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East Regional Preview: Where everything's going to chalk

By Jeff Goodman | College Basketball Insider

The biggest story: There are a few in this region. You've got Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers two wins away from getting back to the Final Four for the first time in more than a decade. You've also got Jim Boeheim, with all the recent scrutiny, trying to take Syracuse back to the Final Four for the first time since 2003. Florida Gulf Coast is the story of the entire tournament thus far, but Miami getting to Atlanta would be a terrific storyline. This is a program that has been under NCAA investigation, and one that wasn't expected to do much this season. Jim Larranaga has led the Canes to the ACC sweep of a regular-season and tourney title with a team full primarily of Frank Haith recruits. Can the Miami hoops program make history and get to the Final Four?

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The best possible game: Indiana vs. Syracuse in the Sweet 16 -- I know people may argue that a potential Elite Eight matchup between Indiana and Miami is superior and a possible Indiana-Marquette meeting between Crean and his former program would be entertaining, but Syracuse appears to be back on track and is dangerous. Boeheim's team possesses no shortage of length, which could give the Hoosiers problems. Plus, it's Boeheim vs. Crean -- which is intriguing enough. Then you've got two of the best guards in the nation in Victor Oladipo and Michael Carter-Williams going at it. Two heavyweights.

The four best players remaining:

1. Victor Oladipo, Indiana -- Arguably the best defender in the nation, and has also become an offensive weapon as well. Just ask Fran Dunphy and Temple.

2. Shane Larkin, Miami -- Barry Larkin's kid has been the difference-maker with the Hurricanes. He's small, quick and can both set teammates up and also score when needed.

3. Cody Zeller, Indiana -- Hasn't lived up to the National Player of the Year hype, but he's still been one of the best players in the country. Averaging 16.7 points and eight boards per game.

4. Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse -- The long and talented point guard has settled down a bit the second half of the season, but he's still had a terrific season with a lot placed on his shoulders.

Rank the remaining four teams:

1) Indiana

2) Miami

3) Syracuse

4) Marquette

Why Indiana will be going to Atlanta: The Hoosiers have balance, experience and pieces that fit together. Tom Crean may not have a go-to guy, but he's got no shortage of players who can take the shot with the game on the line. Victor Oladipo is a ferocious defender who knocked down the key 3-pointer against Temple, Cody Zeller is one of the top big men in the country, and Jordan Hulls is one of the elite shooters in the nation. Christian Watford may be erratic, but he's certainly capable of making huge plays -- as he proved a year ago with his shot against Kentucky and again with his block against the Owls this past weekend. Freshman Yogi Ferrell has been solid in running this veteran ballclub -- and Crean has one of the top sixth-men in the nation, Will Sheehey, coming off the bench.

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