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March Madness West Region Predictions | Who Will Advance To The Final Four?

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2024

The West region features two of the best teams in the nation in North Carolina and Arizona and two of the best offenses in the nation in Alabama and Baylor.

The Mountain West Tournament champions are also featured in this region in New Mexico, who will be a popular upset and Cinderella pick. I think we will see multiple double-digit teams from this region that will make some noise.

This region will also feature one of the best players in the country, Tyon Grant-Foster, from Grand Canyon University. Grant-Foster is averaging 19.8 points and 6 rebounds per game on the season and is ready to put on a show in the big dance.

Let’s dive into the best bets, picks, and teams from the 2024 West Region.

March Madness West Region Winner Prediction

(2) Arizona defeats (1) North Carolina to win West Region

The Wildcats have not made it to the Final Four since 2001, but that changes this year. Led by ex-Tar Heel Caleb Love, the Wildcats finished 25-8 this season before sputtering at the end of the season. If not for the two losses in their final three games to USC and Oregon, the Wildcats would most likely be a number one seed in the tournament.

Arizona is ranked 8th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency in the final Ken Pomeroy ratings for the regular season. Since 2002, every national champion has been in the top 40 in defense and top 20 in offense, which both Arizona and North Carolina fall into this season.

Along with stellar guard play, Arizona has seven-foot Oumar Ballo, who is also a dominant paint presence and averages a double-double a game. The Wildcats can beat you in different ways and shoot 37.1% from beyond the arc, which is why I like them to advance from the West region.

Track the rest of our NCAA Tournament regional breakdowns:

March Madness West Region Best Bets

Arizona to Win West Region () • DraftKings Sportsbook

The Wildcats have NCAA Tournament demons from last year when they fell to the number 15-seeded Princeton Tigers in the first round. The addition of Love has brought veteran point-guard play and a strong interior presence.

The Wildcats also run an eight-man rotation, so their starters are not fatigued at the end of the game. This team is poised to make a deep run this year. Check out all the different ways you can bet on the Wildcats in this tournament with our March Madness Betting Guide.

North Carolina to Win West Region () • DraftKings Sportsbook

It feels like Armando Bacot has been at North Carolina for 10 years now but the 5th-year senior is looking to end his college career with a national championship. If UNC does meet Arizona in the Elite Eight, it will be fun to watch Bacot battle Ballo in the paint.

RJ Davis, Love’s previous running mate, has led the Tar Heels all season, averaging 21.4 points per game. He’s the reason this team can make it out of the West region and into the Final Four.

New Mexico to Make Sweet 16 (+240) • DraftKings Sportsbook

Grand Canyon University is going to be the chalky pick from this region to be a Cinderella, as they should be, but I really like New Mexico to emerge from the West. They are right outside the two KenPom thresholds I referenced earlier but are still the 23rd-ranked team in adjusted defensive efficiency.

They’ll take on a team in Clemson that struggles on defense as well as a potential second-round matchup against Baylor who also struggles on the defensive end. New Mexico is hot right now after winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament, and they could be this year’s MWC Cinderella story.

March Madness West Region Teams Seeded

  1. North Carolina
  2. Arizona
  3. Baylor
  4. Alabama
  5. Saint Mary’s
  6. Clemson
  7. Dayton
  8. Mississippi State
  9. Michigan State
  10. Nevada
  11. New Mexico
  12. Grand Canyon
  13. Charleston
  14. Colgate
  15. Long Beach State
  16. Howard/ Wagner (First Four Game)

March Madness West Region Top 4 Seeds

(1) North Carolina

It was a disappointing end to the regular season for the Tar Heels as they fell to NC State in the ACC Conference Championship game. They should be able to shake off the loss before the start of the tournament, as they’ve been one of the best teams in the nation.

I think UNC is more of a 2 seed, so I’m more bearish on them heading into the tournament. However, they have all the necessary pieces to make a deep run in the tournament. It’ll come down to the Tar Heels and Wildcats in the West.

(2) Arizona

I’m riding with the Wildcats to the Final Four this year. When they went into Duke and knocked off the Blue Devils earlier in the season, I noted that this team had the true potential to win the whole thing.

Their depth, size in the interior, and elite guard play are what will lead this team to the Final Four.

(3) Baylor

The Bears should be playing in the second weekend, but a potential matchup against New Mexico scares me off from betting on them to reach the Sweet 16.

Baylor has one of the best offenses in the nation, ranking 6th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. However, their Achilles heel is on defense, as they’ve struggled on that side of the ball all season long.

(4) Alabama

If the Crimson Tide didn’t have one of the worst defenses in the nation, I would be penciling them to make it to the Final Four. Their three-point shooting and dynamic offense will be on display and will make for entertaining games but their defense is what will hold them back in this tournament.

They should advance to the second weekend but it wouldn’t shock me if they lose their opener to Charleston.

March Madness West Region Cinderella

(12) New Mexico

The Lobos are a nightmare matchup for anyone in this tournament because of their versatile scoring. They have four players who average more than 10 points per game and play elite defense.

Donovan Dent is an elite passer and leads the team with 5.6 assists per game, but senior guard Jaelen House is the leader who will take this team far in the tournament. House averages 16.1 points per game and shoots the three-ball at a 33.1% clip.

It’s going to be tough to stop this Lobos offense, and if they get out to a lead, it’s a tough task to climb back against this defense.

March Madness West Region Round 1 Upset

(11) New Mexico defeats (6) Clemson

Clemson had an up-and-down season, with a few losses coming in the final minutes of a game when they failed to close out their opponents. Wins against Alabama and North Carolina bolstered their tournament resume, but they are on upset watch early.

They have great guard play in Joseph Girard III, who shoots a blistering 42.5% from beyond the arc. This is going to be a close game from start to finish, and the books think so as well, with the Lobos favored by 1.5 points at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Also, consider picking these West Region Round 1 Bracket upsets:

  • (12) Grand Canyon over (5) Saint Mary’s
  • (9) Michigan State over (8) Mississippi State

March Madness West Region Schedule 2024

Round 1 West Region Schedule

Thursday, March 21 - Friday, March 22

  • Charlotte, N.C.; Spokane, Wash.; Memphis, Tenn.; Salt Lake City, Utah.

Round 2 West Region Schedule

Saturday, March 23 - Sunday, March 24

  • Charlotte, N.C.; Spokane, Wash.; Memphis, Tenn.; Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sweet 16 West Region Schedule

Saturday, March 28 - Sunday, March 29

  • Los Angeles, Calif.

Elite 8 West Region Schedule

Saturday, March 30 - Sunday, March 31

  • Los Angeles, Calif.

Bet On March Madness West Region Games

Author

Ani Sridhar

Ani Sridhar is an NBA and soccer betting analyst at The Gameday as well as a producer at SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Residing in NY, but originally from Washington D.C and a University of Maryland alum, Ani is a long-time (and occasionally suffering) fan of all the Washington sports teams. He loves TV and movies, so just holler if you ever need someone to join your bar trivia team.

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