The West Region has a few contenders I think, but not more challenging than the slate in Region 1 with Ohio State, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Kentucky.
Game 1: Duke is a favorite to win the tournament, let alone get out of the first round. Duke will not be upset by Hampton.
Game 2: Michigan, you could argue, plays in a bigger, more talented conference playing in the Big Ten. Tennessee has a lot of good wins this season but also, a lot of bad losses in a less-than-impressive SEC this season. I think both teams have the ability to win this game, however, I give Michigan the edge. (either way, this winner will lose to Duke)
Game 3: Arizona has had a better overall season than Memphis but were defeated by Washington in the Pac-10 Conference Tournament in a down year for the conference. Memphis, since losing John Calipari, has not been nearly as dominant. I give Arizona the nod here based on depth of the team and their offensive weapons.
Game 4: Texas has been an inconsistent team at times but plays big and tough down low on defense. Texas is a power team and I think they’ll be able to take Oakland without too much concern.
Game 5: When I think of Bucknell, I remember the bracket they ruined when they beat Kansas as a 12 or 13 seed a few years ago. They’ll be the 14th seed against 3 seeded UConn. I have UConn picked to win the tourney so I hope Bucknell doesn’t have any more surprises up their sleeves.
Games 6: Cincinnati had a middle of the pack year in the Big East, but that is more than enough to get a spot in the “Big Dance” this year. Missouri was nearer the top but still in the middle of the Big 12. I think Cincy has more experience against tougher competition and the edge goes their way.
Game 7: Temple, I’m realizing, is a much more popular pick than I would have thought. Penn State made a good run in the Big 10 tournament and have shown they can come up with good production in big game situations. Temple is a regular these days to the NCAA Tournament, though, and should be favored. I’m going Nittany Lions though.
Game 8: San Diego State’s last victory was against BYU in the MWC Tournament. Their lone 2 losses came at the hands of BYU earlier that season. With their only loss revenged, who’s to say who they can;t beat. Sure not gonna lose to Northern Colorado.