As part of our annual March Madness coverage, we not only provide a complete NCAA Tournament bracket breakdown, but we also break down each individual region as well.
Below is everything you need to know about the West Regional, including: ticket links and discount codes; the matchups, TV schedule, announcer assignments, and point spreads; and my predictions for how the bracket will play out.
- West Regional Semi-Final and Final Dates: March 24th and 26th (Thu/Sat)
- West Regional Site: Honda Center
- West Regional Tickets: March Madness 2011 Tickets – West Regional Semi-Final (Sweet 16) and Final (Elite 8) in Anaheim
For tickets to first and second round games, or to price shop regional semi-final and final tickets, use the links below.
RazorGator: March Madness 2011 Tickets
For RazorGator, MSF readers are encouraged to use the following discount codes to save money on their ticket purchases:
- $30 off on all orders of $300 or more: RG300J
- $20 off on all orders of $150 or more: RG150J
- $10 off purchase over $110 or more: ORDR10RG
- Free shipping on all orders of $$100 or more: FSOVERRG
And now, onto the bracket, and then my picks.
Obviously I cannot fill in the table until the brackets are announced, but I’ll be doing so in real-time on Sunday and then updating this table as games are played and TV schedules are announces.
West Region Bracket, TV Schedule, Sites, Announcers
|1||#1 Duke 87 def #16 Hampton 45||Fri, 3/18||3:10 ET||Charlotte||Jim Nantz & Clark Kellogg||truTV||DUKE -23|
|2||#8 Michigan 75 def #9 Tennessee 45||Fri, 3/18||12:40 ET||Charlotte||Jim Nantz & Clark Kellogg||truTV||TENN -1|
|3||#4 Texas 85 def #13 Oakland 81||Fri, 3/18||12:15 ET||Tulsa||Marv Albert & Steve Kerr||CBS||TEX -9.5|
|4||#5 Arizona 77 def #12 Memphis 75||Fri, 3/18||2:45 ET||Tulsa||Marv Albert & Steve Kerr||CBS||ARI -6|
|5||#2 San Diego State 68 def #15 Northern Colorado 50||Thu, 3/17||4:40 ET||Tucson||Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller & Dan Bonner||TNT||SDSU -16.5|
|6||#7 Temple 66 def #10 Penn State 64||Thu, 3/17||2:10 ET||Tucson||Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller & Dan Bonner||TNT||TEM -2.5|
|7||#3 UCONN 81 def #14 Bucknell 52||Thu, 3/17||7:20 ET||Washington DC||Tim Brando & Mike Gminski||TNT||CONN -11|
|8||#6 Cincinnati 78 def #11 Missouri 63||Thu, 3/17||9:50 ET||Washington DC||Tim Brando & Mike Gminski||TNT||PICK|
|9||#1 Duke 73 def #8 Michigan 71||Sun, 3/20||2:45 ET||Charlotte||Jim Nantz & Clark Kellogg||CBS||DUKE -11.5|
|10||#5 Arizona 70 def #4 Texas 69||Sun, 3/20||6:10 ET||Tulsa||Marv Albert & Steve Kerr||TNT||TEX -5.5|
|11||#2 San Diego State 71 def #7 Temple 64||Sat, 3/19||6:10 ET||Tucson||Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller & Dan Bonner||TNT||SDSU -5.5|
|12||#3 UCONN 69 def #6 Cincinnati 58||Sat, 3/19||9:40 ET||Washington DC||Tim Brando & Mike Gminski||TBS||UCONN -150|
|13||#1 Duke v #5 Arizona||Thu, 3/24||9:45 ET||Anaheim||Verne Lundquist & Bill Raftery||CBS||DUKE -9|
|14||#2 San Diego State v #3 UCONN||Thu, 3/24||7:15 ET||Anaheim||Verne Lundquist & Bill Raftery||CBS||UCONN -1|
|ELITE 8 - REGIONAL FINAL|
|15||Game 13 Winner v Game 14 Winner||Sat, 3/26||Anaheim||Verne Lundquist & Bill Raftery|
West Region Picks and Champion Prediction
Second Round Picks:
- #1 Duke over #16 Hampton
- #8 Michigan over #9 Tennessee
- #4 Texas over #13 Oakland
- #5 Arizona over #12 Memphis
- #2 San Diego State over #15 Northern Colorado
- #7 Temple over #10 Penn State
- #11 Missouri over #6 Cincinnati
- #14 Bucknell over #3 UCONN
Chalk, chalk, chalk, WHOA! Yes, the West Regional features my biggest upset of the first round: Bucknell over UCONN. Earlier today, I wrote about why Bucknell was a double-digit seed poised to pull an upset, and the system backed me up and predicted it. Now, am I totally confident about them beating a UCONN team that features a bona fide superstar and that just beat five Big East teams in five days? No, not totally. But Bucknell has experience, they have size, and they are tremendous on the boards. And maybe, just maybe, UCONN will be tired and overconfident.
As for Missouri over Cincinnati, the Tigers have had a pretty nice tourney history under Mike Anderson, and I don’t trust the Bearcats, so that upset pick doesn’t worry me at all. One game I am a bit worried about is Texas-Oakland. Rick Barnes does not exactly inspire confidence, and Oakland is a really good team. I would not be surprised at all if Oakland pulls it out, but Texas has been a tremendous defensive team for most of the season, and they are clearly more talented.
Third Round Picks:
- #1 Duke over #8 Michigan
- #4 Texas over #5 Arizona
- #2 San Diego State over #7 Temple
- #14 Bucknell over #11 Missouri
Texas gets the nod over Arizona because of their talent and ability to force teams into poor shooting percentages. San Diego State is a really good team that I thought had a legit claim at the #1 seed. Oh, and there is Bucknell again. They simply dominate Missouri in every metric but overall KenPom rating and players with NBA potential. They are this year’s Cinderella, getting into the Sweet 16.
Sweet 16 Picks:
- #1 Duke over #4 Texas
- #2 San Diego State over #14 Bucknell
No way Rick Barnes beats Coach K. I just can’t see it happening. And with Duke’s experience, they have a clear edge. As for San Diego State and Bucknell, this was actually a 3-3 matchup that came down to a judgment call. It’s tough to pick against Bucknell, as they are clearly the team I’m hitching my bracket wagon to this year, but I went with San Diego State because they are more talented and very good on defense and on the glass. It’ll be a close one though.
Elite 8 Picks:
- #2 San Diego State over #1 Duke
Surprise! I would not have argued if the committee had chosen San Diego State as a #1 seed over Duke, and this obviously bears that out. San Diego State wins 4-3 here based on their higher assist/TO ratio and slightly better numbers for eFG% and defensive OR%.
Interesting note: if the bracket falls this way, then Duke will play Michigan and former Michigan coach and current SDSU coach Steve Fisher. Seeing as how the Fab 5 movie – which featured a lot of talk about the Fab 5′s Duke hate – debuted right after the ESPN bracket breakdown show, I’d say that’s pretty appropriate.
West Regional Champion: San Diego State Aztecs