Top overall seed Gonzaga leads a downright brutal West Region in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags, Duke, Texas Tech, and Arkansas landed the top-four seeds this season. Below, we’ll look at West Region bracket odds and break down the field.
This year’s region final and semifinal– the Elite Eight and the Sweet Sixteen– will be played in San Francisco at Chase Center. Those rounds will be played on March 24 and 26.
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West Region Bracket Odds To Reach Final Four
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West Region Bracket Odds Breakdown
Gonzaga: The top overall seed in the tournament landed as the one seed in the West. Preferential seeding was given to the Zags, who will play their first two rounds on Portland, Ore. However, they pulled a tough draw in the region. Led by Drew Timme and freshman phenom Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga is looking to finish what they started in 2021. They were a fairly obvious one seed, leading the nation in Quad 1 wins and topping nearly every ranking, including KenPom.
Duke: Coach K’s farewell tournament could provide enough spark for Duke to make a tournament run. They were also given preferential seeding, landing their first two games in nearby Greenville, S.C. Rankings, however, are bearish on Duke, with KenPom slotting them 12th– lowest of any two seed– and ESPN’s BPI placing them 11th. It’s a tough pull for Duke, who could face any number of feisty teams like Davidson and Texas Tech early on.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are a noisy tournament team and have made some runs recently. They’re one of the best defensive teams nationally, are solid on not turning the ball over, but do struggle from the free throw line. Two of those metrics correlate with postseason success, though– like all other teams in this region– they pulled a tough draw sharing the quadrant with Gonzaga, Duke, Arkansas, and UConn.
UConn: If you’ve been following our own Eli Hershkovich this season, then you’re already onto UConn. Per his power rankings, the Huskies sit higher than Duke (two seed), Texas Tech and Wisconsin (three seeds), and two of the four seeds (Providence, UCLA). ESPN’s strength of record index places UConn 17th nationally and KenPom ranks them inside the top 20. However, UConn’s has work to do, pulling one of the most brutal draws in the entire tournament.
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Memphis: We hear you– Memphis likely goes through Gonzaga in the second round if they want to win the region. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, that’s not likely as they have the Tigers at 28-1 to make the Final Four. However, compare that price to similar teams: their first round opponent (Boise State) is at 50-1, and Seton Hall from the South is 60-1. That note alone is worth mentioning (and is absolutely actionable betting first-round games).
Davidson: Is this pick too trendy? Maybe. But also taking a page from Eli’s recent Discord Q&A, the Wildcats might be a double-digit team to ride this postseason. They’re one of the most popular first-round upset picks and for good reason. Despite a potential Round of 32 date with Duke, Davidson holds 50-1 odds to make the Final Four.
How I’m Drawing Up The West Region Bracket
The numbers aren’t quite in yet, but the amount of people having Gonzaga coming out of this bracket is going to be large– a comfortable majority. The number of people with Gonzaga winning the entire bracket is likely similarly large. However, the Zags pulled a downright brutal field, starting with what some call the toughest 16 seed in memory. Then they could see Memphis in the second round, one of the better 8/9s in the field (see above). It doesn’t get any easier with more teams like Arkansas, UConn, Texas Tech, and Duke all filling up the West region.
For that reason, I’m fading away from Gonzaga. Texas Tech is a team that come recent tournaments, have been very noisy. Solid defense, careful with the basketball, both very good things for March. For my bracket, the Red Raiders emerge from the West gauntlet.
Another way I’m getting different in bracket pools is by bouncing popular teams like Arkansas and Duke earlier on than not. Davidson is a good team that could send Michigan State and Duke home early. UConn is also a very tough opponent for Arkansas in the Round of 32. Hell, Vermont may even make a splash playing so close to home (Buffalo).
Other Region Breakdowns: