West Regional Breakdown and Analysis….
2009 NCAA Tournament West Region Bracket Seeding
1 – UCONN, 2 – Memphis, 3 – Missouri, 4 – Washington
5 – Purdue, 6 – Marquette, 7 – California, 8 – BYU
9 – Texas A&M, 10 – Maryland, 11 – Utah State,
12 – Northern Iowa, 13 – Miss. State, 14 – Cornell,
15 – Cal St. Northridge, 16 – Chattanooga
On the night of March 20th, these teams will begin their journey on their way to a potential National Championship run in Detroit on April 6th. Compared to the other regions in the tournament and the opportunity for the #1 seed (in this case, UConn) to make it to the Final Four, I rank the Midwest as the 3rd toughest bracket out of the field.
Taking a step back and looking at the entire bracket, the ability of a “Cinderella” and a few lower seeds to advance in the region looks more probable than I originally thought. UConn as the #1 seed won’t really have a true test until the Sweet 16 against Washington…most likely. However, as the #2 seed at the bottom of the region, Memphis will find a much tougher road to get to Detroit, and even the Elite 8. Assuming they take care of business against Cal St. Northridge, I see Memphis struggling against a tested Maryland team out of the rugged ACC. Memphis will finally have to prove itself to the public and the rest of the major national Conferences. I still think they’re overrated, but I have them beating Maryland here. UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT! Look out Purdue, here comes Northern Iowa. The Big 10 is awful and I give Purdue NO LOVE for winning the Conference Tournament. Michigan State is overrated and the rest of the Big 10 is a group of low-scoring, slow-paced make-believers that unfortunately are represented in the NCAA tournament. Northern Iowa has tourney history and has won games before as a major underdog. To the general public, look for history to repeat itself….
In the Mizzou-Cornell Big Red matchup, I unfortunately think the Ivy league’s representative will be more brains than talent and get blown out. In the 4-13 matchup between Washington and Miss. State, Washington will likely prove that they belong in the tournament against an over-achieving Miss. State team who just ran the table in the SEC Conference Tournament. The most intriguing matchup in the West Regional is the 6-11 game between a banged up Marquette Golden Eagle squad and Utah State. UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT! Without Dominic James, Marquette will find it tough to score and will bite the bullet against the Aggies of Utah State. In the next round, I also have Utah State beating Mizzou with a buzzer beater and another West region shocker. This leaves Memphis to handle Utah State when their luck runs out and UConn taking care of business against the Huskies of Washington going to Thabeet in the post all night long. In the Elite 8 matchup, I like UConn to struggle against Memphis’ size and get run out of the gym in a fast-paced shootout that plays to Memphis’ fast-break style favor. This should be a high-scoring, Run ‘n Gun type bracket field. It should be entertaining. Look for some surprises…..
Ok folks, get out your brackets…
2009 WEST REGION PREDICTIONS
Sleeper teams to win at least one game: Utah State, Maryland, Northern Iowa, and Texas A&M
Most intriguing team to watch: Washington (can they make a name for the Pac-10?)
Biggest regional upset: Utah State to upset Marquette and then Missouri in the Sweet 16, Northern Iowa to upset #5 Purdue
1st Round Winners: UConn, Texas A&M, Northern Iowa, Washington, Utah State, Mizzou, Maryland, and Memphis
2nd Round Winners: UConn, Washington, Utah State, and Memphis
Midwest Region Sweet 16 Winners: Memphis and UConn
Midwest Region Elite 8 Winner: Memphis Tigers (they got lucky with their bracket)
OUT OF THE WEST REGION, Memphis WILL REPRESENT THE FIELD IN DETROIT AT THE FINAL FOUR
Analysis and breakdown of the South Region coming soon….