Your Guide To The 2019 NCAA Men’s Tournament: West region

Seed outlook: Gonzaga is the best club in the West by a considerable margin, but the Zags, despite reaching haven’t always performed well beneath the glowing lights of the tournament. However, Gonzaga has a 70 percent probability of reaching the Elite Eight, based on our model, and the third-best chances of any team to reach the national championship match (26 percent).
Should Gonzaga face Syracuse in the second round, the Bulldogs trouble could be given by the Orange’s zone defense. Here is the very best crime Mark Few has experienced Spokane, but it could possibly be analyzed by any of those terrific defenses from the West: Four of the top 15 can be found in this area, including the best two in Texas Tech and Michigan.
Sneaky Final Four select: No. 4 Florida State. A fixture at the KenPom Top 20 for the majority of the season, the Seminoles are hoping to build on last season’s tournament run, which saw them come inside a 4-point margin of creating the Final Four. FSU has a dominant defense (No. 9 at Pomeroy’s ratings) and a balanced roster that saw four players accumulate at least 2.5 win shares. This draw isn’t horrible, either: Vermont isn’t especially difficult as a first-round foe, and Marquette is very beatable (more on that below). No. 1 seeded Gonzaga probably looms after that, and we give FSU a 24 percent chance from the Zags — but the Seminoles would have a 48 percent probability of making the Final Four if they were to pull off the upset.
Do not bet : No. 5 Marquette. Teams seeded fifth are not generally good bets to make it past the Sweet 16 anyhow, but Marquette might be an especially bad pick. As stated by the FiveThirtyEight power ratings, the Golden Eagles are by far the worst No. 5 seed in the area, and a first-round date with breakout mid-major celebrity Ja Morant did not do any favors. Marquette has a star power of its own in junior guard Markus Howard, who ranks sixth in the nation with an average of 25 points per game, but this team lost five of its last six matches and has a challenging tournament road ahead of it.
Cinderella watch: No. 10 Florida. They could be poised to do some damage that they are here, although the Gators might have been one of the bubble teams to sneak in the area of 68. They drew Nevada, a so-so No. 7 seed, in the very first round, and also we give Florida a 42 percent chance of pulling the upset there. Last year’s national runner-up, Michigan, probably waits in Round 2, and that is a difficult matchup (23 percent odds for Florida) — but if the Gators win, they’ve a 38 percent likelihood of making the Elite Eight. In a region with quite a few good-but-flawed options, Florida looks better than the.
Player to watch: Gonzaga, Brandon Clarke The linchpin of the Zags is not the consensus lottery pick, nor the two guards who have collectively started 87 percent of the games of Gonzaga . It’s Brandon Clarke, a move from San Jose State who’s in his first season with the group. He is perhaps the most underappreciated player in the nation.
On a group that typically features a 7-footer protecting the rim, it’s Clarke. Clarke has responded by setting a single-season blocks record and posting the highest block rate of any team under Few.
«If I feel as if I could find a great, quick jump first, I’ll pretty much jump with anyone,» Clarke told me. «I mean, I’ve seen Zion (Williamson) coming down through the lane before on TV, and if I can’t jump at the ideal time, I probably wouldn’t jump , but… I do not actually see myself not leaping with anybody.»
Likeliest first-round upsets: No. 9 Baylor over No. 8 Syracuse (48 percent); No. 10 Florida over No. 7 Nevada (42 percent); No. 12 Murray State over No. 5 Marquette (32 percent)

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