NCAA Tournament 2010: West Regional Prediction

March 17, 2010

The West Regional features a one seed with injury concerns, a lights-out scorer in BYU's Jimmer Fredette, a powerful two seed in Kansas State, and a host of possible dark horse teams.

Here is our West Regional prediction:

#16 Vermont: A closer than expected game still produces the inevitable result - a first round exit. Look for Syracuse's Kris Joseph to outplay big brother Maurice and his Vermont teammates down the stretch.

#15 North Texas: Coach Johnny Jones certainly appears to have his program headed in the right direction, as evidenced by its 24-win season. However, on Thursday night that direction will be oriented south, as powerful Kansas State will send North Texas home on a short trip back to campus.

#14 Oakland: The Golden Grizzlies are in the Big Dance for the second time in 5 years. This year they will make their presence felt, upsetting #3 seed Pittsburgh behind a monstrous game from senior power forward Derick Nelson, before bowing out against Xavier in the second round. No small feat for the champions from the Summit League.

#13 Murray State: It will be one and done for the Racers against a tough team from Vandy.

#12 Texas El Paso: Although this team did not go 26-6 by being lucky, they received a favorable first round draw in Butler. UTEP's tandem of beefy Louisville transfer Derrick Caracter and Claude Britten will have their way with a smaller Bulldogs squad. Claude Britten will prove to be an absolute beast, and may wind up on an NBA team sooner rather than later.

#11 Minnesota: The Gophers lack the offensive firepower to hang with Xavier and will make a quick exit.

#10 Florida: This was seen by most as another down year for Billy Donovan and his Gators, but they will prove to be a formidable foe in vanquishing Brigham Young. Unfortunately, that only earns the Gators the right to then be dismantled by K-State.

#9 Florida State: Coach Leonard Hamilton and his 'Noles travel to Buffalo and engage in the game of the tournament, bowing out to Gonazaga in an absolute OT thriller in the first round. Look for Florida State seven-footer Solomon Alabi to wreak havoc on the interior in a valiant losing effort before eventually fouling out late.

#8 Gonzaga: The Zags emerge confidently from the FSU slugfest (See above) and, emboldened by their success, pull off a major upset in a hostile "road" environment over Jim Boeheim and his Orangemen. The Zags, boasting four players from North of the Border, and led by venerable coach Mark Few, are poised to finally make a successful Final Four run.

#7 Brigham Young: For Cougar fans, BYU might stand for "Brigham Young's Upset," after they fail to make it past a hungrier, more aggressive Florida team.

#6 Xavier: The Musketeers will make it past tough challenges from Pittsburgh and Oakland before bowing out to Kansas State in the Sweet Sixteen. Expect to see 20 PPG scorer Jordan Crawford produce a few highlights along the way, unless of course LeBron James and his video-confiscating Nike goons are lurking in the shadows.

#5 Butler: Butler will be the first 5 seed to fall to a 12 in the inevitable 12 seed over 5 upset special.

#4 Vanderbilt: The Commodores will outlast Murray State and UTEP before bowing out to Gonzaga in the Sweet 16.

#3 Pittsburgh: The Panthers surprised many this year with a strong showing in the Big East due largely in part to the emergence of shooter Ashton Gibbs. Unfortunately, for Coach Jamie Dixon, the dream ends early with a first round flameout.

#2 Kansas State: The Wildcats received strong one seed consideration thanks to outstanding play all season from guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. Look for Kansas State to meet Gonzaga in a tooth-and-nail battle for the right to emerge from the West Regional and play in the Final Four.

#1 Syracuse: Star Wesley Johnson and company will cruise along until they run into the buzzsaw out of Spokane that is Gonzaga. With big man Arinze Onuaku less than 100%, the Orange will fall early, just as they did in the Big East tourney.

Eventual Regional Champion: GONZAGA

By Kweku Turkson
Staff Reporter for

No comments:

Post a Comment

We encourage all intelligent, passionate comments. Please refrain from any ignorant, racist, or offensive rants.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...