2014 March Madness: West Region Predictions

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Mar 11, 2014; Sioux Falls, SD, USA; North Dakota State Bisons forward Chris Kading (34) celebrates with fans after the game against the Fort Wayne Mastodons in the championship game of the Summit Conference tournament at Sioux Falls Sports. North Dakota State defeated Fort Wayne 60-57. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports


(1) Arizona Wildcats vs. (9) Oklahoma State Cowboys

Sunday, March 23rd 

Analysis: This slates to be a great battle between two extremely talented teams. The real question is whether or not Marcus Smart will do this…

to a Wildcat fan doing this…

Regardless, Arizona is the nation’s top team per Ken Pomeroy’s Pythagorean metric, led by the top defense in all the land. Oklahoma State is an extremely balanced team, and the fire power of Smart, Brown, and Forte III causes some concern. In the end, the Wildcats prevail and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

(12) North Dakota State Bison vs. (4) San Diego State Aztecs

Saturday, March 22nd

Analysis: The Bison have the best field goal percentage in the country, draining just over 50%(!!) of their shots. They have four starters that average double digits, led by senior guard Taylor Braun, who is averaging 18.2 points per game. The aforementioned Aztec defense is one of the stingiest in the country, so this game will be strength versus strength. Every year there seems to be a team that comes out of nowhere and captures the heart of America. I think the farm-strong boys from Fargo build upon their school’s football success and advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

(6) Baylor Bears vs. (3) Creighton Bluejays 

Sunday, March 23rd 


‘Nuff said.

(2) Wisconsin Badgers vs. (10) BYU Cougars

Saturday, March 22nd

Analysis: Wisconsin is one of two teams to take down the top ranked Florida Gators, having done so up in Madison back in November. Forget the fact the Gators were missing some key players for that game–the Badgers held the Gators to the fewest points scored all season. They did this by controlling the tempo of the game, which will be critical against the high-flying Cougars of BYU. Ken Pomeroy’s tempo metric has the Cougars in the top ten, indicating they like to get up and down. Their style is the antithesis of Bo Ryan basketball, and this game will morph into a battle of wills. Whoever dictates the pace of the game wins. Bo knows. Badgers advance.

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