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March Madness East Region Predictions | Odds & Best Bets

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Every team in the East Region is trying to slay the giant.

That means the metaphorical giant, top-ranked Purdue, but also the literal giant in Zach Edey, the Boilermakers’ 7-foot-4 mountain of a man who won Big Ten player of the year and helped them to both the conference regular-season and tournament crowns.

Purdue, unsurprisingly, is the favorite to cut down the nets at Madison Square Garden on either March 25 or 26. But Purdue coach Matt Painter has not taken his team past the Elite Eight in his 17 seasons at the helm, famously falling to No. 15 seed St. Peter’s in the Sweet 16 a year ago.

There’s no shortage of Davids looking to take down Goliath again this year. Let’s take a look at the East Region.

March Madness East Region Pick of the Day

Read on for more NCAA Tournament East Region betting tips for 2023 March Madness.

March Madness East Region Schedule 2023

  • Round 1
    • Thursday, March 16
      • Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
        • No. 5 Duke vs No. 12 Oral Roberts, 7 p.m., CBS
        • No. 4 Tennessee vs No. 13 Louisiana, 9:30, CBS
    • Friday, March 17
      • Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
        • No. 7 Michigan State vs No. 10 USC, noon, CBS
        • No. 2 Marquette vs No. 15 Vermont, 2:30 p.m., CBS
        • No. 1 Purdue vs No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson/Texas Southern, 6:45 p.m., TNT
        • No. 8 Memphis vs No. 9 Florida Atlantic, 9:15 p.m., TNT
      • Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
        • No. 6 Kentucky vs No. 11 Providence, 7 p.m., CBS
        • No. 3 Kansas State vs No. 14 Montana State, 9:30 p.m., CBS
  • Round 2
    • Saturday, March 18
      • Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
        • No. 4 Tennessee/No. 13 Louisiana vs No. 5 Duke/No. 12 Oral Roberts, TBA
    • Sunday, March 19
      • Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
        • No. 1 Purdue/No. 16 vs No. 8 Memphis/No. 9 Florida Atlantic, TBA
        • No. 2 Marquette/No. 15 Vermont vs No. 7 Michigan State/No. 10 USC, TBA
      • Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
        • No. 6 Kentucky/No. 11 Providence vs No. 3 Kansas State/No. 14 Montana State, TBA
  • Sweet 16
    • Thursday, March 23
      • Madison Square Garden, New York
        • Regional Semifinal No. 1, TBA
        • Regional Semifinal No. 2, TBA
  • Elite 8
    • Saturday, March 25
      • Madison Square Garden, New York
        • Regional Final, TBA

Track the latest March Madness East Region Odds with our CBB lines comparison:

March Madness East Region Teams Seeded

  1. Purdue
    2. Marquette
    3. Kansas State
    4. Tennessee
    5. Duke
    6. Kentucky
    7. Michigan State
    8. Memphis
    9. Florida Atlantic
    10. USC
    11. Providence
    12. Oral Roberts
    13. Louisiana
    14. Montana State
    15. Vermont
    16. Fairleigh Dickinson/Texas Southern

March Madness East Region Top 4 Seeds

1. Purdue

The clear and obvious team to beat. Edey is a nightmare on both ends, but so. too, is freshman point guard Fletcher Loyer, the Boilermakers’ No. 2 scorer. Purdue allowed 62.7 points against per game, third-best in the hyper-competitive Big Ten.

2. Marquette

The Golden Eagles are having one of their best seasons in school history under second-year coach Shaka Smart. Marquette set a school record with 28 wins and won the Big East Tournament for the first time behind one of the nation’s best offenses.

Big East player of the year Tyler Kolek was one of four Marquette players to average double figures per game, and the Golden Eagles averaged about 80 points per game.

3. Kansas State

The Wildcats are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019 and are a national contender in coach Jerome Tang’s first year at the helm. They won 23 games, plus 11 in the nation’s best conference, the Big 12, and were led by forward and University of Florida transfer Keyontae Johnson, who averaged 17.7 points and 7 rebounds per game while winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

4. Tennessee

The Volunteers are back in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year, led by steady coach Rick Barnes and a hellacious defense that ranked No. 3 in the nation in points-against per game (58.0). The Volunteers are led by first-team All-SEC guard Santiago Vescovi, one of four players to average double figures per game.

March Madness East Region Cinderella

No. 6 Kentucky

Coach John Calipari has become famous for his March flameouts, and the first-round date with Providence will test the Wildcats. But Kentucky enters the tournament hot, with five wins in its past seven games, and it still features 2022 national player of the year Oscar Tshiebwe.

No one should want to play Kentucky right now, so if you’re looking for a potential March Madness bracket buster, the Wildcats looked primed for a deep tourney run.

My other favorite East Region Cinderella candidate is No. 8 Memphis. The Tigers have an exceptional offense with the two-headed monster of Kendric Davis and Deandre Williams. They’re also hot with nine wins in their past 11 games, and the only losses coming against Houston, who Memphis turned the tables on in the AAC final.

March Madness East Region First-Round Upset

12 Oral Roberts defeats 5 Duke

A No. 12 always beats a No. 5, and the Blue Devils have big “peaked by winning the conference tournament” energy. Plus, the Golden Eagles are a nightmare matchup, with a veteran-laden group that enters the tournament 30-4 and on a 17-game win streak, while also averaging the third-most points per game in the country (84.2).

Also consider picking these East Region Round 1 upsets:

  • 11 Providence defeats 6 Kentucky
  • 10 USC defeats 7 Michigan State

For help with placing bets for the other regions, see our NCAA Tournament predictions.

March Madness East Region Winner Prediction

Purdue defeats Kentucky to Win East Region

At the end of the day, there’s not a team in the region that appears to have an answer for Edey, though Tshiebwe should make things interesting if this matchup comes to fruition. This looks like the year Painter and Purdue get the monkey off their backs.

According to our March Madness winner odds, the Boilermakers are also a great value bet to win it all at (+1100).

March Madness East Region Best Bets

Purdue Wins the East Region (+220) | DraftKings Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 unit

There is a threat of the Boilermakers running out of gas, and they aren’t the most experienced group — two of their top-three scorers are freshmen. But as long as Painter lets his team play and gets out of the way, Purdue should be the region’s last team standing.

This is my top March Madness betting pick for the East Region.

Tennessee Advances to Sweet 16 (-110) | FanDuel Sportsbook

WAGER: 1 unit

The Volunteers’ defense is nothing to mess with, which makes them a favorable matchup against either Oral Roberts or Duke, each of whom is offensive-minded, in the second round. Tennessee will be a heavy favorite if it plays the Golden Eagles and should be slightly favored against the Blue Devils too.

Either way, the odds on this are solid given the likelihood of Barnes’ team reaching the second weekend.

Author

Pat Pickens

Pat Pickens is a seasoned sportswriter who has covered pro sports since 2013 for various websites, including The New York Times, NHL.com, Bleacher Report, Sportsnet.ca, USA Today, the Associated Press and many others. His debut book, titled "The Whalers" about the history of the NHL's Hartford Whalers, was released in October 2021.

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