2008 March Madness West Bracket Breakdown
The West will be won by some great college basketball teams that have a history of succeeding in this tournament over the years. UCLA garnished the #1 seed and they will be able to control their own destiny when it comes to going to the final four but it won’t be without some serious opposition. This starts with the second seed Duke, led by coach K and a history of making things tough on opponents when attempting to get the crown and win a national championship. It doesn’t stop there surprising Xavier and always challenging Uconn Huskies will also provide some tough going for the other teams in the west.
Early advances: The high seeds will advance without much opposition as UCLA should topple the 16 seed and keep the tradition alive of the #1 seed beating the 16 seed. Belmont heads into the tournament again as one of the hottest teams in the tournament winning thirteen straight and they should give Duke a run for their money in the first round but Duke should win by less than double digits as they advance. The Huskies have five players that average double figures and they should get past by San Diego in the first round since the last time they went to the dance they were upset by George Mason. Xavier has to get by Georgia who shocked the world and won the SEC but their run ends here and Xavier will advance, but after that don’t be surprised if upsets start popping up.
Dark horse east teams: When it comes to March Madness the underdog rules supreme as every team is playing every game like it could be their last. The west bracket is no difference and will have their share of upsets. The best dark horse to take a look at is the 10/7 seed meeting between Arizona and West Virginia. Arizona is the team in the dance that all the experts are suggesting should not be here in favor of Arizona St. If they lose they would just prove the critics were right, only a win over a higher seed would prove the critics wrong. Baylor is another team that has the potential to pull off the upset since they were very excited to make the tournament and show that they deserve to be here. BYU crawls in after an upset loss in the conference championship and Drake could fall victim to the 12/5 upset since they have not been here in years and have little experience. The next upset will be watching the Duke Blue Devils get bounced early. They have a tough draw with West Virginia, Arizona, Xavier or Purdue or Baylor all of which are capable of pulling off the upset if Duke gets cold behind the arc.
The winner is: The UCLA Bruins. The Bruins like some of the other teams that have been selected to advance have depth talent inside and out, a great freshman to lead the way and experience in final four play. That will allow them to capture the west and move on.