NCAA West Region capsules

  • Updated: March 17, 2013 - 11:35 PM

[1] GONZAGA VS. [16] SOUTHERN

3:10 p.m. Thursday in Salt Lake City • TBS

BULLDOGS (31-2)

Coach: Mark Few.

Entry: WCC champion.

Player to watch: Elias Harris (14.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg).

Notable: Center Kelly Olynyk has taken his game to another level, one year after redshirting because there weren’t going to be enough minutes for him.

JAGUARS (23-9)

Coach: Roman Banks.

Entry: SWAC champion.

Player to watch: Malcolm Miller (15.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg).

Notable: Southern, only one year removed from scandal and NCAA sanctions, were ranked 261st out of the 345 Division I teams in assists.

[8] PITTSBURGH VS. [9] WICHITA STATE

12:40 p.m. Thursday in Salt Lake City • TBS

PANTHERS (24-8)

Coach: Jamie Dixon.

Entry: Big East at-large.

Player to watch: Travon Woodall (11.8 ppg, 5.2 apg).

Notable: They shoot well but there isn’t much depth; Dixon is pretty reliant on his starters, so injuries can be pretty costly in the NCAA’s format.

SHOCKERS (26-8)

Coach: Gregg Marshall.

Entry: MVC at-large.

Player to watch: Cleanthony Early (13.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg).

Notable: The Shockers head into the NCAA tournament having lost three of their last five games, but against nonconference foes they are 12-1.

[5] WISCONSIN VS. [12] MISSISSIPPI

11:40 a.m. Friday in Kansas City, Mo. • truTV

BADGERS (23-11)

Coach: Bo Ryan.

Entry: Big Ten at-large.

Player to watch: Ryan Evans (10.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg).

Notable: The Badgers will frustrate opponents with their deliberate style and a smothering defense that gave up only 55.9 points per game.

REBELS (26-8)

Coach: Andy Kennedy

Entry: SEC champion.

Player to watch: Marshall Henderson (20.1 ppg).

Notable: After going through a 1-4 stretch, Ole Miss won five of its final seven regular-season games and claimed the SEC tournament title.

[4] KANSAS STATE VS. [13] BOISE ST./LA SALLE

2:10 p.m. Friday in Kansas City, Mo. • truTV

WILDCATS (27-7)

Coach: Bruce Weber.

Entry: Big 12 at-large.

Player to watch: Rodney McGruder (15.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg).

Notable: The Wildcats, in their first year under Weber, got a share of their first conference title since 1977 but fell to rival Kansas in the title game.

BRONCOS (21-10)

Coach: Leon Rice

Entry: Mountain West at-large.

EXPLORERS (21-9)

Coach: John Giannini.

Entry: Atlantic 10 at-large.

[2] OHIO STATE VS. [15] IONA

6:15 p.m. Thursday in Dayton, Ohio • Ch. 4

BUCKEYES (26-7)

Coach: Thad Matta.

Entry: Big Ten champion.

Player to watch: Deshaun Thomas (19.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg).

Notable: In winning the Big Ten title, the Buckeyes won 25 games for the 11th time in school history and for the sixth time in nine seasons under Matta.

GAELS (20-13)

Coach: Tim Cluess.

Entry: MAAC champion.

Player to watch: Lamont Jones (23.0 ppg, 3.5 apg).

Notable: The Gaels finished in the top 20 in the nation in points (80.7), free-throw percentage and three-point baskets (8.4).

[7] NOTRE DAME VS. [10] IOWA STATE

8:45 p.m.Thursday in Dayton, Ohio • Ch. 4

FIGHTING IRISH (25-9)

Coach: Mike Brey.

Entry: Big East at-large.

Player to watch: Jack Cooley (13.1 ppg, 10.3 rpg).

Notable: The Irish have one of the nation’s best guard tandems in Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins, who both are in the top 40 nationally in assists.

CYCLONES (22-11)

Coach: Fred Hoiberg.

Entry: Big 12 at-large.

Player to watch: Will Clyburn (15.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg).

Notable: Clyburn is the Big 12 newcomer of the year after transferring from Utah, while Tyrus McGee was named the conference’s best sixth man.

[6] ARIZONA VS. [11] BELMONT

6:20 p.m. Thursday in Salt Lake City • TNT

WILDCATS (25-7)

Coach: Sean Miller.

Entry: Pac-12 at-large.

Player to watch: Solomon Hill (13.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg).

Notable: Arizona, which began the season 14-0, was second in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (73.3) and fourth in scoring defense (63.7).

BRUINS (26-6)

Coach: Rick Byrd.

Entry: Ohio Valley champion.

Player to watch: Ian Clark (18.2 ppg, 2.5 apg).

Notable: The Bruins had the nation’s second-toughest nonconference schedule according to the RPI. Clark was third in the nation from three-point range.

[3] NEW MEXICO VS. [14] HARVARD

8:50 p.m. Thursday in Salt Lake City • TNT

LOBOS (29-5)

Coach: Steve Alford.

Entry: Mountain West champion.

Player to watch: Kendall Williams (13.5 ppg, 5.0 apg).

Notable: The Lobos could be a dark horse to win the NCAA tournament. New Mexico is 9-3 in games against the top 50 in the RPI and is 6-0 on neutral courts.

CRIMSON (19-9)

Coach: Tommy Amaker.

Entry: Ivy League champion.

Player to watch: Wesley Saunders (16.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg).

Notable: Harvard shoots well (48.2 percent on field-goal attempts). One of the youngest teams in the field with one senior and two juniors.

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