Monday, March 17, 2014

Sportz Assassin's West Region Preview

TEAM TO BEAT: Arizona. The Wildcats have had an amazing year and the committee obviously valued them by making them the 2nd overall seed.  

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Arizona. Not to say there aren't some landmines, I just think that Zona has a pretty easy path to the Final Four ... relatively speaking.  Though they will get tested pretty quickly.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Oklahoma State. Since Marcus Smart's suspension, these Cowboys have been smoking hot ... losing only twice and that was to Iowa State and Kansas and both were in overtime.  Okie State starts off with a iffy Gonzaga team before facing Arizona.  Win that and there is no one they'll face any tougher until they get to North Texas.  

YOUR CINDERELLA: North Dakota State. As I look through the region, I don't see many upsets early.  If there is one, NDSU could be it.  Taylor Braun can dump some points on you in a hurry and Oklahoma has the look of a team that could get upset.  

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Oklahoma State. It is hard to see any real injustices.  I'm picking Oklahoma State since the eye test has them better than a 9-seed.  I mean, if Baylor is a No. 6 seed in this same region then why is Oklahoma State placed down as a 9?  

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Arizona. First two rounds in San Diego and then they move on to Anaheim?  Not bad for the Cats from Tuscon.  Especially since the other top seeds are traveling from further distances.  San Diego State will be in Spokane for the first weekend, but they should enjoy playing up the coast in the second weeked.

MUST WATCH GAME: Creighton vs La-Lafayette. I don't think this will be a great game, per se, but Doug McDermott should be able to light up this ULL defense.  And with only a few games left in his college career, it would be nice to see that.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Arizona vs Oklahoma State. This is a tough matchup for Arizona.  They should win but this may be the first chance we get to see a top seed go down.

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