Busting Brackets

Bracketology 2024: Tennessee snags a No. 1 seed in the penultimate projected field of 68

Mar 6, 2024; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Josiah-Jordan James (30),
Mar 6, 2024; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Josiah-Jordan James (30), / Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 5

West Region (Los Angeles)

1.) Tennessee vs. 16.) Louisiana Tech

8.) Mississippi State vs. 9.) Nebraska

5.) Utah State vs. 12.) Iowa/Saint John's

4.) Kansas vs. 13.) UC-Irvine

6.) Gonzaga vs. 11.) TCU

3.) Duke vs. 14.) Oakland

7.) Boise State vs. 10.) Oklahoma

2.) Arizona vs. 15.) Morehead State

The West Region’s top seed has been the one most likely to change hands throughout the season. A week before the tournament, there is a new No. 1 seed in the West with the Tennessee Volunteers replacing Arizona in the top spot. The change isn’t because of anything Arizona did, but more so because Tennessee has taken advantage of more high-level opportunities. After their matchup with Kentucky, the Volunteers are 24-7 with eight quad 1 wins. Since December 1st, the Volunteers have lost just four times and head into the SEC tournament hoping to hold on to the last No. 1 seed for one more week.

The newest No. 1 seed also gets saddled with the team they leapfrogged to get the top seed and arguably the toughest No. 2 seed Arizona. Not only do they get Arizona, but because of some late-season stumbles Kansas is the No. 4 seed out west and Gonzaga who is one of the hottest teams in the country, having won 15 of their final 17 to end the regular season is the No. 6 seed. The No. 3 seed is the Duke Blue Devils who enter postseason play as the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament with a bad taste in their mouths after losing to UNC in their last game.

The team to keep an eye on in this region is the team that won the deepest most competitive non-power conference in the country, No. 5 seed Utah State. The Mountain West Conference is possibly looking at the most bids to the NCAA Tournament they have ever received, and the Aggies beat them all. Entering the conference tournament the 23-5 Aggies are 7-5 over the top two quads, have eight road wins, and a NET ranking of 33. As a testament to how strong the league has been, the loss to Nevada is their only one that is not a quad 1 loss (and it could be by the time the bracket is announced).