Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament West Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns

West Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns
Xavier has had an outstanding season as they won the Big East regular season championship and have been under a steady rise among the elite of college basketball. The Musketeers were a number 11 seed in the 2017 NCAA Tournament and made it all the way to the Elite Eight before falling to Gonzaga. Thus, this team has the necessary tournament experience to avoid a let down against an inferior opponent like North Carolina Central or Texas Southern. Look for guards Trevon Bluiett and J. P. Macura to lead a balanced attack and an easy win over either potential 16 seed that they will play.
The Tigers have Michael Porter Jr. back in the fold and if he can get his fitness elevated by the time the NCAA Tournament starts than Missouri will be a more dangerous team to deal with. Kassius Robertson is going to have to set the tone for the Tigers from the perimeter as Robertson is averaging 16.2 points per game and is shooting 42.5 percent from behind the three-point arc. Florida State doesn’t have the game-changing superstar in its lineup, but is does have a solid, deep team that can be a tricky to contain. Terrance Mann is going to have to score at least 20 points for the Seminoles to advance to the round of 32.
Keita Bates-Diop’s performance will dictate how far the Buckeyes will go in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Bates-Diop is averaging 19.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and he is the type of player that is going to be very difficult for the Jackrabbits to slow down completely. If Ohio State is diald in defensively and can keep South Dakota State in control tempo wise, then they should be able to avoid the 12-5 upset. Mike Daum leads a balanced high-powered offensive attack that can outscore anyone on any given night. David Jenkins is a top flight outside shooter for the Jackrabbits and, if he is on, that should open things up for Daum and give South Dakota State a great shot for the upset.
Gonzaga is led by Josh Perkins and Silas Nelson who will keep things rolling smoothly in the backcourt. Killian Tillie has done a nice job all season long for the Bulldogs and is averaging 13.4 points per game along with 6.0 rebounds. In addition, Tillie is shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor, which is going to cause some matchup problems for teams in the NCAA Tournament. UNC Greensboro won the Southern Conference and are a tough defensive team that can cause teams with better talent some headaches. Francis Alonso is going to a very vital to the Spartans chances of shocking Gonzaga in the opening round as Alonso is going to need to go off for about 30 points to keep this game close.
Houston is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. Kelvin Sampson has quietly rebuilt the Cougars into a highly competitive program as they nearly knocked off Cincinnati in the AAC Conference Tourney title game on Sunday. Houston is the type of team that wins at just about any tempo and that makes them a dangerous team in this NCAA Tournament. The backcourt combination of Rob Gray and Corey Davis is going to need to combine for about 35 points in this matchup with San Diego State. For the Aztecs, head coach Brian Dutcher has gotten this team to play well down the stretch as San Diego State won the Mountain West Conference Tournament to get into the big dance. Senior forward Malik Pope leads a balanced offensive attack that will test the Cougars a great deal.
#3 Michigan vs. #14 Montana
Michigan is led by Moritz Wagner, who is averaging 14.5 points per game. Muhammad Ali-Abdur-Rahkman and Charles Matthews are also averaging in double-figures offensively, which cerates a lot of matchup problems for the Grizzlies. In addition, the ability to take care of the basketball will be a huge plus for the Wolverines as they are limiting their turnovers to just over nine per game. Montana won the Big Sky Conference and will need a big-time performance from guards Ahmaad Rorie and Michael Oguine to shock Michigan and bust plenty of brackets.
This should a game that goes down to the wire as both teams are evenly matched. Texas A&M is going to have a size advantage with Tyler Davis at center. Davis is shooting 57.6 percent from the floor along with averaging 14.5 points per game. Providence is going to pressure the Aggies as much as possible with their guard heavy lineup, but the question remains if the Big East Tournament took too much out of the Friars as they played three overtimes games in the past week.
The defending champions open their title defense in Charlotte against a Lipscomb team that will be making their ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina made it all the way to the ACC Tournament final before falling to Virginia 71-63. Joel Berry II, Theo Pinson, and Luke Maye are going to have a huge advantage in experience and talent in this matchup against the Bison. For Lipscomb, they will need to let it loose and play fast and try and outscore the Tar Heels to pull off the ultimate upset.