Outlook: Top-ranked coaches Mark Few (Gonzaga) and Sean Miller (Arizona) appear to be on a regional final collision course: Few and Miller are on the short list of “best coaches who have never been to a Final Four.” You got to love this region just for the first-time inclusion of Northwestern, which hosted the first NCAA Tournament in 1939 but is only now making its first appearance. A potential second-round match up against Gonzaga, however, could make this a remake of “Gone With The Wind.”
Upset specials: Arizona fans probably cringed when they saw a possible second-game date against No. 7 St. Mary’s. This will remind some of 1993, when another Bay Area team from the West Conference, Santa Clara, pulled off one of the biggest 15-2 upsets in NCAA history. Good news: St. Mary’s doesn’t have a guard as good as Steve Nash. Upset books: No. 12 Princeton over No. 5 Notre Dame; No.11 Xavier over No.6 Maryland. Hunch: “Dunk City” over No. 3 Florida State.
Moving to San Jose: Gonzaga, West Virginia, Xavier, Arizona
Regional champs: Gonzaga