Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March Madness Preview: West Regional Breakdown

2009 Tournament: Schedule and Preview (can be found here)
Tuesday 1pm ET: South Regional Preview (can be found here)
Tuesday 5pm ET: East Regional Preview (can be found here)
Wednesday 9am ET: Midwest Regional Preview (can be found here)
Wednesday 11am ET: West Regional Preview (can be found here)
Thursday 9am ET: An inside look at entertaining announcer Gus Johnson (can be found here)
Thursday 12:20 ET: 2009 Tournament tips off with Butler and LSU from Greensboro, NC

Bracket to View can be found here

Bracket to Print can be found here

The West region basically has two number 1 seeds in Connecticut and Memphis. Going into Selection Sunday, experts were debating whether Jim Calhoun and the 27-4 Huskies should get the #1 seed or if John Calipari’s Tigers and their impressive 25 game winning streak deserved the fourth top seed.

Teams like Missouri and Washington, the respective 3 and 4 seeds in the West, can’t be happy about getting stuck in the same bracket as these two power-houses. That being said, the other Huskies (Washington) in this bracket might have a chip on their shoulder due to their poor seeding. Can we say East Coast Bias? The Huskies have had a solid season and could really make some noise in this bracket if they get a couple of good breaks along the way.

Another team to watch out for is Missouri. They have won 11 of their last 13 games including a win over Oklahoma and the Big 12 Tournament Championship. Senior leaders DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons might need some help from the supporting cast to get past Memphis and to the Elite 8. Look for this team to compete with Memphis and UConn, and possibly make a run to the Final Four.

At the end of the day, however, UConn and Memphis are probably too tough to justify taking anyone else out of the West Region this year. I think Thabeet and the Huskies roll into the Final Four and the seeds hold for the most part.

Here are a few other teams that could make some noise in the West:


Maryland is playing well right now, and Cal has really fallen off of their peak. If you want to get crazy, give a look to Maryland over Memphis in the second round. Maryland seems to get up for the big games, and playing the underdog roll against Memphis to get into the Sweet 16 is as big as they get.


This squad is finally playing up to their potential and could really make a run. As a 5 seed, you must always be cautious of the 12 seed upset, but I don’t see Northern Iowa pulling it off this year. If Purdue is hitting their shots, watch out.

Utah State

This is my upset special. I think 11 seed Utah State can take 6 seed Marquette in this game. Marquette was poised to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament before losing Dominic James to injury. The team has not played well since, and Utah State has only lost 4 games this year, racking up 30 wins. This game should come down to the wire, but I take Utah State over Marquette before losing to Missouri.
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