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What is the toughest region and easiest region in the 2021 NCAA Tournament?

Sometimes it’s all where you land in the draw. So which is the toughest quadrant to reach the Final Four in the 2021 NCAA Tournament?

Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson reacts after making a shot against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA bracket is here, and there’s 68 teams all in search of one goal. And probably like 15 of them max have a chance. And at some point someone would have to beat Gonzaga to win it, which seems quite difficult!

But all the paths to cutting down the nets are varied, some more difficult than others. Here’s out choices for the easiest and hardest region in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

The Toughest Region: East

The Michigan Wolverines at times have looked like the best team in the country, but without Isaiah Livers they could be vulnerable to any number of teams in the East quadrant. Putting SEC champ Alabama and Big 12 winner Texas in a Sweet 16 game seems borderline cruel. FSU is always a tough out, and Big East champ Georgetown is one of the hottest teams in college basketball. They’re also the 12 seed nobody wanted to see.

If you’re counting, that’s Michigan with three trophy holders from a Top Six conference, the AAC champs in Houston, as well as the runner up in the ACC. Sheesh.

The Easiest Region: West

Like Gonzaga needed the help. The Bulldogs would draw one of the few teams with an offense that can keep with theirs if Iowa makes it to the Elite Eight, but otherwise this is a reasonably easy path. No. 3 Kansas’s status remains in doubt after having to leave the Big 12 Tournament early, just as No. 4 Virginia was forced from the ACC Tournament. No. 5 Creighton got boat-raced by the Hoyas in the Big East Final, and that might be the least of their worries.

Evan Mobley and USC will force you to show up, but otherwise... do you see a team as a double-digit seed that can make the second weekend here? We don’t.