The West Region of the NCAA tournament features the most interesting bracket of the four regions. This region features the most legendary coaches, potential first-round picks, and teams with championship aspirations.
Also, the NCAA is embracing Vegas, as this region final is going to Sin City.
The Kansas Jayhawks are the #1 seed in the West. They have a solid early draw, but their road gets tougher once they get to the sweet 16.
They start off with Howard, whom they should have no issues with and then they get to take on Arkansas or Illinois.
Both of those teams do have some serious talent but have been so inconsistent that Bill Self and his bunch shouldn’t have any real issues discarding them.
SIX PLAYERS TO WATCH
|Jalen Wilson, Kansas|
|Drew Timme, Gonzaga|
|Jaime Jaquez, UCLA|
|Tyger Campbell, UCLA|
|Nick Smith, Arkansas|
|Mike Miles, TCU|
The Bottom of the bracket is where some serious battles will take place. The #2 seed UCLA Bruins looked to be on track to be a one-seed for the last month of the season, before a couple of injuries and a late loss to Arizona.
They still have some seriously skilled players that have final-four experience. The #3 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs are also lurking in the West. They have a KenPom ranking of #8, which is the highest of any of the #3 seeds.
They have the highest-rated offense in the country, and after a slower start to the year for them, they have been ROLLING the last month of the season.
The Bracket seems to give Gonzaga a favorable road. They are peaking right now, and they are battle tested. They start the tournament with Grand Canyon, led by NCAA tournament darling Bryce Drew, but they don’t have the horses to run with Mark Few’s squad.
Their potential second-round match-up is probably with TCU, who is going through some serious player/coach issues and they can go on serious scoring droughts.
Some other teams to take a look at would be Northwestern. IF they are allowed to play their brand of basketball, they can give teams fits. They have big, experienced guards and their defense beats you up.
They seem to play the “foul every time, the officials can’t call them all” defense. If Saint Mary’s is able to get through their first match-up with VCU, may be able to make a run. They are a talented bunch.
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| Title: West Region Outlook
| Author: Matt Catton
| Date: Mar 15, 2023