With March Madness right around the corner, the staff at Zona Zealots decided to make some picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament and the West Region. Here is what we had to say:
1. Who is your Final Four?
Brooks: #1 Louisville, #2 Ohio State, #3 Florida, #1 Indiana
Stamp: #1 Louisville, #2 Ohio St., #1 Indiana, #1 Kansas
Ceron: #3 Mich State, #1 Kansas, #1 Indiana, #2 Ohio State
Mueller: #1 Louisville, #2 Ohio State, #5 VCU, and #2 Miami.
Schmidt: #2 Duke, #5 Wisconsin, #2 Miami, #3 Florida
2. Who is your champion?
Brooks: #3 Florida
Stamp: #1 Louiseville
Pablo: #1 Indiana
Mueller: #1 Louisville
Schmidt: #3 Florida
3. Who is the dark horse of the Western Region?
Brooks: #8 Pittsburgh
Stamp: Not sure if you count a 5 seed as a dark horse but I say Wisconsin could easily come out of the West.
Ceron: #10 Iowa State
Mueller: #6 Arizona
Schmidt: I’d say Arizona if I wasn’t a Wildcat fan, but we all know what they are capable of. #8 Pitt.
4. Biggest potential upset in the western region?
Brooks: First round: #11 Belmont over #6 Arizona, further rounds: #8 Pitt over #1 Gonzaga
Stamp: #5 Wisconsin over the #1 Zags in the sweet 16
Ceron: #15 Iona over #2 Ohio State
Mueller: #5 Wisconsin over #1 Gonzaga
Schmidt: #13 Boise State/La Salle over #4 Kansas State
5. Arizona’s best case scenario
Brooks: Arizona finds a way to get past Ohio State, either on Mark Lyons back or with him giving up some of his role. Arizona finds a way past a Gonzaga team into the Final Four, where all bets are off.
Stamp: Arizona has the talent to come out of a weaker West bracket.
Ceron: West is the easiest region so they are in the best scenario. New Mexico is a talented bunch, but we beat them followed by Ohio State before heading to Atlanta.
Mueller: Final Four baby!
Schmidt: Arizona causes big upset against #2 Ohio State, and too hungover from such a great victory, falls to #5 Wisconsin or #1 Gonzaga for the ticket to Atlanta.
6. Arizona’s worst case scenario
Brooks: A sharpshooting Belmont team doesn’t just get the upset when it makes 65% of its shots, it beats Arizona by 15-20.
Stamp: Arizona has been inconsistent and could easily fall to a sharp shooting and hungry Belmont team.
Ceron: Belmont is always good in March and more and more upsets seem to happen with each year. AZ has been letting teams back into games late and giving up marquee wins unable to close. Could happen in any game, especially the first one.
Mueller: First round loss to Belmont.
Schmidt: Belmont is dangerous for sure, but Arizona outsizes them and advances to Saturday, where they fall to a #3 New Mexico team that matches up well agains the Wildcats and has a great resume.