NCAA tournament preview: West Regional

NCAA West Region preview

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield reacts after scoring a basket during the first half of a game against TCU on March 5.

(Ron Jenkins / Associated Press)

A look at the NCAA tournament’s West Regional:


1 OREGON: Coach Dana Altman’s Ducks were unranked in early December but won the Pac-12 Conference regular-season and tournament titles and are a top-seeded team for first time.

2 OKLAHOMA: Coach Lon Kruger has the Sooners in the tournament for the fourth year in a row, the 17th NCAA appearance of his career.


3 TEXAS A&M: The Aggies are making their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2011, their first under Coach Billy Kennedy and first as member of the Southeastern Conference.

4 DUKE: Coach Mike Krzyzewski has guided teams to the Final Four 12 times. The Blue Devils are making a 21st consecutive tournament appearance.


Cal State Bakersfield made a buzzer-beater to win the Western Athletic Conference tournament and advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time under Coach Rod Barnes.



Buddy Hield, guard, Oklahoma

The two-time Big 12 Conference player of the year is averaging 25.1 points and 4.1 three-pointers per game. A senior, he has scored 30 points or more nine times.

Brandon Ingram, swingman, Duke

The 6-foot-9 freshman averages 16.7 points and 6.8 rebounds for a team that also features guard Grayson Allen.

DeAndre’ Bembrey, forward, St. Joseph’s

The 6-6 junior was the Atlantic 10 Conference player of the year. He is averaging 17.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.



Oregon State, under second-year Coach Wayne Tinkle, made the tournament for the first time since 1990. The Beavers went through five coaches before Tinkle arrived.

Holy Cross made a play-in game with an NCAA tournament-worst 14-19 record. The Crusaders were 0-9 on the road in Patriot League games and then won four road games in a row to win the conference tournament.

Green Bay, making its first tournament appearance since 1996, is averaging 84.2 points a game. The Phoenix takes a shot every 13.4 seconds.

If Oregon makes it to the West Regional final in Anaheim, it would be a homecoming for five Ducks players from Southern California, including freshman Tyler Dorsey.


1 Oregon (28-6, Pac-12 champion) vs. 16 Play-in winner: Holy Cross (14-19, Patriot champion) or Southern (22-12, SW Athletic champion)

Oregon won its last eight games, including a 31-point victory over Utah in the Pac-12 Conference tournament championship. Malachi Alexander averages 12 points and five rebounds for Holy Cross. Senior guard Adrian Rodgers helped lead Southern to its ninth tournament appearance.



8 St. Joseph’s (27-7, Atlantic 10 champion) vs. 9 Cincinnati (22-10, At-large)

St. Joseph’s DeAndre’ Bembry had 30 points in the conference tournament title game. Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin was not happy with officials in four-overtime loss to Connecticut.


5 Baylor (22-11, At-large) vs. 12 Yale (22-6, Ivy champion)

Baylor forward Taurean Prince averages 15.7 points and 6.1 rebounds. Sophomore guard Makai Mason averages 15.8 points for Yale, which made the is in the tournament for the first time since 1962.


4 Duke (23-10, At-large) vs. 13 NC Wilmington (25-7, Colonial champion)

In 1982, in the only game between the schools, NC Wilmington lost in overtime to the Blue Devils. Guard Grayson Allen averages 21.6 points for Duke; guard Chris Flemmings 16.1 for UNC Wilmington.


6 Texas (20-12, At-large) vs. 11 Northern Iowa (22-12, Missouri Valley champion)

First-year Coach Shaka Smart will try to work his NCAA magic for Texas. Senior guard Wes Washpun averages 14.3 points for Northern Iowa.


3 Texas A&M (26-8, At-large) vs. 14 Green Bay (23-12, Horizon champion)

Forward Jalen Jones averages 15.2 points and 7.7 rebounds for Texas A&M. First-year Coach Linc Darner, who won D-II national title at Florida Southern, led Green Bay to the tournament for the first time in 20 years.


7 Oregon State (19-12, At-large) vs. 10 Virginia Commonwealth (24-10, At-large)

Gary Payton II averages 15.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists for Oregon State. Virginia Commonwealth is in the tournament for the sixth year in a row, this time with first-year Coach Will Wade.


2 Oklahoma (25-7, At-large) vs. 15 Cal State Bakersfield (24-8, Western Athletic champion)

Sooners guard Buddy Hield leads a team that also features guard Isaiah Cousins and forward Ryan Spangler. Center Aly Ahmed averages a team-best 12.9 points for Bakersfield.