The top four teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament East Region made the Sweet 16 and it allows some of the nation's best players to come to Washington D.C.
Like most of the NCAA Tournament, the East Region rocked chalk to get to four teams in the regional semifinals. No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 3 LSU and No. 4 Virginia Tech will play for a right to go to the Final Four on March 29 and 31.
Of course Zion Williamson and the rest of his Duke Blue Devils are the class of the region and projected champs. No one however, should discredit the talent of the other three teams remaining in the East. Under Tom Izzo, Michigan State has some of the best well-rounded players in the country, LSU is one of the more athletic teams in the NCAA, and Virginia Tech has a plethora of potent scorers.
Including Williamson, here's who to watch in the East Regional:
Zion Williamson, F, Freshman, Duke
Zion is the face of college basketball this season. He's almost made Duke likable as half the country was torn on who to root for in their UCF matchup in the Second Round. Every game the 6-7 freshman is due to put on a show, whether it is a mammoth dunk, an acrobatic finish at the rim or a thunderous block he never disappoints. Even when he blew out of his shoe, it is impressive. You cannot miss him on the court, he'll make plays and likely be the difference in each contest.
RJ Barrett, F, Freshman, Duke
Don't be upset that Duke has the top two players on this list. If it were not for Williamson, Barrett would be the most fascinating player on Duke's roster. He does everything Williamson does, but with slightly less flair. He also has a nice stroke from behind the arc (31.3 percent) that his teammate does not. Honestly he is probably the better NBA prospect. In fact, if it was not for his put-back layup at the end of the UCSF game, Duke would not be here.
Cassius Winston, G, Junior, Michigan State
Cassius Winston is arguably the best true point guard in this region. He could be better than True Jones, Justin Robinson and Tremont Waters. Not only is Winston a playmaker, but he actively looks to get his teammates involved. If he doesn't have a good scoring night, he'll have 10 assists to compliment his team. On the season he is scoring 18.9 points and dishing out 7.5 assists per contest. Collectively, he's led his team to a 48.6 percent clip on the year. At 6-1 he may be small, but he's no push-over.
Justin Robinson, G, Senior, Virginia Tech
Since his foot injury it does not appear that Justin Robinson is the same. In his two tournament games he's only recorded nine and 13 points against Saint Louis and Liberty. However, his first 20 games of the year, pre-injury, he was averaging 14 points a game. He also had a 35 point night against Syracuse to boost it. With him the Hokies are an entirely different team, running an offensive scheme and having multiple guys racking up the stat sheet.
Naz Reid, F/C, Freshman, LSU
Like Williamson, Naz Reid does not look like he is a freshman in college. Aside from the Duke freshmen, there may not be a more dominant forward in college basketball than Reid. He has the rare ability to take over a game against high-level competition. In fact, if there is anyone that can matchup against Williamson and Barrett, it is Reid.
Cam Reddish, F, Freshman, Duke
Another forward from Duke? Yep. Cam Reddish is the third option for this talented Duke team and is another First Round NBA Draft prospect. He's more a shooter than Williamson and Barrett, however, his stretches of shooting are not as consistent. Behind the other two forwards, he's had eight games with 20-plus points and he is due for one with his last being in the season finale.
Tremont Waters, G, Sophomore, LSU
Tremont Waters already has a game-winner in this NCAA Tournament and he has more coming behind it. A crafty player that can score from all areas of the court, Waters is a gem at 5-11. Defensively he also has the ability to impact the game. Smart and quick he can jump down the court to turn the game on it's head. Would not at all be surprising to see him explode further in this tournament.