Erin it Out: West Coast team will bring home March Madness title

Mar 23, 2017, 1:17 PM

Will this be the West Coast’s year in March Madness?

This week, Arizona Sports’ Erin Maloney breaks down why she feels that after a 20-year drought, a West Coast school will secure an NCAA Championship in men’s basketball.

For starters, No. 2 Arizona is favored in the Sweet 16 and is playing No. 11 Xavier — the lowest seed remaining in the tournament — on Thursday at 7 p.m. A win over Xavier would set them up for an Elite 8 contest with either No. 1 Gonzaga or No. 4 West Virginia, and a win there would put them in the Final Four in Glendale.

Speaking of Gonzaga, the No. 1 Bulldogs of Spokane, Wash. have to face a hot No. 4 West Virginia team. But as Maloney points out, Gonzaga’s well-rested Przemek Karnowski could give the Mountaineers some trouble. That game is on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Gonzaga and Arizona both are playing in the West Regional, but two other West Coast teams are in the fold.

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks in the Midwest Regional face No. 7 Michigan at 4 p.m. A win there would pit them against either No. 1 Kansas or No. 4 Purdue in the Elite 8.

Finally, No. 3 UCLA draws No. 2 Kentucky in its Sweet 16 contest on Friday at 6:30 p.m. If UCLA seals the win, they’ll then have to beat either No. 1 North Carolina or No. 4 Butler to advance to the Final Four.

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Erin it Out: West Coast team will bring home March Madness title