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In the West, I feel like only one team can have a chance at making a Cinderalla run. That team is Missouri. I love how fast they play and the constant defensive pressure they put on the opposition, which could be key. However, they have to get by UConn in the second round, and I don’t see that happening.
First round(Teams marked in bold are my winner):
#1 Duke vs. #16 Hampton
#8 Michigan vs. #9 Tennessee
#5 Arizona vs. #12 Memphis
#4 Texas vs. #13 Oakland
#6 Cincy vs. #11 Missouri
#3 UConn vs. #14 Bucknell
#7 Temple vs. #10 Penn State
#2 SDSU vs. #15 Northern Colorado
#1 Duke vs. #9 Tennessee
#4 Texas vs. #5 Arizona
#3 UConn vs. #11 Missouri
#2 SDSU vs. #7 Temple
That leaves my Sweet 16 at #1 Duke vs. #4 Texas. I don’t feel Texas is as complete of a team than Duke. Duke lives and dies by the three, but it is rare when they are off on the perimeter. Nolan Smith is a true Player of the Year Candidate, Kyle Singler is the leader of the team who will make big shots, and then don’t forget Seth Curry, who is known for knocking down the long range shots. I believe the combination of Mason and Miles Plumlee will be enough to contain Tristan Thompson on the inside. I’ll take Duke.
Then #2 SDSU vs. #3 UConn. UConn had lost seven of eleven games before making a very impressive run in the Big East tournament. The fact that they survived that tournament and won shows what they can go. If SDSU can contain Kemba Walker, than they would have a chance. However, I don’t see that happening. I like UConn to make it to the Elite Eight.
I believe it will come down between #1 Duke vs. #3 UConn. UConn is young and doesn’t have as much experience as Duke, and I feel that will be the difference. Coach K will figure out a way to slow Walker down enough to ground UConn all together. Duke’s 3-point shooting isn’t off often, and I don’t see any reason for it to slow down now. Duke wins the West region, making a second trip to the Final Four.
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