NCAA Tournament 2014: West Region Predictions

NCAA Tournament: Predicting the West Region

3/18/14 in NCAABB   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Mar 15, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller instructs in a huddle against the UCLA Bruins during the second half in the championship game of the Pac-12 Conference college basketball tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Bruins defeated the Wildcats 75-71. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY SportsWe keep rolling right along in our dissection of the 2014 NCAA tournament, and next up is the West region, which is headlined by No. 1 seed Arizona.

The Wildcats have been the best team in the West pretty much all season long, so it was no surprise to see them land the top overall seed in this region. Sean Miller's squad is certainly primed and ready to make a deep run in this year's tournament.

Elsewhere in the West, we have three Big 12 teams worth keeping an eye on in fifth-seeded Oklahoma, sixth-seeded Baylor, and eighth-seeded Oklahoma State. All three of these teams are capable of winning a couple of games given their challenging trip through a difficult conference this season.

Or things could fall apart for all of these intriguing teams, and we have upsets aplenty in this region. The beauty of the NCAA tournament is that you just never know.

With all that in mind, let's get to more thoughts and predictions on the West.

Quick Thoughts
  • For whatever reason, Arizona worries me. They aren't particularly great from the free throw line or from three, which brings about some concerns. Obviously they earned a one-seed for a reason, but I see a few potential roadblocks in the aforementioned teams from the Sooner State.
  • Speaking of the Sooners, I think the best potential for a Cinderella in this bracket is 12th-seeded North Dakota State. The Summit League is by no means a juggernaut, however, this is a solid basketball team that is ranked first in the country in field goal percentage. Senior guard Taylor Braun is lights out from long distance, and this is certainly a team worth watching.
  • Creighton has the best scorer in the tournament in Doug McDermott, but what happens if a miracle happens and someone shuts him down? Is there enough around him to overcome it? The good news for fans of the Bluejays is that shutting down McDermott is next to impossible. Four players on this squad shoot 40% or better from three, meaning that it's gonna take a monumental defensive effort to knock off the Big East runner-up.
  • We normally think of Bo Ryan's Wisconsin team as a low-scoring, defensive power. Well, this year's team still has the defense, but it also boast an excellent offense. The Badgers hit a tough stretch back in January, but have since found their way. 

SECOND ROUND

#1 Arizona over #16 Weber State
#9 Oklahoma State over #8 Gonzaga
#5 Oklahoma over #12 North Dakota State
#4 San Diego State over #13 New Mexico State
#6 Baylor over #11 Nebraska
#3 Creighton over #14 Louisiana
#7 Oregon over #10 BYU
#2 Wisconsin over #15 American

THIRD ROUND

#1 Arizona over #9 Oklahoma State
#5 Oklahoma over #4 San Diego State
#3 Creighton over #6 Baylor
#2 Wisconsin over #7 Oregon

SWEET 16

#1 Arizona over #5 Oklahoma
#2 Wisconsin over #3 Creighton

REGIONAL FINAL

#2 Wisconsin over #1 Arizona

Who are you picking to win the West region? Let us know by commenting below! For more college basketball talk, follow FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
 
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