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March Madness 2011 Predictions: Picking The NCAA Tournament's East Region

The 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament technically began tonight with the opening First Four game. To me, however, March Madness really gets started on Thursday. While the First Four games are considered the first round of the NCAA tournament, I still think of them as play-in games. For the sake of convenience, so do the NCAA bracket pools out there, as all of the ones I've seen don't require your predictions to be submitted until before the first game Thursday. That is why I present to you -- a little later than most -- my predictions for the NCAA tournament, beginning with the East Region.

Second Round

No. 1 Ohio State over No. 16 Texas-San Antonio/Alabama State
No. 8 George Mason over No. 9 Villanova

No. 5 West Virginia over No. 12 UAB/Clemson
No. 4 Kentucky over No. 13 Princeton

No. 6 Xavier over No. 11 Marquette
No. 3 Syracuse over No. 14 Indiana State

No. 7 Washington over No. 10 Georgia
No. 2 North Carolina over No. 15 Long Island

Third Round

No. 1 Ohio State over No. 8 George Mason
No. 5 West Virginia over No. 4 Kentucky

No. 3 Syracuse over No. 6 Xavier
No. 2 North Carolina over No. 7 Washington

Sweet 16

No. 1 Ohio State over No. 5 West Virginia
No. 2 North Carolina over No. 3 Syracuse

Elite Eight

No. 1 Ohio State over No. 2 North Carolina

If you need a printable NCAA bracket to fill out for the tournament, download SB Nation's March Madness Bracket.