Courtesy of Bucky's Fifth Quarter
For the third region of the bracket, I broke down pick by pick the weakest of the four regions, the West.
In the West, Gonzaga should take care of business against Southern, and Pittsburgh I believe is under-seeded as an eight and should take care of the Wichita State Shockers with ease. This next game is a tough one. Leaving as much bias aside as I can, I think Wisconsin will steamroll Ole Miss. Ole Miss has two players, both of whom are extremely talented, in Marshall Henderson and Murphy Holloway. It turns out that Wisconsin’s best strengths are denying the three (negating Henderson’s impact considerably), and Berggren is one of the best interior defenders in the country (negating Holloway’s impact considerably). If Wisconsin can shoot the way they have shown at times they can, then they should defeat the Rebels.
In the last game of this little pod, Kansas State takes on the winner of Boise State and La Salle in Kansas City. This being a home game for Kansas State (effectively), they should defeat whomever they are tasked with facing; however, participants in the first four have gone on to win games in the past (look at VCU from two years ago as a prime example of this), so be careful counting that game’s winner out.
In the bottom half of the region, Arizona takes on a tough Belmont squad in their opening game in what is sure to be a good one. I have Arizona winning this one, despite their inconsistencies this season, they are the more talented team; however, you can never count the Bruins out. In the next game, New Mexico takes on the Harvard Crimson. The Lobos have played extremely good basketball and Harvard will likely be over-matched in this one.
In the seven-ten match-up, seventh seeded Notre Dame takes on the tenth seeded Iowa State Cyclones. Iowa State is atrocious on defense, but can score with anyone. I’m going to take the Cyclones here, as Notre Dame is not nearly consistent enough to beat a team like Iowa State. If Notre Dame falls behind early, this one could get out of hand. In the last game of the region, I’ll take Ohio State over the Iona Gaels as Ohio State is playing like the second best team in the country right now (behind Louisville).
Recap: Gonzaga, Ohio State, New Mexico, Kansas State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Pittsburgh, and Iowa State advance while Notre Dame is upset.