No team should feel safe in the West this March. The opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament saw top-seeded Gonzaga fall to Wichita State, and also saw losses from No. 3 New Mexico, No. 4 Kansas State and No. 5 Wisconsin. On Thursday night, four teams will battle to advance to the Elite 8.
The first game, starting at 7:47 p.m. ET, will feature No. 2 Ohio State against No. 6 Arizona. The nightcap will pit No. 9 Wichita State against No. 13 La Salle at 10:17 p.m.
The experts seem split between Arizona and Ohio State. Jeff Goodman and Matt Norlander of CBS Sports like the Wildcats to march on, while Gary Parrish and Jeff Borzello favor the buckeyes. Parrish and Norlander also like Wichita State to win its Sweet 16 matchup, while Goodman and Borzello like La Salle to continue its Cinderella run.
USA Today college hoops scribe Eric Prisbell picked Arizona to win the West and return to the Final Four for the first time since 2001.
They're the most polished and accomplished team left. They have an excellent coach and staff, probably the best pure scorer in the region, the best on-ball defender in Aaron Craft, X-factor guys like Sam Thompson and LaQuinton Ross, and are comfortable playing bigger or smaller and uptempo or slower.