Bill: No question about it, Don, the selection committee really stacked the East. This bracket is loaded from top to bottom.
Don: I’ll say. Pakistan v. Thailand in a first-round matchup of the 3 and 14 seeds? In a word, Dynamite.
Bill: In another word, Opium. Either way, one of these two won’t know what hit ’em.
Don: Or care. But one thing is certain, the team that gets through this gauntlet will be so battle-hardened that it could end up as the favourite for the international title. Break down the region for us, Bill.
Bill: Well, there are two surprises in the East. The big shocker is that France was given a No. 2 seed. Given their record, I didn’t figure the French for anything higher than an 8-seed.
Don: They are a nuclear power, Bill.
Bill: True, and they also agreed to cater the tournament. But still, I think the French will be upset.
Don: You think they’ll actually lose to Japan?
Bill: No, I just think they’ll be upset. Who knows over what? They’ll find something, they’re French.
Don: Any other unusual seedings, Bill?
Bill: Well, Japan, with the world’s second-largest economy, is only a 15. I thought that was odd at first, but then I remembered this tournament isn’t about economics, is it?
Don: That’s right Bill. It’s all about armed forces. And you know what the Japanese say nowadays…
Bill: “We’ve got an army, and we don’t know how to use it!”
Don: Bingo-rooney Bill. One other interesting note here, with India sequestered in the South regional, it appears obvious the committee set up the brackets so that India and Pakistan could not possibly meet unless each made it to the Final Four. What was the thinking there, Bill?
Bill: Well Don, basically, an India-Pakistan matchup had the potential to end the entire tournament right there, if you know what I mean, so best to save it till the end.
Don: All right. So, what’s the secret to escaping the East and making it to the finals?
Bill: Simply put, I think it’s all going to come down to execution.
Don: That certainly favours the Saudis.
Bill: Not to mention the Chinese, who also have 1 billion people they can bring off the bench.
East Region Prediction: China
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