2011 NCAA West Region Predictions
NCAA Bracket West Region Favorites to Make the Final Four
Duke: You can forget about that rumor that athletic teams are too much for Duke to handle. Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler lead a well-rounded team that just finished up a complete destruction of North Carolina in the ACC Tournament finale. Every team will be gunning to knock of the defending champs, but there isnt a more experienced, tournament-tested team in this part of the bracket.
Texas: Im not sure what the committee was thinking when they slapped the Longhorns with a No. 4 seed. This is the same Texas squad that was in the mix for a No. 1 seed until a bad loss to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament title game. They feature a lineup with four players averaging double figures and three players averaging seven or more rebounds a game. Texas went to North Carolina and won earlier in the year, which should have Duke fans a little worried. The Longhorns and Blue Devils will likely meet in the Sweet 16, and the winner should cruise to the Final Four.
NCAA Bracket West Region Upset Specials
Missouri over Cincinnati:
The problem with the Bearcats is that you never know which team will show up. Will it be the squad that picked up some big wins during conference play or the team that looked completely disinterested in an ugly 89-51 loss to Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament? The Bearcats live and die with the play of Yancy Gates, and he has been knocked for a lack of effort throughout his playing career.
Temple/Penn State over San Diego State:
SDSU went to Gonzaga and picked up a statement win early in the season, but show me another good win on their schedule. They lost both regular season games against BYU, and only beat the Cougars in the conference tournament after Brandon Davies was suspended. PSU and Temple have both played tougher competition along the way with the Nittany Lions beating Wisconsin twice and the Owls went on the road to beat Georgia and Maryland and knocked off Georgetown at home. SDSU is a good team, but they could get overwhelmed facing big time competition in a pressure-packed situation.
My Prediction to win the West Region-Texas Longhorns