The West region bracket will be pared down to just two teams by the end of today as Duke, Arizona, San DIego St & UConn are all in action. The Duke Blue Devils, who already came into the tournament with stars like Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler, now have the guy back that could be the #1 pick in the NBA draft, point guard Kryie Irving. The rich, get richer. Coach K said this week that Irving will play "significant minutes" this evening... whatever that means.
"If we could keep winning that that might evolve, but for right now he's not starting tomorrow, but he'll play," said Krzyzewski, "he played significant minutes last week when I thought he was going to play limited minutes, so I mentioned that he will play significant minutes tomorrow. I don't know what the hell that means, then. It means he's going to play 'great minutes' hopefully tomorrow night."
Arizona has a pretty good player of their own in Derrick Williams, but their suspect defense is going have to be better against a Duke team that can shoot and get to the basket. The Blue Devils are an 8/5 point favorite, which might make Arizona decent pick against the spread, but straight I'm going for coach K to get win # 901. Pick: Duke
Next up the Connecticut Huskies face the San Diego St Aztecs in a tough game to pick. The game is in Anaheim, which is an easy trip for SDSU, but a cross country trek for the Huskies. The star power of Kemba Walker and the generally bigger name recognition of UConn has them as a slight one point favorite despite being a #3 seed to SDSU at #2. I have to admit, this one vexed me. I really wanted to pick UConn, but I had to admit to myself that I watched a lot of Big East basketball this year. I saw every game the Huskies played in that great Big East tournament run. But I never saw SDSU before the NCAAs and I didn't watch the Mountain West tournament, so I really think I've probably got an unfair bias here. To get past that, I turned to ESPN's accuscore simulator which forecasted a 68-63 San Diego State win.
Pick: San Diego State
Check out our East region and Southwest region picks.