NCAA Tournament Preview: West Region
NCAA Tournament Preview: West Region

This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.

East Region
West Region
Midwest Region
South Region

What the West Region lacks in star power, it makes up for with excellent team play. Of the 15 players mentioned in the USA Today All-American team, the West Region is represented by just two: a second-teamer (Trevon Bluiett) and a third-teamer (Luke Maye). The three- and four-seeds, Michigan and Gonzaga, are egalitarian in nature, while Keita Bates-Diop of the Ohio State Buckeyes or possibly Mike Daum of South Dakota State may be the best individual talents. In terms of NBA talent, Michael Porter Jr. represents the best bet for a lottery pick in the region, but he will be playing in just his third game of the season due to a back injury.

THE FAVORITES

No. 1 Xavier Musketeers

Seniors Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura have played in the NCAA Tournament in each of their previous three seasons with the Musketeers. This year, they added regular season Big East champions to their many accolades. Xavier was unable to beat Villanova and lost to Providence twice, but they are a solid team up and down the lineup. Bluiett and Macura are excellent two-way wings, Kerem Kanter gave the team a low-post presence, and the team has solid role players such as Naji Marshall, Kaiser Gates, and point guard Quentin Goodin.

No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels

The defending national champions did not rest on their laurels in 2017-18. They were arguably the second best team in the ACC behind Virginia and

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Perry Missner
Missner covers college basketball for RotoWire. A veteran fantasy sports writer, he once served on the executive board for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
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