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Arizona basketball: How does the West Region stack up against the rest?

Is this the easiest region out there?

Vancouver Canucks v San Jose Sharks - Game Three Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

When the NCAA Tournament was announced on Sunday afternoon, it seemed like the Arizona Wildcats got a pretty good draw, all things considered.

So what do we think about it a couple days later? Let us know how you feel too!

How would you rank the West Region among the four?

Matt Sheeley: Last but not as dramatically as some are saying. This, for me, comes down to the fact that there's only 10 or 11 teams that can win the National Championship this year. The West only sports two of them (you can guess who) and even one of those two isn't taken seriously by some. But I do think the 3-4-5 seeds in the West are being slept on. Florida State has the talent, West Virginia is maddening for anyone to play against, and Notre Dame has proven to be a good team.


Christopher Boan: I'd say it's underrated personally. West Virginia, while struggling recently, is still an excellent team, just as Notre Dame, St. Mary's and Florida State are. There are four or five teams that have a fighter’s chance, and it definitely will be a chalk for Gonzaga and Arizona to make it to the Elite Eight.


Alec Sills-Trausch: It definitely doesn’t have the star power that other regions do (Duke/Nova/Wisconsin in the East, Kansas/Michigan State/Louisville in the Midwest, UNC/Kentucky/UCLA in the South) but I still think it’s a solid group of teams. However, Arizona matches up nicely with most of these teams that might cause other programs trouble. According to KenPom, the West region has the weakest two-seed (Arizona), six-seed (Maryland) and second-weakest 12 (Princeton), while also having the strongest four-seed (West Virginia ranked fifth overall), the top seven-seed (St. Mary’s), and the top overall seed in Gonzaga. So it’s a mixed bag but I think it works well for the Cats.


Jason Bartel: I think the thing that makes the West the weakest region of the four is the lack of coaches that have had prolonged NCAA Tournament success. Do you really trust Leonard Hamilton to get Florida State into the second weekend? How about Mike Brey taking Notre Dame to the Final Four? Is Mark Turgeon really gonna get Maryland deep? One of Mark Few and Sean Miller are guaranteed to still have people calling them the best coach to never make the Final Four. In my opinion, that’s what makes the West intriguing but also relatively weak.