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Gonzaga forward Kelly Olynyk (13) drives to the basket in front of Clemson center Devin Booker (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Old Spice Classic in Kissimmee, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) ORG XMIT: NYOTK

PHELAN M. EBENHACK • Associated Press ,

NCAA West Region: Difference-maker and three story lines

  • March 17, 2013 - 11:35 PM

DIFFERENCE MAKER

Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga

Best in the West? We’ll go with the long-haired 7-footer who also happens to be the most dominant player on the best — or at least the No. 1-ranked — team in the country.

Most eye-catching stats: Leads the Bulldogs in scoring (17.5), rebounding (7.2) and is shooting 68 percent inside the arc.

THREE STORY LINES

[ 1 ] Gonzaga has come full circle in its 15th consecutive NCAA appearance. Can the former giant slayer prove to a skeptical audience that it’s a true giant or just a West Coast Conference giant?

[ 2 ] Can Wisconsin and Ohio State make the West final a rematch of the Big Ten tourney final? The Buckeyes should get there. But can Bo Ryan’s maulers wrestle their way that far?

[ 3 ] You know there will be at least one big surprise. How about 11th seed Belmont, which has won 17 of its past 19 games, over sixth seed Arizona, which has lost three of his past five?

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