NCAA Basketball: Predictions From the West Region

Ian ZymarakisSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2008

Well I have reached the final region of the NCAA Tournament, the West Region, this region seems to be the easiest road for a number one seed to reach the final four.

Here are my predictions however for the first round of games.

(1) UCLA vs. (16) Miss. Valley St.

UCLA wins this one big time in front of a very pro UCLA crowd, Kevin Love's back definitely won't be put to the test in this contest as Love doesn't need to play a lot in this game.

UCLA pulls away early and wins by more than 30 points.

(8) BYU vs. (9) Texas A&M

In this coin flip match I see BYU edging out A&M.

BYU I feel is highly underrated after winning 25+ games this past season.

In a game that I feel might even go into over time BYU survives and moves on to challenge number one seed UCLA.

(5) Drake vs. (12) Western Kentucky

In this battle between Mid Major teams I actually have this one being an upset as Western Kentucky pulls through.

Drake hasn't made a tournament appearance since 1971 but it won't be a long stay in this years tournament as they get upset early.

This game really could go either way because both teams can light it up from the three point line.

When it comes down to Mid Majors playing one another it really is more of a coin flip then an obvious pick but this is my upset special for this region of the tournament.

(4) UCONN vs. (13) San Diego

Surprising San Diego had an incredible ride through their conference tournament to get them into the big dance but UCONN and their big man presence inside is too much for San Diego to handle.

San Diego keeps it close until UCONN pulls away in the last 10 minutes of the second half.

UCONN moves onto the second round to face Western Kentucky

(6) Purdue vs. (11) Baylor

Baylor tries to show why they were deserving of what most likely was one of the final at large births but Purdue wins this one as Purdue's good shooting and solid defense are too much for Baylor to get over the hump.

No upset here as Purdue moves onto the second round.

(3) Xavier vs. (14) Georgia

Xavier wins this game over a what will most likely be very tired Georgia squad, the Cinderella ends early for the Georgia Bulldogs as Drew Lavender and other solid guard play on Xavier is too much.

Xavier escapes a possible upset alert and moves onto the second round.

(7) West Virginia vs. (10) Arizona

West Virginia's three point shooting proves to be too much for Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger as U of A gets sent home in the first round.

Could this be the last time we see Bayless and Budinger in Wildcat uniforms?

We shall see.

This could go down as an upset alert because of how solid U of A really is, this is definitely a coinflip type of pick as well.


2) Duke vs. (15) Belmont

Duke wins this one and avoids back to back first round exits.

The Belmont Bruins have tournament experience but are no match for the Blue Devils inside-out game. There will not be two teams named the Bruins advancing to the second round from this region.

Duke moves onto the second round and a tough matchup with I feel West Virginia.

1st Round Review:

(1) UCLA

(8) BYU

(12) Western Kentucky


(6) Purdue

(3) Xavier

(7) West Virginia

(2) Duke


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