Monday, March 14, 2016

Sportz Assassin's West Region Preview

Disneyland in Anaheim, CA

TEAM TO BEAT: Oregon. The Ducks are probably the least known of the No. 1 seeds.  They won the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles.  They are athletic and have weapons all over, including forward Dylan Brooks. 

TEAM THAT WILL WIN THE REGION: Oklahoma. The Sooners will go as far as Buddy Hield will take them.  I think that is to the Final Four.  Their road to the Elite 8 is doable, and they have the horses to down Oregon or Duke in that round.  Get to Houston and they have a puncher's chance at cutting down the nets.

TEAM TO WATCH FOR (LESS THAN A NO. 3 SEED): Duke. What?  Yeah, this is region full of hit or misses.  Duke is the ultimate high risk/reward team.  There is a ton of talent ... just not a very deep stable of it.  Grayson Allen is tough to defend as is Brandon Ingram. The key is how tired is this team?  They are really only six deep and have huffed and puffed to the finish line.  However, they can score so efficiently and have the know-how to go deep in this dance despite people writing them off.  

YOUR CINDERELLA: VCU. Shaka Smart may not be there anymore, but the Rams still can stifle teams.  Oregon State is a team that can be forced into bad shots and bad turnovers.  Just the kind of ingredients for an upset.  Now, could they do the same thing against Buddy Hield?  

WORST SEEDING ERROR: Oregon State. The Beavers went from a tenuous bubble situation to a No. 7 seed?  How?  Because the Pac-12 knew how to fluff up their RPI numbers and OSU got a huge benefit from it.    

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Oregon. There are only three west coast teams in this West Region (Oregon, Oregon State, Cal St Bakersfield).  Bakersfield would love to be in Anaheim, but they won't get there.  Sure Oklahoma gets to play in OKC for the first weekend, but Oregon gets to hang in Spokane before going down to SoCal.  Plus the arena that the Region finals will be play is home of the NHL Ducks.  I like the Ducks' situation.

MUST WATCH GAME: Baylor vs Yale. You are dying for a 12-5 upset, and this could be it.

MUST WATCH (POTENTIAL) SECOND ROUND GAME: Texas vs Texas A&M. If this was a football game, there would be more pub.  But like a possible Indiana-Kentucky game in the East, this would feature two fierce rivals who saw their rivalry end with the conference realignment.  Add into the fact that this game would be in Oklahoma City and you'll have both fanbases at it.

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