madness betting promos that can help you find some value as you place it.

Auburn to Win East Region (+500) • FanDuel Sportsbook

If you want to get ahead of the hedging on that UConn bet or would simply like to shake things up, bet on Auburn to win the East. The fourth-seeded Tigers are actually the fourth-best team in the country as per KenPom rankings and field goal percentage differential, as well as fifth by NET rankings.

Auburn has the misfortune of UConn being in their path to the Elite Eight, but they could have the Huskies on upset alert. If you think Auburn can get past UConn, don’t forget to fill out a March Madness Printable Bracket and have it on the record.

March Madness East Region Teams Seeded

  1. UConn
  2. Iowa State
  3. Illinois
  4. Auburn
  5. San Diego State
  6. BYU
  7. Washington State
  8. FAU
  9. Northwestern
  10. Drake
  11. Duquesne
  12. UAB
  13. Yale
  14. Morehead State
  15. South Dakota State
  16. Stetson

March Madness East Region Top 4 Seeds

(1) UConn

The Huskies won it all again last year, but by most serious metrics, they’re even better this time. They’re tops in the nation as per KenPom and every major opinion-based poll, second by NET rankings, and third by field goal percentage differential, behind only teams from much weaker conferences.

Nobody has won back-to-back tournaments since Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators in 2007. Can Dan Hurley’s Huskies change that?

(2) Iowa State

In a region with the top overall seed and defending champ and plenty of outrageously underseeded teams, the Cyclones have become a bit forgotten, which is a shame for a solid team. They’re fifth in the KenPom rankings, making them the best #2 seed in the bracket, including the best defensive efficiency as determined by that metric.

(3) Illinois

The Fighting Illini are an extremely fun team, with the #3 offense as per KenPom but just the 93rd-best defense; tune into any of their games if you enjoy seeing lots of points, especially their potential clash with BYU. However, that defensive weakness will likely cost them a chance at a legitimately deep run.

(4) Auburn

There’s a good argument to be made that the Tigers are the most underseeded team in the entire tournament. They’re top-5 by plenty of rankings and coming off of a really solid run through the SEC Tournament- expect them to stay hot and maybe even challenge UConn in this region.

March Madness East Region Cinderella

(10) Drake

They’re a bit iffy to make it past #6 BYU in our projected Sweet Sixteen, but a pair of wins is plenty of a Cinderella story for a program that has only done so three times, in consecutive fashion ending back in 1971. The Bulldogs are a very solid squad, as evidenced by their run through the Missouri Valley Conference and subsequent 10-seed, with a balanced approach and a solid ability to shoot the three-pointer without relying on it too heavily.

March Madness East Region Round 1 Upset

(14) Morehead State defeats (3) Illinois

Simply put, the Fighting Illini don’t play any defense. They’re the #3 offense in the KenPom rankings but just the 93rd-best defense; that’s not going to cut it in the long run, and it might not even get them out of the first round.

Morehead is a pretty competent 14-seed squad, and while they do shoot a lot of three-pointers, getting hot from downtown with a high volume can be upset fuel—especially against a defense like Illinois.

Also consider picking these East Region Round 1 bracket upsets:

  • (10) Drake over (7) Washington State
  • (12) UAB over (5) San Diego State

March Madness East Region Schedule 2024

Round 1 East Region Schedule

Thursday, March 21 - Friday, March 22

Round 2 East Region Schedule

Saturday, March 23 - Sunday, March 24

Sweet 16 East Region Schedule

Saturday, March 28 - Sunday, March 29

Elite 8 East Region Schedule

Saturday, March 30 - Sunday, March 31

Bet On March Madness East Region Games


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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