PJ's Predictions: Round of 64, West Region
In the Western region, there will be eight games in the first round. Many fans believe Gonzaga will come out of the region but it is very possible there could be an upset.
Starting with the first game, the four seeded Florida State will go head to head against the thirteen seeded Vermont. This should be a win for Florida State, they have size, can shoot, and play great defense. This is not one of the games people would expect an upset, but they do say anything can happen in March Madness.
The next upcoming game will be Murray State facing up against Marquette. This will be one of the closest games in the first round. Murray State has been good this year, but their success has been credited to their star point guard, Ja Morant. He will be a top-three pick in the draft and will show his talent by giving them the victory. Not only will they win because of this but also because Marquette has struggled lately. They lost four of the last five games, but they are talented and still have a good chance.
The third game in the west region will be Florida and Nevada. Before the SEC tournament, this game would seem to be an easy win for Nevada, but Florida played very surprisingly good. Florida came out and upset LSU in the tournament showing they could beat a team like Nevada, but Nevada is very talented and the Martin twins will bring them the win.
The next matchup of Gonzaga and Fairleigh Dickinson looks like a very unbalanced matchup with a one seed going up against a sixteen seed. The game is going to be an easy win for Gonzaga and they win to continue on their road to the national championship.
Another game, after the Gonzaga game, is the Michigan versus Montana game. This game should be very similar to the Gonzaga game. Michigan is just too talented, they have a great coach, and they have experience. Montana won their conference, but it is not a power six conference. This would be a major upset, but Michigan will take care of business and head to the second round.
The next game after that in the west region is an eight seed, nine seed matchup. This will be Syracuse versus Baylor, with Syracuse favored in the game. Baylor is a team that is capable of winning games but has not played great against tough competition. Syracuse is a team that plays in the toughest conference in the nation. They also run their famous 2-3 defense that is very disruptive to many offenses. Not only are they a talented team but Coach Boeheim is a hall of fame coach that knows how to win these type of games and will get them into the second round.
The second to last game of the first round in the west region will be Texas Tech facing Northern Kentucky. Texas Tech started off the year as a great team but has cooled down since. They have beaten teams like Kansas and get the job done when facing teams that are not much competition. They will continue to do this and get the job done by defeating Northern Kentucky.
The final game of the first round in the west region will be Buffalo against Arizona State. Arizona State pulled off the win over St. John’s in surprising fashion. They have made it this far but the road will end here as Buffalo will win again in the first round in back to back years. Buffalo dominated their conference and shoots amazingly well. Although this could end up being a close game, Buffalo will pull away with the win and face the winner of Texas Tech and Northern Kentucky in the second round.