NCAA Tournament: Breaking down the West Region

After winning the Summit League championship, the South Dakota State men's basketball team will face an even more daunting challenge in the NCAA tournament. The Zags backed up that sentiment with a 32-1 record-the best season in the history of the program.

With Selection Sunday upon us, Gonzaga and its fans will soon learn where the Bulldogs are headed for the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

The one-seed in the West is the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and those regional games will be played in San Jose in two weeks. After having made it to the Elite Eight the past two years, the Irish are getting hot again.

Arizona tied for first in the regular season in the Pac-12 and won the league tournament in Las Vegas last week, knocking off UCLA in the semifinals and OR in the finals.

And it will be interesting to see what kind of reception Saint Mary's gets in Salt Lake City, after the 28-4 Gaels walloped BYU three times this season.

Arizona: Allonzo Trier's return has rejuvenated the Wildcats and could have them poised for a deep run. Having resided in the top 25 most of the season, the Gaels were disrespected just a tad with the No. 7 seed.

He has 19 double-doubles and was dominant in the ACC tournament, scoring 21 against Virginia, 18 against Florida State and 29 against Duke - all NCAA tournament teams. Skepticism will follow Gonzaga around, in some circles, until it finally makes a Final Four. Arizona also played in Salt Lake in 2003, 2000, 1993 and 1991, while Gonzaga was here in 2006, 2003 and 1995, back when the tournament was held at the University of Utah's Huntsman Center. Some believe Gonzaga plateaued in the weaker WCC, evidenced by its home loss to BYU late in the season.

There are some familiar faces also in the West with GU, with Saint Mary's as the 7-seed and Arizona as the No. 2 seed.

  • Larry Hoffman