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NCAA Basketball Tournament 2013: West Region Will Continue to Provide Madness

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MARCH 21:  Siyani Chambers #1 and Laurent Rivard #0 of the Harvard Crimson celebrate as the Crimson defeat the New Mexico Lobos 68-62 during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at EnergySolutions Arena on March 21, 2013 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 23, 2013

The West region has truly defined “March Madness” in this year’s NCAA tournament, and it will continue to do so in the round of 32.

The reason there are no more perfect brackets is because of all of the upsets coming out of the West.  No. 12 Ole Miss, No. 13 La Salle and No. 14 Harvard were all able to pull off major upsets in the round of 64, and they are looking to continue their Cinderella stories.

Even teams that weren’t upset will have opportunities to pull them off in the third round.  With how wild the region has been, there are bound to be a few more upsets before the Final Four.

Even though Gonzaga is a No. 1 seed, it must be very careful against Wichita State. 

The Bulldogs survived a big scare against Southern and were barely able to pull out a win.  The Shockers are a much better team, with guys like Cleanthony Early who can make a big impact.  They are a solid team defensively that allows only 60.5 points per game—the Bulldogs better be focused and ready.

In order to avoid being upset, Elias Harris will need to play much better than he did against Southern.  He struggled mightily, only going 2-of-10 from the field and scoring only five points.  As long as the Bulldogs’ stars play well, they should be fine.

No. 12 Ole Miss vs. No. 13 La Salle will be an odd matchup that no one was anticipating.  However, the winner will advance to the Sweet 16 and have a decent shot at reaching the Elite Eight. 

Marshall Henderson will be the guy to watch, as he averages 20 points per game.  He may not have the highest field-goal percentage, but he’s a shooter who is never afraid to take a shot.  For La Salle, guarding Henderson will be important the entire game.

Not even No. 2 Ohio State is safe. 

The Buckeyes will be going up against No. 10 Iowa State.  The Cyclones simply dominated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the second round, winning by a score of 76-58.  This is a dangerous team with one of the best offenses in the NCAA, averaging 79.5 points per game.  

The defense for Ohio State will be very important as it seeks to stop the sizzling offense for the Cyclones.  The Buckeyes have a strong defense that can do that.  They allow only 58.3 points per game, 19th best in the nation.  Aaron Craft leads the defense and is considered by many as one of the best defensive point guards in the country.

The fact that the West could have three double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16 is impressive.  With Ole Miss and La Salle playing, there will be at least one.  The NCAA tournament is all about Cinderella stories, and right now, the West region is full of them.

 

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