NCAA Tournament 2015 West Region Preview

by Howard Roark

Purdue v WisconsinThis committee did not do a huge favor to Wisconsin or Arizona. The West regions is the most loaded of all the regions, easy. How is it that UNC , Wisconsin, Arizona and Baylor get into the same region? For comparison, who does Duke have to compete with them? They will be a huge favorite in every game. Where as UNC, a top 15 team who just took down UVA in the ACC tournament, has to compete with both Wisconsin and Arizona both top five teams and Baylor who is right behind them at 16, to get out of this region. I am not saying that it would absolutely happen, but if you put UNC in the South region I think they would be the second best team in that region.

Indianapolis, IN Bound
I am willing to bet that Kentucky is the most favored team in recent history to win the National Championship. So, here is the opposite side to that story. It comes straight out of the New England Patriots. Remember that team that just missed the perfect season. It is really really hard to do that. Imagine a bunch of 18-22 year olds dealing with that pressure. Add the fact that most teams in the NCAA will increase their playing ability when they play the No. 1 in the country. Yes, I think it is possible to take down the behemoth that is Kentucky. If they get to the Final Four, the team that I expect will face them will be the Arizona Wildcats. That game will be incredible.

Dark Horse
I am not sure if this is a real dark horse, but certainly the most dangerous team not seeded a 1 or 2 seed. I think UNC can go to the Elite 8. They match up really well with Wisconsin. I expect a great game in that round. The main guy to watch is Marcus Paige (UNC). As he goes, UNC goes. During the ACC tournament he showed why he is regarded as one of the best point guards in the country. This teams looks like they are peaking at the right time.

Players to Watch
Marcus Paige (UNC)I have mentioned Marcus Paige. He is definitely the player for UNC that can make or break them. Another fantastic player to watch is Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin) . This is a 7-footer that can beat you in a lot of ways. Talk about a gift from God. Not many humans can move like this beast. He certainly has proved to be one of the top if not the top player in the whole tournament boasting 18.2 pts / game,  55% FG percentage,  4.8 trips to the foul line per game, and 8 rebounds/ game.

Best Game is First Round
I think that the No. 7 VCU v No. 10 Ohio State is going to be a fantastic game. The thing to watch is to pay close attention to the superstar freshman from Ohio State, D'Angelo Russell. Does he fold to the hectic play of VCU or does he elevate his game? Just focus on his play and see what unfolds.

Biggest Storyline
Who shows up for UNC? Is Marcus Paige (North Carolina Tarheel) going to dominate consistently like Shabazz Napier a year ago? If he is able to do that then watchout.

Again, this regional is the strongest regional of the four. I think that whoever comes out of here and plays Kentucky in the semifinal will give Kentucky a scare and might even beat them. Both Wisconsin and Arizona match up very well against Kentucky. If you think about it, Kentucky has not yet played a team that can control their big men and that runs an efficient offense. In other words, they have not been tested as much as a team on their caliber should be. I still think that Kentucky is too much for everyone in the field, but boy it is going to be fun.

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