NCAA Bracket 2012: Top Contenders to Win West Region

Trevor LowryContributor IMarch 14, 2012

NCAA Bracket 2012: Top Contenders to Win West Region

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    The West Region is stacked with quality teams this year. Really anyone can win this region. 

    Michigan State is the No. 1 seed, so they will be, of course, most people's favorite to make it to the Final Four. However, this bracket has Cinderella written all over it.

    Long Beach State and Murray State are both very capable of being this year's VCU, but only time will tell or something like that.

    Although seeing either of these teams reach the Final Four would be dandy, it obviously isn't that likely.

    If you want to find out the top three contenders to win the West Region, well then you're just going to have to read on. 

No. 1 Michigan State Spartans

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    Michigan State may have been unranked to start the season, but the Spartans certainly have the college basketball world's attention now.

    Sparty, of course, just won the Big Ten tournament, which is pretty impressive considering how good the conference has been this year from top to bottom.

    Draymond Green is an absolute grown man. The guy is averaging 16.1 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. Green may not be the only good player on the team, but he is a big reason the Spartans will most likely make a deep run in the dance.

    As long as Tom Izzo is the coach for Michigan State, the Spartans have a great chance of going far. It does always help to have a good supporting cast though, and Izzo surely has that this year with his team. 

No. 2 Missouri Tigers

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    Missouri has some of the best guard play in the nation. Marcus Denmon is obviously the leader of this team, but Kim English, Michael Dixon and Phil Pressley definitely hold their own.

    Once this team starts knocking down threes, it's over. The opposing team might as well not have gotten off the bus.

    The Tigers are a very fast passed team and would likely make most teams in the tournament uncomfortable by this. Unfortunately, for Missouri, it will most likely have to play a team that is very much the same as them in the third round.

    Whoever wins that game is my pick to win the West. 

No. 7 Florida Gators

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    It is true that the Florida Gators live and die by the three-pointer, but they are oh so very good at it. Florida was being considered as a No. 3 to a No. 4 seed just a couple of weeks ago. For the Gators to get a No. 7 seed is a bit unfitting for them.

    Just like Missouri, the Gators have some amazing guard play on their team, which includes Erving Walker, Kenny Boynton and Brad Beal. 

    If any of these players get on a roll, it probably will not stop. All three of them are capable of taking over the game, but Boynton does lead the team with 16.3 points per game.

    Don't forget about Erik Murphy though. Murphy may be 6'10'', but he can shoot the three just as good as anyone on this team.

    Patric Young will be the difference-maker for the Gators. When Young plays to his ability, he is a dominant force in the post on both sides of the court. Florida will need his best efforts to make it far this year.

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