Home > Current Updates > Bracket Bits: West Region

Bracket Bits: West Region

Dave2015Gonzaga has a chance to be the first team since Indiana (1975-76) to complete an undefeated season. The Zags are loaded, and they are arguably one of coach Mark Few’s most explosive groups.  They are well tested and have their sights set on Lucas Oil Stadium in April.  Worth noting: Both Virginia and Kansas are dealing with COVID issues, so neither may be at full strength in Games 1 or 2.

Favorite: Gonzaga
Next in Line: Iowa
Darkhorse: Oregon
The Ducks won 11 of 13 games down the stretch after two interruptions.  Beating Iowa in Round 2 is tough ask, but with an upset, Oregon could catch a break if Kansas is unable to play with its full compliment of players due to COVID protocols or is rusty from its transition back.
Best chance for an upset:
(12) UC-Santa Barbara over (5) Creighton – the Gauchos have only lost once since the calendar turned.  Guard JaQuori McLaughlin makes more than 40 percent of his treys. And if it’s a close game, USCB is solid at the FT line, making 75 percent as a team.  Meanwhile, the Bluejays tend to run hot and cold.  If Marcus Zegarowski and Company are hot, watch out.  If not, the Gauchos have a chance to move on.
Next best chance for an upset:
(13) Ohio over (4) Virginia – If Virginia is at full strength, odds for an upset certainly decrease.  What we do know is that UVA won’t have its full roster in Indianapolis until the end of the week (at best); and it’s uncertain how the interruption will affect preparation.  Add in the fact that Ohio guard Jason Preston is a high-major talent and this could be a nail biter.  The Bobcats only lost by two points at Illinois back in November.
Best Storyline: Drake
The Bulldogs rampaged through their season until injuries took a toll, most notably to leading scorer, ShanQuan Hemphill and guard Roman Penn.  While Penn is out, it’s possible that Hemphill returns.  If he does and can play at a high level, Drake could become this year’s tournament darling.  How juicy would a Sweet 16 matchup between the Bulldogs and Iowa be?
Best opening-round matchup: (8) Oklahoma vs. (9) Missouri
It’s hard to not look at two teams once listed as top four seeds by the Committee.  This feels more like a second-round game.
Best chance to get to the Final Four: Gonzaga
A rematch between Iowa and Gonzaga would be all sorts of fun, and the Hawkeyes have the firepower to contend.  But it seems like it could be the Zags’ season to cut down the nets.

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