Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Gonzaga and BYU surge in the first bracket projection for the field of 68 in March

Feb 27, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) celebrates with
Feb 27, 2024; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars guard Dallin Hall (30) celebrates with / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
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West Region (Los Angeles)

1.) Arizona vs. 16.) Southern/Merrimack

8.) Northwestern vs. 9.) TCU

5.) South Carolina vs. 12.) Indiana State

4.) San Diego State vs. 13.) UC-Irvine

6.) Clemson vs. 11.) St. John's/Providence

3.) Alabama vs. 14.) Eastern Washington

7.) Saint Mary's vs. 10.) Seton Hall

2.) Baylor vs. 15.) Morehead State

Of the four top seeds that have remained the same recently, Arizona in the West region may be in the most precarious position. That's not because the Wildcats don't have a strong portfolio, they do with a record of 23-6 and one of the best NET average wins in the country at 95. The problem for Arizona when it comes to hanging onto that last No. 1 seed is the Pac-12. The conference likely won't allow them as many opportunities to improve their standing before Selection Sunday as their closest competitors, most notably North Carolina and Tennessee, specifically the Volunteers who are right on their heels.

In the West, the best offensive team in the country in my opinion, Alabama is the No. 3 seed. The Crimson Tide are a team with Final Four potential, the question for them is can they play enough defense to get there? Just how good has the Mountain West been? With a week left in the regular season, there is a first-place tie and a three-way tie just a game back. One of the teams in that three-way tie is the No. 4 seed in the West, the San Diego State Aztecs who finish the year at UNLV and at home against Boise State. The Aztecs have a chance to gain some big momentum as they haven’t won more than two in a row since the beginning of league play.

There may be some hotter teams in the country, but how many of them are league champions, lost just once since losing a game on Dec. 23, and are a No. 7 seed? That’s where the Saint Mary’s Gaels sit in the West. The Gaels began the year 8-6 and finished 16-1 in the next 17, only losing the finale to Gonzaga with the WCC Tournament looming. This may be the most dangerous No. 7 seed in a long time.