NCAA Bracket Preview, Predictions: No. 8 George Mason Vs. No. 9 Villanova

The hottest team in the 2011 NCAA Tournament's East region -- conference title games aside -- could be George Mason, which has won 16 of its last 17. The coldest? How about the Villanova Wildcats, who've dropped five in a row and seven of their last nine, with one of those wins an overtimer against DePaul? 

Nova and UConn battled for the honor of being the most-underachieving Big East team throughout conference play, though the Huskies made up for it during Kemba Walker's siege of Madison Square Garden.

Can a team that's been breezing for two months keep it going against a team way too talented to be losing to South Florida, Rutgers, and Providence?

Star Watch: Corey Fisher leads the Wildcats in both points (15.4) and assists (4.8), while junior forward Ryan Pearson provides a versatile front court presence for the Pats.

Prediction: The dumbest thing that can be said about a good basketball team is that they just know how to win, but George Mason does whatever it is that spurs people to say dumb things like that. Nova finds a way to lose this one.

More Reading: For more George Mason, head to SB Nation DC. Villanova fans should join The Nova Blog and SB Nation Philly.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for the East RegionWest RegionSoutheast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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