2012 March Madness West Region Preview & Predictions

2012 March Madness West Region Preview & Predictions

I fully expect one of the top 2 seeds in the West Region to advance to the Final Four. While some of the other regions are pretty evenly matched including the top seeds, the West Region may not be as competitive. Michigan State and Missouri are the two teams that should match-up in the Elite Eight with a trip to the Final Four on the line for both of these electric squads.

2012 March Madness West Region Predictions (2nd Round)

• #1 Michigan State Spartans -20 vs. #16 LIU Brooklyn Eagles +20

Michigan State (27-7) locked up the Big 10 conference tournament title last week over the Buckeyes. The #1 seeded Spartans will be able to easily advance against the LIU Brooklyn Eagles (25-8). The Eagles have a horrible defence and the Spartans will score at will in this 2nd round match-up. This will be a good warm-up game for the Spartans before playing again this weekend.

• #8 Memphis Tigers -3.5 vs. Saint Louis Billikens +3.5

This should be the best 2nd round game in the West Region. Memphis Tigers (26-8) won the C-USA conference tournament with ease while the Saint Louis Billikens (25-7) only made it to the A10 semi-finals. I expect both teams to score in the 70’s on Friday and while the point spread is pretty sharp at -3.5 I’m advancing the Tigers in my bracket.

• #5 New Mexico Lobos -4 vs. #12 Long Beach State 49’ers +4

New Mexico (27-6) should be able to beat Long Beach State (25-8) although this could be a match-up primed for an upset. The 49’ers team played a really tough non-conference schedule and earned wins over Pittsburgh plus Xavier. The Lobos won the MWC conference tournament last week by beating UNLV and SDSU. I’m taking the Lobos to advance and to cover the spread.

• #4 Louisville Cardinals -7.5 vs. #13 Davidson Wildcats +7.5

Louisville (26-9) won the Big East conference tournament last week and start the big tourney against Davidson (25-7). Davidson hasn’t played many tough games since early in the year during their non-conference schedule. The Wildcats beat Kansas this year, but the team has some suspect losses against mediocre teams as well. I have the Cardinals winning, but not covering.

• #6 Murray State Racers -4.5 vs. #11 Colorado State Rams +4.5

It’s just about time for the Murray State Racers (30-1) to prove they can compete on the big stage. The Racers will be playing the tough CSU Rams (20-11) squad tomorrow. CSU plays a slow pace, but they hit a high percentage of their shots. Murray State has a few great hoops players on the team including Isaiah Canaan, Donte Poole and Ivan Aska.

• #3 Marquette Golden Eagles -6 vs. #14 BYU Cougars +6

BYU (26-8) made the biggest comeback in NCAAB tournament history last night to beat Iona. The Cougars looked horrible in the 1st half and a team like Marquette (25-7) won’t let them creep back into the game. The Golden Eagles have a decent path to the Sweet Sixteen, as if they beat BYU they play the winner of the Racers vs. Rams game.

• #7 Florida Gators -3.5 vs. #10 Virginia Cavaliers +3.5

Virginia (22-9) is a tough team and will play Florida (23-10) right down to the wire in my opinion. The Cavaliers last four games have been decided by 3 points or less including a 3-pt loss against UNC and a 3-pt loss against FSU. The Gators have also been playing great and lost in the SEC conference tournament to Kentucky by 3. I like the Gators in this game, but only to win.

• #2 Missouri Tigers -21 vs. Norfolk State Spartans +21

Norfolk State (25-9) is nothing like the other Spartans team in college hoops. Mizzou is going to be able to smoke this team, but with a -21 point spread you have to always watch out for the backdoor cover. If you’re just filling out a bracket and the spread doesn’t matter you can definitely pencil in the Missouri Tigers into the 3rd round.

2012 March Madness West Region Top Team

Most college hoops fans and even many analysts have the #1 MSU Spartans advancing to the Final Four in the West Region, but I’ve actually got the Mizzou Tigers beating MSU in the Elite Eight. Missouri just won the Big 12 tournament and they looked like the best team in the country while doing so.

Missouri beat the Baylor Bears last week in the Big 12 conference tourney finals by 15 points (90-75). The Bears had no answer and if the Tigers do end up playing MSU in the Elite Eight all they need to do is shutdown Draymond Green. You can’t completely shutdown Green, as he’s one of the best players in the nation right now, but if Green isn’t putting up a lot of points the rest of the team usually struggles and I definitely like the deep Mizzou line-up a bit better in the West Region.

2012 March Madness West Region Cinderella Teams

#7 seeds don’t make the best case as a Cinderella story in the March Madness tournament, but I like the Gators as a sleeper that could awake in the tournament. The Gators lost by 3 to Kentucky last week in their last game, so the team much feel that they can beat anyone on the court. Florida would play Mizzou in the 3rd round and while I don’t think they’d win the game they have the outside shooting to make it an exciting game to watch.

Other lower seeded teams that could win a couple games in the West Region include #8 Tigers, #9 Billikens, #12 49’ers and the #13 Davidson Wildcats. Long Beach State and Davidson have tough match-ups in round 2, but could definitely win. Memphis and Saint Louis meet on Friday and the winner will have to play MSU in the next round, but MSU is definitely beatable.

2012 March Madness West Region Best 2nd Round Match-Up

Well there really could be a few great games in the 2nd round of the West Region, but the game everyone is waiting to watch is the game between Memphis and Saint Louis. These two programs have had great seasons and one of them will get to advance to take on the #1 seeded Spartans in the next round. Memphis and Saint Louis are both gritty teams and I expect a high scoring game that goes right down to the wire, so make sure you tune in to watch.

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