It's a bit of a strange season in terms of the blue bloods, and we can see that in the East region. Purdue, which hasn't been to a Final Four since 1980, is the No. 1 seed. Marquette and Kansas State, who had surprising seasons, are the No. 2 and 3 seeds.
The headliner in the region is Purdue big man Zach Edey. The 7-foot-4 center is likely to sweep the national player of the year awards after a fantastic season. We'll see if he can carry Purdue to its first Final Four in 43 years.
Here's a betting preview of the East region:
BetMGM odds to win region
Purdue +250 to make Final Four, +1100 to win national title
Marquette +450, +2500
Tennessee +500, +3000
Kansas State +900, +5000
Duke +900, +3000
Kentucky +1200, +4000
Michigan State +1400, +10000
Memphis +2000, +8000
USC +3000, +20000
Florida Atlantic +3500, +20000
Providence +3500, +12500
Oral Roberts +10000, +25000
Louisiana +10000, +50000
Montana State +10000, +100000
Vermont +10000, +100000
Texas Southern +10000, +100000
Fairleigh Dickinson +10000, +100000
Purdue (+250): It's likely that Purdue will be the No. 1 seed that gets the lowest percentage of championship picks in bracket pools. The Boilermakers might not be one of the top four most popular picks to win it all. Purdue lost four of six late in the season, but rebounded to win its last five games, including the Big Ten tournament. The Boilermakers are incredibly reliant on Zach Edey, a national player of the year favorite, and freshman guards. Edey is great and there's not much chance he has an off night — he was remarkably consistent through the season — but it would just take one off night from his teammates to end Purdue's run.
Duke (+900): Duke wasn't great for the early part of the season as a young team with a rookie head coach. But the talent started to come around and Duke was among the best teams in college basketball down the stretch. The Blue Devils stuck on the No. 5 seed line because of those early season struggles, but they're playing much better than that now. If you don't trust Purdue, Duke is a fine pick to go to the Final Four.
Memphis (+2000): Memphis was under-seeded as a No. 8 seed. The Tigers lost by three points at Alabama this season and just beat Houston by 10 in the AAC title game, so they have experience against No. 1 seeds in this tournament. They don't have an easy first-round matchup against Florida Atlantic, but they are better than their seed or region odds would indicate.
Michigan State (-1.5) over USC: I don't think this is a great spot for the Trojans. They travel all the way to Columbus, Ohio, a familiar city for the Spartans. They get the first tip time on Friday, at 9:15 a.m. PT. That has been bad for some West Coast teams in the past. Michigan State has been up and down but so has USC, and the situation is tougher for the Trojans.
Providence (+3.5) over Kentucky: I can make this quick: I don't trust Kentucky. The Wildcats have been disappointing all season and a loss to Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament drove that home. This Providence team, which has wins over UConn and Marquette this season, is good enough to keep it close and maybe win straight up.