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