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Originally published March 11, 2012 at 8:18 PM | Page modified March 11, 2012 at 8:25 PM

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NCAA Tournament: West region capsules

The Seattle Times

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1 Michigan State
Overall: 27-7 | Big Ten: 13-5 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Senior forward Draymond Green is a big-time player, averaging 16.1 points and 10.4 rebounds.

Tom Izzo has led his team to six Final Fours in the past 13 seasons, but the Spartans also have four first-round losses in the past 10 years. Not expecting more than two or three wins, despite the high seed and Izzo’s tournament success.

16 Long Island Brooklyn
Overall: 25-8 | Northeast: 16-2 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Junior forward Julian Boyd averages 17.4 points and 9.5 rebounds.

The Blackbirds are 0-4 in the NCAA tournament, but were competitive last year against North Carolina in their opening-round game, losing 102-87. Would be shocked if LIU gets its first tourney win this year.


2 Missouri

Overall: 30-4 | Big 12: 14-4 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Senior guard Marcus Denmon averages 17.6 points and 5.1 rebounds.

The Tigers have never made it to a Final Four, and were blown out in the first round last year. The Big 12 seemed a bit down this year, so maybe they aren’t as good as the record indicates. Taking a stand against a long run.

15 Norfolk State
Overall: 25-9 | Mid-Eastern Ath.: 13-3 | Last 10: 8-2

Star player: Senior center Kyle O’Quinn averages 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds.

The nonconference win over Drexel on a neutral court was impressive. They Spartans also beat a solid Texas Christian team and beat tournament-entrant Long Island. Still, it’s hard to imagine even one win.


3 Marquette

Overall: 25-7 | Big East: 14-4 | Last 10: 7-3

Star power: Senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom averages 18.5 points per game.

The Golden Eagles have won 13 of their past 16 games after a stretch when they went 2-4. They beat Washington at the buzzer in New York in December. Just one Sweet 16 appearance since Dwyane Wade led team to Final Four in 2003. Not expecting a lot.

14 Brigham Young/Iona
BYU: 25-8, 12-4 WCC; Iona 25-7, 15-3 Metro Atlantic Ath.

Star power: Senior forward Noah Hartsock averages 16.7 points for BYU; senior forward Mike Glover averages 18.5 points for Iona.

BYU did a nice job of getting back to the tournament despite the departure of star Jimmer Fredette. Iona surprised some by getting an at-large berth. Whichever team wins is capable of winning one more.


4 Louisville

Overall: 26-9 | Big East: 10-8 | Last 10: 6-4

Star power: Senior guard/forward Kyle Kuric averages 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds.

The Cardinals will need solid play from Peyton Siva, the former Franklin High star, who averages 5.5 assists. Coach Rick Pitino seems to have lost his tourney magic, as Louisville has lost the past two years in the first round. Not expecting a lot.

13 Davidson
Overall: 25-7 | Southern: 16-2 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Sophomore forward De’Mon Brooks averages team-high 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds.

First trip to the tournament since reaching the final eight in 2008. The 80-74 win over Kansas in Kansas City, Mo., was sure impressive. If you’re looking for an upset team, the Wildcats would be a much better pick than most.


5 New Mexico

Overall: 27-6 | Mountain West: 10-4 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Drew Gordon, a 6-foot-9, 245-pound senior forward, averages 13.4 points and 10.9 rebounds.

Coach Steve Alford continues to do a good job, and the Lobos have nice road wins against San Diego State and Oklahoma State. They are 13-4 away from home, which makes them dangerous, but they drew a tough opener.

12 Long Beach State
Overall: 25-8 | Big West: 15-1 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Guard Casper Ware, a 5-10 senior, averages 17.4 points and 3.3 assists.

Former Gonzaga coach Dan Monson has done a nice job with the 49ers. They were very competitive in road losses at Kansas, North Carolina, Louisville and San Diego State, and they won at Pittsburgh. Will be a good test for New Mexico.

6 Murray State
Overall: 30-1 | Ohio Valley: 15-1 | Last 10: 9-1

Star power: Junior guard Isaiah Canaan averages 19.2 points and 3.7 assists, and is 95 of 201 (47.3 percent) from three-point range.

The record sure stands out. The Racers were the last team to lose this season, so they won’t sneak up on anyone. Good enough to win a couple of games, and maybe one more.

11 Colorado State
Overall: 20-11 | Mountain West: 8-6 | Last 10: 5-5

Star power: Junior guard Wes Eikmeier averages 15.6 points.

The Rams were one of four teams from the Mountain West to earn a berth. They won at home against UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State, but didn’t get much done on the road. Last tournament win was 1989. Expecting an early exit.

7 Florida
Overall: 23-10 | Southeastern: 10-6 | Last 10: 4-6

Star power: Junior guard Kenny Boynton averages 16.3 points and shoots 42.7 percent from three-point range.

The Gators came close to the Final Four last season, losing by three to Butler in the regional final. Coach Billy Donovan has won a pair of titles with Florida. This isn’t one of his better teams, but it could prove tough to beat.

10 Virginia
Overall: 22-9 | Atlantic Coast: 9-7 | Last 10: 4-6

Star power: Senior Mike Scott averages 18.1 points. Joe Harris, a 6-6 sophomore guard from Chelan, is second in scoring at 11.5.

Former Washington State coach Tony Bennett has turned things around at Virginia. But the Cavaliers have won one tournament game since 1995, with just three appearances in that span. An early exit.

8 Memphis
Overall: 26-8 | Conference USA: 13-3 | Last 10: 9-1

Star power: Will Barton, a 6-6 sophomore guard, averages 18.1 points and 8.1 rebounds and is second on the team in assists at 3.0.

The Tigers haven’t been the same since coach John Calipari left after losing in the 2008 title game. This is an athletic team, but the conference was shaky and Memphis lost its toughest nonconference games. Early exit likely.

9 Saint Louis
Overall: 25-7 | Atlantic 10: 12-4 | Last 10: 8-2

Star power: Senior forward Brian Conklin averages 13.9 points and 4.8 rebounds.

Coach Rick Majerus has the Billikens rolling. They gave Washington a whipping in a nonconference matchup, then had a good year in a solid conference. This team has talent, and Majerus is one of the game’s best. Saint Louis is capable of pulling off some big upsets.

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