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2013 NCAA Tournament: West bracket

Best round-of-64 matchup

No. 7 Notre Dame (25-9) vs. No. 10 Iowa State (22-11). Two well-coached teams that play to the level of their competition. Iowa State lost to Kansas twice in OT but to Texas Tech in regulation. Notre Dame beat Louisville in 5 OTs, but needed OT twice to beat DePaul.

Best potential round-of-32 matchup

No. 5 Wisconsin (23-11) vs. No. 4 Kansas State (27-7). Bo Ryan was 12-9 against Bruce Weber in the Big Ten, helping seal Weber’s fate at Illinois with a sweep last season.

Best Cinderella hope

No. 6 Arizona (25-7) couldn’t beat UCLA in three tries this season but has better matchups in the bottom half of this bracket.

Player to watch

No. 1 Gonzaga 7-footer Kelly Olynyk (17.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 65.2 percent shooting) is a Player of the Year candidate.

Impact coach

Thad Matta, the pride of downstate Hoopeston, coached Ohio State to the title game in 2007 and the Final Four in 2012. Not his best team, but enough for him to work with.

Prediction

College basketball has come down to No. 1 Gonzaga’s level. The Zags (31-2) haven’t played anybody, but who has?

- CAPSULES BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

1. Gonzaga

Record: 31-2.

Coach: Mark Few.

Bid: WCC champion.

Zags, with few weaknesses, ended the regular season No. 1. A mid-major is the No. 1 seed in the West Region.

2. Ohio State

Record: 26-7.

Coach: Thad Matta.

Bid: Big Ten champion.

Buckeyes went to Final Four last season. Do-­everything guard Aaron Craft could get them there again.

3. New Mexico

Record: 29-5.

Coach: Steve Alford.

Bid: MWC champion.

The tournament champion from the conference with the highest RPI might have a chance to go deep.

4. Kansas State

Record: 27-7.

Coach: Bruce Weber.

Bid: At large.

Won share of Big 12 regular-season title and got to tournament title game in first season under coach Bruce Weber. Not bad, not bad at all.

5. Wisconsin

Record: 23-11.

Coach: Bo Ryan.

Bid: At large.

Making the Big Ten tournament final says a lot. Having a coach like Bo Ryan certainly doesn’t hurt.

6. Arizona

Record: 25-7.

Coach: Sean Miller.

Bid: At large.

Loads of talent, will need to find defensive consistency to make a run. Watch for Miller’s death stare, one of the best in college hoops.

7. Notre Dame

Record: 25-9.

Coach: Mike Brey.

Bid: At large.

After great start, Irish labored through Big East schedule. With bullish Jack Cooley roaming around, they’ll be a tough matchup in the tournament.

8. Pittsburgh

Record: 24-8.

Coach: Jamie Dixon.

Bid: At large.

The Panthers have wins over Georgetown, Syracuse and two over Villanova on their resume.

9. Wichita State

Record: 26-8.

Coach: Gregg Marshall.

Bid: At large.

Strong non-conference schedule helped Shockers get into the bracket for the second straight season.

10. Iowa State

Record: 22-11.

Coach: Fred Hoiberg.

Bid: At large.

Good RPI, strong finish to the season and a comeback win over Oklahoma in Big 12 tournament gets the Cyclones back in the tournament for the second straight season.

11. Belmont

Record: 26-6.

Coach: Rick Byrd.

Bid: OVC ­champion.

Bruins have become bracket regulars. They’re still waiting to get past the first round, but may have a shot if Arizona doesn’t guard them on the perimeter.

12. Mississippi

Record: 26-8.

Coach: Andy Kennedy.

Bid: SEC champion.

Sharp-shooting Marshall Henderson could be this year’s Jimmer Fredette.

13. Boise State

Record: 21-10.

Coach: L. Rice.

Bid: At large.

Broncos sneaked into the bracket for the first time since 2008

13. La Salle

Record: 21-9.

Coach: J. Giannini.

Bid: At large.

Wins over Butler and VCU helped erase early losses.

14. Harvard

Record: 19-9.

Coach: Tommy Amaker.

Bid: Ivy ­champion.

Won third straight Ivy League title, but making second straight NCAA appearance. Keep an eye on Siyani Chambers, the freshman with the cool name and sweet game.

15. Iona

Record: 20-13.

Coach: Tim Cluess.

Bid: MAAC ­champion.

MAAC champs play fast, shoot threes and score in bunches. The key for the Gaels will be keeping the other team from scoring — they were 331st in scoring defense.

16. Southern U.

Record: 23-9.

Coach: Roman Banks.

Bid: SWAC champion.

Banks has taken Jaguars from last to first in two seasons with a SWAC championship.



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