Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament West Round of 32 Game Breakdowns

West Regional Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


#1 Wisconsin vs. #8 Oregon (Omaha, Nebraska)

Oregon got a good offensive performance against Oklahoma State. As expected, mighty Joseph Young was great. He scored 27 points on just 15 field-goal attempts. Plus, he received some help, namely from Elgin Cook and Dillon Brooks. Overall, the Ducks shot 54.7 percent from the floor, but offense is never their issue. They allowed OSU to score with a bit too much ease at times. Le’Bryan Nash was getting to the basket, and the Cowboys hit 10 threes. That type of defensive spottiness won’t fly against the Wisconsin Badgers. If Oregon manages to slow down Frank Kaminsky by throwing bodies at him and doubling him, it still has to deal with Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes on the wings and in the paint, not to mention whatever the guards manage on the outside. Wisconsin rolled through Coastal Carolina, hitting 11 threes and 54 percent of its shots from the floor. The thing the Badgers have going for them is their defensive ability on top of the slick shooting. Although Coastal Carolina shot pretty well, Wisconsin has a better pedigree and should be able to rotate to slow down Young more than OSU tried to or even wanted to. And if Young doesn’t go off, the Ducks will really need big games from the rest of their rotation guys. It’s an unlikely outcome.


#4 North Carolina vs. #5 Arkansas (Jacksonville, Florida)

North Carolina shot 55 percent from the floor against Harvard while holding the Crimson to 38 percent shooting. The Tar Heels won the rebound battle 35 to 26 and even finished with the edge from three in terms of efficiency. How did they only win by two points?! Harvard going 18-of-20 from the foul line was part of it, but it was mostly due to UNC’s 17 turnovers that continually set it back and kept its opponent in the game. But the Heels managed to advance nonetheless, as did Arkansas despite failing at its first goal: forcing turnovers. Wofford only turned the ball over eight times all game against Arkansas’ full-court pressure. Wofford even won the rebounding battle. Had Terriers’ star Karl Cochran shot reasonably okay from the floor instead of going 4-of-19, Wofford likely would have won the game. In the coming matchup between two teams who struggled to advance, the common detail that could determine the outcome is turnovers. If UNC can keep track of the ball against the Razorbacks’ pressure, it should prevail. If Arkansas can’t force mistakes, North Carolina will outslug and out-battle them inside.


#6 Xavier vs. #14 Georgia State (Jacksonville, Florida)

Xavier had little trouble in its first tournament game by holding Ole Miss down and preventing any late comeback that the Rebels may have been counting on. Instead, Mississippi shot 33 percent from the floor and made just 6-of-27 threes. Xavier also controlled the interior thanks to Matt Stainbrook’s 20, nine and five line. Georgia State’s advance was almost the opposite as far as comfortability. With no Ryan Harrow and no production from R.J. Hunter for seemingly 38 of the game’s 40 minutes, GSU needed a furious rally and wild shots at the end to come out victorious. The Panthers did their best to limit Baylor’s massive inside advantage but still got dominated on the glass. Their saving grace was Baylor’s 21 turnovers. Thanks to the Panthers’ poor execution and the Bears’ continual mistakes, it really seemed as though neither team wanted to win this one until the very end. GSU’s chances to pull another upset in this next game will be determined by its ability to stop Stainbrook in the paint. It will need to force Xavier into mistakes as well. The thing going for Georgia State is the unlikelihood of Hunter shooting poorly for two straight games as well as Harrow having another day to rest his ailing hamstring. If Harrow can go, it slides back the rest of the backcourt rotation into their correct roles and takes massive pressure off of Hunter.


#2 Arizona vs. #10 Ohio State (Portland, Oregon)

Arizona had one of the few comfortable wins Thursday of the round of 64. There was little drama to the Wildcats’ win. They shot 60 percent from the floor, had a 35 to 19 rebounding edge and made 24-of-27 from the line. All five Arizona starters scored in double figures. Ohio State meanwhile needed to lean on its star to grab an overtime victory. D’Angelo Russell theatrics resulted in 28 points on 10-of-20 shooting. His matchup against the Wildcats defense will be fascinating, but he’ll need some help if the Buckeyes have any hope of advancing another round. Marc Loving often looked lost against VCU. Shannon Scott had 10 assists but shot just 4-of-12. And the OSU team shot 59 percent from the foul line. Russell took it through one tournament game. It is unlikely one player, no matter how talented, will be enough to take the Buckeyes past Arizona.


West Regional Overview


East Regional Overview

East Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


South Regional Overview

South Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


Midwest Regional Overview

Midwest Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns


Tournament Central