Written by Rohit Ghosh
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2017 NCAA Tournament Bracketology: West Region
Let's just say the West region will garner some extra attention -- and wagering opportunities -- with No. 1 Gonzaga atop the standings. Having net made the Final Four, the Bulldogs are already being picked as an upset-victim by the third round.
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What does AccuScore data have to say? Let's take a close look at the West region.
Just how Good is Gonzaga?
Look, you don't win 29 straight games without being that good. They had some big wins over the likes of Florida, Iowa St., and Arizona. And even further, they beat a good Saint Mary's team three times.
Make sure to take a deeper look at AccuScore's bracketcaster. Both Gonzaga and St. Mary's have something to say in the sims when it comes to which team represents the West region in the Final Four. Value-pick alert!
What to Watch
If there's one first round matchup you watch, make it the 8-9 seed game with Northwestern and Vanderbilt. Vandy has depth of shooters at every position - keep an eye on the three-point attempts.
While offense tends to get the highlights, it's a team's defensive consistency that often determines their tourney run. No. 4 West Virginia was No. 1 in the nation in forcing turnovers in the regular season, boasting an average turnover margin of +8.2 TOs.
West Region Odds to Win
West Virginia 11/2
Florida State 8/1
St. Mary's CA 10/1
Notre Dame 14/1
Florida Gulf Coast 100/1
North Dakota 200/1
South Dakota State 200/1
AccuScore sim data would suggest a wager on Saint Mary's. There's a good chance they reach the Elite 8 - why not take them to win the region?
In terms of No. 6 seeds, SMU has the best odds to win the tourney at 40:1. Cincinnati and Maryland are at 100:1, while Creighton is at 150:1. What that means is that SMU has a much better chance -- relatively to other teams at their seed -- to reach the Final Four.
It's no South region, but Gonzaga does have a fairly tough path to the Final Four. Their biggest hurdle -- somewhat early on -- should come against West Virginia. At least that's what most would have you think.
AccuScore data does have Notre Dame showing the kind of production to put up a fight against both WVU and Gonzaga, but it's the Bulldogs that reach the FInal Four at the end.
AccuScore’s Bracketology Previews