NCAA Bracket Predictions, 2011 East Regional: West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Clemson Tigers

This is the first game of Thursday's March Madness schedule. Time is at 12:15 PM ET/9:15 AM PT on CBS. Here's our brief breakdown.

#5 West Virginia Mountaineers

Dossier courtesy of Pomeroy: 31st best offense, 29th best defense. Great at holding down the shooting numbers of other teams, particularly those who shoot three pointers. Great offensive rebounding team, one of the best in the country. They're adept at getting to the free throw line. They are also a senior-laden team with plenty of experience a year off a Final Four appearance, with seven upperclassmen to rely on.

The biggest weakness with West Virginia is that they're not a really good shooting team. They also give up a lot of offensive rebounds.

#12 Clemson Tigers

Dossier courtesy of Pomeroy: 77th best offense, 9th best defense. Good at taking away the ball, keeping buckets out of the basket, taking the ball away, guarding outside and inside. Their defense is generally good enough to beat teams that struggle offensively.

The biggest weakness with Clemson is their offense. Not a good sign if your offense is the thing that's holding you back.

Prediction: Tossup, with a slight lean to West Virginia. Clemson's defense is good enough that they could disrupt West Virginia's offense, but West Virginia's defense is no easy sledding either, and Clemson's offense is much worse than WVU's.  Worst comes to worse, the Mountaineers could get to the line to get their points, because Clemson would not be good at stopping them. Best comes to best, the first game of the madcap Thursday schedule could go to the wire.

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