Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament West Regional Overview

Men’s NCAA Tournament West Regional Overview

Depending on how you feel about Creighton and San Diego State, this region looks pretty easy for Arizona and Oklahoma State. Baylor is playing pretty well right now and teams like Oregon and Oklahoma State can beat anybody on any given day, but they could just as easily stumble in the Round of 64.

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


Who Can Win?
Arizona, especially holding a significant geographical advantage over the other competitors in the region, will be favored to head to Texas for the Final Four. Wisconsin and their tough defense look to have a decent road to the Sweet Sixteen. And there is always Creighton’s Doug McDermott. The National Player of the Year can take the Bluejays to the Final Four by himself. Fortunately, he has some help too.

Who Can Surprise?
Oregon and Oklahoma State have the offensive weapons to make a surprising run. The Ducks do most of their damage on the perimeter with Joseph Young and Jason Calliste. Forward Mike Moser provides the interior scoring threat. The Cowboys have been playing extremely well since Marcus Smart returned from his suspension. Teamed up with fellow guard Markel Brown, this is a tough team to stop. Those two combine for 34.9 points, 7.6 assists and 11.0 rebounds. Sharpshooter Phil Forte and forward Le’Bryan Nash can fill up the stat sheet in a hurry too.

Who’s Hot?
It was not long ago that Baylor was on the outside of the bubble looking in. That was before March. The Bears started the month winning six straight before falling to Iowa State in the Big 12 title game. The big Baylor squad beat Iowa State, who is a three seed, and Oklahoma, a five seed, during that stretch. Kenny Chery has emerged as a solid point guard, but it is the frontcourt duo of Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin that should have opponents worried.

Who’s Cold?
Gonzaga is not exactly cold, having won their last five contests, but those five wins did not look like a top Gonzaga squad that we have become accustomed to seeing. A 77-75 win over 14-19 Santa Clara in their opening game of the WCC Tournament almost spelled disaster for Gonzaga and they should be beating teams like that handily. In retrospect, a loss there would have put Gonzaga squarely on the bubble.

Upset Alert!
There are not many double digit seeds that appear to have much of a chance to win a game. The exception would be #11 Nebraska over #6 Baylor…if you want to call that an upset. Despite Baylor playing well right now, Nebraska is coming off of a season ending victory over Wisconsin. The Cornhuskers won nine of ten before losing to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament. If this group is going to get past the Bears, Terran Petteway will need a big game. The sophomore averages 18.1 points per contest and has had big outings during big games. And none are bigger than this.

What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
Oregon against Wisconsin in the third round would be a very fun game. The Badgers do not allow many points and the Ducks rank in the top ten in the country with 82.3 points per game. The battle of tempo will be very interesting to watch. The key to that game would be Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson. He has to keep his team under control and not get caught up watching Oregon try and run up and down the floor.

Which Players Will Dominate?
Doug McDermott is the best player in the nation and all eyes will be on the Creighton star this March. After averaging 26.9 points and 7.0 rebounds during the regular season, the National Player of the Year can carry the Bluejays. And even if the opposition does everything possible to contain McDermott, he will get his points. The matchups should allow for McDermott to score quite a few points in the West Region barring a potential game with Wisconsin where scoring will be tougher to come by.

Which System is Tough to Prepare For?
There is the Princeton offense of Louisiana, the slow it down of Wisconsin and the speed it up of Oregon and Creighton. In fact, six teams in this region (BYU, Oklahoma State, Louisiana, Oregon, Creighton, Oklahoma) rank in the top 20 in scoring offense. As tough as it may be to play Wisconsin, the story here is about offense and everybody else trying to keep up.


West Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


South Regional Overview

South Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


Midwest Regional Overview

Midwest Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


East Regional Overview

East Region 2nd Round Game Breakdowns


Madness Tournament Central