The Gonzaga Bulldogs, winners of the WCC, received the top seed in the West Region and will begin play in Salt Lake City against SWAC champion Southern. Mark Few’s team went 31-2 and ran the table in league play, and they’ve lost just once in 2013 (at Butler). Ohio State, which won the Big Ten tournament, received the two-seed in the West. But the Buckeyes drew a tough matchup in the first round, as they’ll take on Iona.
Completing the top four seeds are three-seed New Mexico, winners of the Mountain West, and four-seed Kansas State. Bruce Weber’s Wildcats, which won a share of the Big 12 regular season title, will take on the winner of the opening round game between Boise State and La Salle.
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Given the amount of debate regarding Gonzaga’s status as a 1-seed, keep an eye on the 8/9 matchup between Pittsburgh and Wichita State. Both teams are physical and do a solid job of rebounding, which may help them match up with the likes of Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris.
A sleeper in the West bracket? Wisconsin may qualify as the 5-seed, with their style being one that could prove problematic for much of the region beginning with 12-seed Ole Miss.
Some upset possibilities to keep in mind are Belmont over Arizona in Salt Lake City, and given Ohio State’s offensive struggles don’t rule out an Iona squad that ranks among the best scoring teams in the country in that one. Last year’s tournament featured two 15-seeds pulling off upsets, as Lehigh beat Duke and Norfolk State knocked off Missouri.