NCAA Tournament Analysis: West Regional

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2010

So I have been waiting all week to post my brackets analysis, but I obviously had to wait for that pivotal play-in game to end before I do my full analysis. Now that we have that out of the way, here we go.

In what is deemed the easiest bracket for its one seed – Duke, look for The Blue Devils to capitalize on this and show this is not your JJ Redick Duke team that had no size. This team is big, and rebounds and plays stout defense. CBS will be happy with Dukes road to the final four which should also boost the ratings as Duke generates the highest TV ratings of all college basketball programs.
Upsets: Not that an 8-9 is much of an upset, but look for The Pitino’s as the 9 seed to move past Cal. Another 12-5 match up where the 12 will move on, and I expect Utah State to do some damage in this tournament. The 13-4 match up here has a Sienna team that has tournament experience against a Purdue team that has checked out since Robbie Hummel's injury. Look for a 12-13 match up this weekend in the South bracket.
Sweet 16: Duke will face a hot Utah State team, but being Duke with just 4 losses all year, all on the road will find a way to slow Utah State and move on to the elite 8. The sexy pick so far by most “experts” has been Baylor, and I expect them to get here, but Villanova, although a little sluggish down the stretch, still has experience, leadership in Scottie Reynolds, and coaching in Jay Wright, thus they will move on to the elite 8 over Baylor.
Elite 8: Last year it was Nova who ran Duke off the floor, blowing them out 77-54. This year, Duke has 3 legit scorers, size, and experience and will pay back for last year. Duke moves on to the final 4 – its first since 2004.
Winner: Duke
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