West Region Preview

Arizona is just one of numerous quality teams in the West region. Read on to see who we think the team to beat is, best game, player, and more.

Best team: Arizona gets the nod here for numerous reasons. For starters, it was second on the seeding list and the committee sees it as the second best team in the tournament behind Florida. It also has the best numbers across the board and the Wildcats are the best team in the country on defense. There are numerous good teams in this region but, on paper, Arizona is clearly the best.

Biggest misfortune: This is actually tough because no team really has much of an argument that it got screwed over. Sure, Arizona got the toughest 8/9 game, but the rest of the bracket is one of the weaker ones as far as we are concerned. We think Baylor has a decent argument for being under-seeded. It also has to play a hot Nebraska team in the first round and should it win, goes against Creighton. If it was the five seed, Baylor is going up against two teams it matches up much better with.

Best player: Doug McDermott is the easy choice here. He is probably one of the best players in college basketball history in terms of his scoring ability. Just take a look at his numbers and you will see a 27 point per game scorer who shoots at a 52 percent clip and 45 percent from behind the arc, while also grabbing seven rebounds per outing. McDermott is not likely to go out with a bad game and the Jays are going to do everything they can to make sure he gets as many good looks as possible, which he will.

Best player you have never heard of: Elfrid Payton is a 6-foot-3 guard on Louisiana Lafayette that is a fringe NBA player. He averages 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game and is as talented as they come at smaller schools. If Payton was on a big school, he would get national attention and although Creighton is a tough first round matchup, we wouldn't be surprised if Payton winds up making that a game.

Best first-round game: This depends on what you like. Oregon-BYU will be fun because of the offense, but it won't be pretty basketball. Oklahoma State-Gonzaga should also be a closer game, but it is going to likely be a grind. Baylor-Nebraska is definitely a good game and one that has upset potential. Speaking of upsets, San Diego State-New Mexico State has to be up there as well. We're going to go with Oklahoma State-Gonzaga because while both teams are different, they are also quality teams. You have Gonzaga's size, Oklahoma State's guards, and two teams that think they can beat Arizona.

Best potential second-round game: Oklahoma State-Arizona is the easy choice here. Nick Johnson, Marcus Smart, Markel Brown, Aaron Gordon, LeBryan Nash, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. What more do you want here? There is a ton of talent, plenty of people picking Arizona to lose, and a great atmosphere. If we had to go with a different game, we would go with Oklahoma- San Diego State, which would be a physical battle.

The pick: We just have to go with Arizona here. The second rough matchup is going to be tough no matter which team it is, but Arizona matches up well with literally every team in the west. Not only that, but there is a good chance that there will be an upset or two that opens everything up. Mix that in with the fact that Arizona isn't going to be very far from home and you almost have to pick Arizona here.


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