West Region Forum

Here’s what I’m pondering about the West region:

  • Is Gonzaga for real–and can they slog through the inevitable mudfights they’ll have, either with Pitt, Kansas State or Wisconsin?
  • I want to pull the trigger on the Belmont upset…but I’m also tempted to have Arizona beat New Mexico. Dare I advance Belmont to the Sweet 16?
  • Is this the year that one of these snakebit coaches–Few, Brey, Alford–finally makes an Elite Eight?
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105 Responses to West Region Forum

  1. aaron says:

    pitt to the final four anyone?!?!? is it worth it/does that seem realistic?

    • ptiernan says:

      I have died on Pitt one too many times. Their efficiency numbers are nice this year. But Dixon is among the lowest coaching performers. Check out the “Top Performers” list of coaches for his performance against seed expectations.

  2. aaron says:

    So who makes the Elite 8 in the Zaga part of this bracket?

    • ptiernan says:

      How do you feel about a Big Ten championship rematch? (No snide comments on how excruciatingly boring that game might be.”

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      Ohio State is the obvious choice, however I kind of like the idea of Belmont shocking some teams. They shoot the 3 well and they shoot it often. They also cause a lot of turnovers, which I like to see. The only problem I have with them is their rebounding, they get killed on the boards.

      • Ryan Tressler says:

        The other reason I like Belmont is because both Kansas State and New Mexico have below average 3 point defenses . . . its just that Ohio State match-up they would have to potentially get through

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      whoops, nevermind, completely misread your post, haha . . . I like Gonzaga, they have a great front court and Olynyk might be the best player in the country. If I had to choose against them, I would go with either Wisconsin or Pittsburgh

  3. Andy M says:

    I agree with you Ryan, Gonzaga is the favorite in the top half of the bracket. People are underestimating their talent level and overestimating their strength of schedule. What do you guys think about Belmont vs. New Mexico? Also, does Ole Miss have a shot to knock off Wisconsin or are you wary of picking them since they didn’t go last year and are coached by a guy making his 1st tourney appearance?

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      Ole Miss is a very good team, but you have to worry about that inexperience in both the coach and the players. If these things were decided on talent alone, I would give Ole Miss a decent shot at the win. As for Belmont, I like their chances. They are a team that shoots a lot of threes and makes them at a high percentage (39%). They also force a lot of turnovers. If they can they stay even on the boards, I like their chances a lot against New Mexico (who do allow some decent 3 pt shooting against them)

  4. aaron says:

    I have Pitt right now… AND I AM FREAKINGGGGGGG… Can someone help me justify that pick please… because all I have right now is KenPom… anything else?

  5. SpartanHoops1 says:

    Gonzaga’s numbers are really awesome but i think Pitt, Wisconsin or Ohio State’s teams could give them fits. Pitt has disappointed in waaay too many tournaments to pick but I would not be surprised to see Wisconsin beat them …. or Gonzaga to make the Final Four.

    I like Belmont to win a game too.

  6. aaron says:

    Damn… I really liked my Pitt pick as the FF team that nobody has… and now I feel like I gotta turn away from them…. however that makes my FF too chalky for my liking…. any decently deep sleeping FF teams tht no one is talking about?

  7. Dave D says:

    What are everyones thoughts on New Mexico? I know Alford is snake bitten but they looked damn impressive in the Mountain West tournament (so did UNLV by the way), and I like their draw. They have a huge fan base and all their games will be out west within traveling distance. Snell is hitting fire at just the right time for them. I really like them except for their somewhat lack of offense and Alford. Thoughts?

    Also, Iowa State has a tremendous offense and they meet all the requirements to knock off a 2 seed. I honestly wouldn’t be suprised to see them in the elite 8/final four but i’m not sure if i have the bals to pick that haha.

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      On average, only 64.2% of two seeds make it to the sweet 16, so if you are trying to pick the perfect bracket, it might be worth the shot

      • aaron says:

        Right now, I have a Belmont vs Iowa State Sweet 16… any objections??

        • aaron says:

          nvm hadda switch that… it was too crazy

        • Ryan Tressler says:

          Stuff like this does occasionally happen. I would probably only predict it if I was going for the perfect bracket though. If I am trying to win a poll, I probably have Ohio State stick around a little longer

        • Murf says:

          Think about the conference schedule Ohio State had to play and compare it to Iowa State’s then decide who will be more prepared for the other team.

  8. aaron says:

    I just feel like if Pitt meets 2 of the Chamo list qualifications and has a solid kenpom rating that I should keep them in the FF as well as to differentiate myself… Any thoughts?

    • Ed says:

      Seems to me the kenpom super value picks don’t fare too well and maybe that’s recent memory. That said. Their bracket odds are equal to Wisconsin. Maybe it’s not super value, maybe kenpom mid major value picks don’t fare so well. Pitt is very intriguing. I think Peter has been burned a few times with Pitt.

  9. Tom says:

    I don’t think this is Brey’s year. They’ll probably get bounced in the first round by Iowa State. Few, maybe… the difference with this year’s Gonzaga team is that they’ve got some legitimate NBA talent, and I think they can get past Pitt and Wisconsin/K-State (Dixon and Ryan are coaches I don’t really trust in the tournament, either.)

  10. Dave Wallace says:

    Who does everyone have in their Sweet 16 in the West? Is Gonzaga v Wisconsin, Arizona v Ohio St a good pick? I have Wisconsin downing Gonzaga, and Arizona falling to Ohio St, with Ohio St eventually coming out of the West? Comments?

  11. jason80 says:

    Gonzaga has only struggled this year against teams with big athletic guards. It’s their one Achilles heel on defense.

    • Adam08 says:

      I went to Illinois so this may be biased, but the size disparity at guard was a huge factor in Gonzaga’s loss there. IL has nothing on the interior but Gonzaga had a really hard time feeding him the ball. Olynyk was 7-8 from the field and was having his way with them. However, our guards were quite a bit bigger than theirs and really got into the passing lanes.

  12. aaron says:

    Belmont or Iowa State to the Elite 8???

    • Dave Wallace says:

      First off, I believe Belmont has slim to no chance of getting out of the first round. Second, Iowa State will probably make it to the round of 32, but will lose to Ohio State, no question. So, the question of Belmont or Iowa State.. neither.

  13. aaron says:

    Who comes out of this bracket… Pitt, Wisco, Zaga, OSU, or New Mexico??

  14. Bob H says:

    So this whole big guards thing that trumps Gonzaga…. does Wisconsin fall into that? They do indeed have big guards for the most part, but they’re not a team who aggressively cuts into passing lanes like that Illinois team. I also fear that there is no one inside to defend Olnyk. Thoughts?

  15. Alex says:

    Pitt/Wichita St. Anybody else besides me feel that Wichita St. can pull a shocker (no pun intended)? Pitt is playing across the county and Pitt is notorious for let downs. Plus Wichita St. can let the ball fly from 3 point land. Thoughts?

    • Jake says:

      I have Wichita st. Beating them. I can’t put trust in Pitt. I tried advancing Pitt but keep ending up scribbling it out and putting Wichita st

  16. John says:

    So the only Final Four qualifier that Kansas State doesn’t meet according to the spreadsheet is Points Against…of which the spreadsheet says 60.4/ppg against while the criteria requires at least 61ppg against.

    However, I went to check this on some other sites to see if this points per game against was correct and found 61.4 on another site.

    If K-State meets this criteria, they they fit the bill to make the final four. Because it would be both K-State and O-State from the West Region. And the first rule in dual-qualifiers is advance the 4 seed…

  17. John says:

    Yes Dave..UNC I like as an 8 seed..they fit the criteria as well.

    • Nick says:

      Wait…you guys are willing to put UNC over Kansas in the second round. When the historical % is .90 in favor of the 1 seet for 1vs8 games that match Kansas, UNC criteria?

  18. Andy Morgosh says:

    John, this one’s a bit specific but it might be of interest to you: 2 seeds who give up less than 63 a game, have a victory margin of at least 9, and an SOS of 14 or less.

  19. RickLBermes says:

    Notre Dame or Iowa St. Keep going back and forth on this game. Can someone give me something special here so that I can make a pick and move on!

    • John says:

      I thought the Seeding Criteria pointed to a solid Iowa State Victory.

      I’ve also considered Iowa State as a cinderella to beat Ohio State(which is why I’m thinking K-State to come out of the region.

  20. John Barthell says:

    Looking at the 2 vs 7 Ohio State/Notre Dame matchup. Do I have this right?
    7 Seed ND- beats opponents by more than 6 ppg (8.1)
    gets at least 40% of points from front court (45.7)
    won at least 4 of their last 10 tourney games (6)
    putting them in the category of teams that have gone 9-5 in the 2 vs 7 upset matchups for a .643
    (14 divided by 9)probability of victory.

  21. aaron says:

    K-State to FF meets the criteria for a 4-seed… any objections?

  22. Gary Diny says:

    SO my wife thinks I am nuts…looking at spreadsheets to sort out the BB games between college age kids. My response is I enjoy the numbers and looking at data, thus she is happy that I am happy. Now for me to be truly happy I need resolution.

    Kansas ST vs Wisconsin (note I live iin Madison WI and went to Wisconsin). Practically rip my eyes out watching them play. But they pull games out they have no business winning. I can see either team giving Gonzaga a great game and pulling the upset. Thoughts welcomed. I am leaning toward KSU

  23. Ryan Tressler says:

    Pete, I am picking my final 4 by blindly putting faith into the Final4/Champ Model. Only 1 team qualifies in EVERY region. That seems like destiny to me, haha. How often has that happened (where exactly one team from each region qualified)?

    Btw, I also love the four teams it pegs, so I guess it is not so “blindly” afterall, haha

    • Gary Diny says:


      I agree that when the brackets came out, my gut looked at those 4 teams, as the ones I thought would come out of each region. That has me scared that it would be that straight forward.

      • ptiernan says:

        So…who would your all-non-top seed Final Four be? I’ll go with Duke | OSU | Florida | Syracuse.

        • Gary Diny says:

          Duke / Ohio St / Mich / Syracuse

          Michigan might be better off playing outside of the Big 10. Were the undefeated before conference play?

        • aaron says:

          kstate… whats the word.. forget the criteria (even though they almsot match up)… could they make a FF run?

          • ptiernan says:

            Face it, Aaron. You want to pick them. I wouldn’t…but this is a weak region. Maybe compromise and go Elite Eight. You’ll still be bucking trends.

        • Ryan Tressler says:

          great question . . . I’d probably go Michigan State, Ohio State, Florida, and Butler (because the only way Indiana isn’t going to the final four is if Brad Stevens works his magic again, haha)

      • John says:

        At first I was desperately seeking to not have the chalkiness of a 1-1-1-2 in the Final Four but its been 20 years exactly since it last came out that way. So maybe we’re due.

        • Gary Diny says:

          I think the most frequent combinations type seeds in FF is 1 / 1 / 2 / random seed

        • John says:

          top 4 no 1’s:
          Ohio St-Butler-Florida-Duke

        • Richard says:

          This is how I have my bracket constructed as well, 1-1-1-2. I don’t like the chalk, but when you look at the Quality Curve it makes sense since there is not much drop off towards the top as there is the middle/bottom of the curve.

          • ptiernan says:

            Can’t argue with that Richard. Maybe all the craziness goes on beneath the high seeds, clearing the way for them.

  24. Patrick says:

    I am down to Gonzaga & New Mexico – Can New Mexico get to the Final 4? Lost to L’Ville last year by 3, This team flying under radar, thoughts?

  25. Ed says:

    Ohio State in my Calcutta auction. Tough bidding all around. Thoughts on elite 8, final 4, more!? Thanks.

  26. Jay says:

    Is there a listing of the teams in each region the meet the final 4 attributes?

  27. Shawn says:

    Does Arizona have a chance to make a deep run?

    • ptiernan says:

      I’m surprised at how many of the models like them past NM. Any model that factors in coaching (either PASE or snakebit coach disqualifier) punishes NM because of Alford’s underachieving history.

  28. John says:

    So i used the Bracketmaster tool to adjust the 4 seed Final Four rules from:
    A points-allowed average above 61 points

    A points-allowed average above 60.4(K-State).

    The result was 1 additional loss in the 1st round. Instead of teams being 9-1 in the first round they are now 9-2 in the first round. However, that did not change the fact that they were still 9-1 to get to the final four.

    With this slight modification, Kansas State fits the criteria of a 4 seed to make the final four. I know it seems crazy and its definetly not a trendy pick. But I’ve been trying to find a case for some team other than Ohio State and this may be it.

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      haha, you having been calling for this all week, I don’t know if you are gonna convince anyone . . . but hey, at least if you are the only one that picks them, and they get to the final four, you will have bragging rights for an entire year!!! (Last year I enjoyed my picking Lehigh over Duke bragging rights, its a good feeling, haha) . . . I just don’t see it happening, I think Ohio State, Gonzaga, Wisconsin, and Pittsburgh are all better teams . . . then again, I actually have KSU losing in the first round, so maybe I am just overly-biased the other way at the moment.

      • John says:

        You must be pretty confident they will lose considering you don’t even know who they will lose to yet haha.

        And I just presented the facts on K-State. I think Aaron was the one who rode with it :)

        • Ryan Tressler says:

          Haha, thats why I put the “at the moment” on there at the end

        • Ryan Tressler says:

          and honestly, I just remember someone bringing it up a bunch of times this week and if someone is that interested in making the selection, just go with it, it is your bracket to fill, do what makes you happy and what you think will happen . . . but yea, if it was not you, I apologize, I honestly couldn’t remember who it was, and I did not bother to look

    • Andy Morgosh says:

      I mean, you can find a stat to back up just about anything with the bracketmaster. But at the end of the day, the performance of teams, any seed, that score under 71.6 per game since 2008 is pretty overwhelming.

  29. PH says:

    My West outlook for what its worth
    – I don’t know why Wisconsin goes on horrible scoreless streaks. If they can rid themselves of this odd habit they will beat the Zags and Ohio St and win the West.
    – Upset Alert: 13 La Salle over 4 Kansas St.
    – Arizona has faded down the stretch and Belmont could make a small run.

    • ptiernan says:

      I like Wisconsin…but most of my perception is from them crushing Michigan’s dreams.

      • PH says:

        I thought they had Ohio St where they wanted them too then that mysterious scoreless streak hit em.
        I like Michigan over Kansas in a pretty big way.

  30. Nick says:

    I will NEVER select Pitt to win a single NCAA tournament game for as long as I shall live.

    • ptiernan says:

      I hear you Nick. Jamie Dixon will fall even further down the coach PASE list. Had a good quality team–and they laid an egg. Haven’t I said before that I’d never pick Pitt. And what did I do in my friends pool? Yeesh…

    • Ryan Tressler says:

      haha, I am glad I only picked them for one game (knowing a few people had them over Gonzaga) and I don’t know why I did, both the seed an toss-up rules were for Wichita State, I should have listened

      • ptiernan says:

        Those were the two brackets you cranked out, Ryan. So the lesson is: Ryan calculates truth. The Pitt loss is Pete’s fault (as in every tourney for the last decade!)

      • Nick says:

        I did a crazy bracket cause the pool I am in has 700 entries…took Pitt and St Mary’s to Sweet Sixteen. Hurts…had Davidson too and needed those points.

        • ptiernan says:

          You were two possessions away on St. Mary’s and Davidson. I know: that’s no consolation. I took a hit on St. Mary’s. But I didn’t have them going to the Sweet 16.

          • Nick says:

            Ah, but the Outcome matching did. Guess which bracket this guy used as a guide…yeah, that one. LOL

  31. Dan says:

    Haha Steve Alford’s snakebite is bone deep at this point. Unbelievable. The weak threes didn’t perform too well today. Should be interesting to see how the weak twos do.

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