This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
With a key injury to the lowest No. 1 seed, this quadrant feels rather unpredictable compared to some likely chalk elsewhere. That said, there doesn't appear to be a sexy double-digit seed creating initial buzz. The old adage of "early for show, late for dough" may not reign true in the East, as I think we're set up for a relatively lackluster first round before the later rounds could go in a number of ways.
No. 1 Michigan - The Wolverines bring plenty of heat to the table, but seem to be limping in to the post season. Ranking sixth in offensive efficiency and seventh in defensive efficiency, it's easy to justify their top seed. They're anchored by 7-foot-1 freshman Hunter Dickinson (14.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 59.9 percent FG), one of the few teams in the tournament that still run offense through the post. His presence forces double teams, leading to open outside looks, as the Wolverines shoot 38.7 percent from 3-point range, 12th in the nation. But the Wolverines are losers of three of their last five, and likely will be without top forward Isaiah Livers (13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg) for at least the first weekend due to stress fracture in his foot. As such, they present as the most vulnerable No. 1 seed.
No. 2 Alabama - Alabama comes into the Dance as the SEC regular season and tournament champions. They find success in