West Region Reset: With Johnson at full health, Syracuse will prevail
The West is the least upset-ravaged region heading into the second week of the tournament; there isn't a Cinderella in Salt Lake City, and four of its top six seeds (No. 1 Syracuse, No. 2 Kansas State, No. 5 Butler and No. 6 Xavier) remain alive. The first two rounds were, in large part, about getting a feel for Syracuse, specifically as to whether or not it can be a title contender without the services of starting center
The good news for the Orange is that
Now that Johnson is back, he might just be ready to take over this region.
The Bulldogs needed a wild defensive scramble on the final possession to knock off 13-seeded Murray State in the second round, and they'll likely have to go through a No. 1 (Syracuse) and No. 2 (Kansas State) to reach their hometown Final Four. Butler is capable of beating those teams, but only with Horizon League MVP
The Wildcats appear to be on a collision course with the Orange in the regional final, where Pullen would have a chance to outplay another first-team All-America candidate. In the second round, he outscored BYU's
The kid still can't get past the dunked-on-
The closest of the four campuses to Salt Lake City is Manhattan, Kan. -- and it's 1,010 miles away. Only long-haul truckers are comfortable with a drive like that. The Wildcats are responsible for making this the most neutral regional: They kept BYU from advancing and playing in the city where the bulk of its alumni lives after graduation.
That's the percentage of Butler's field-goal attempts that came from beyond the three-point arc this season, which is the highest of any team left in the tournament field. (The next-highest is Cornell, at 39.7.) The Bulldogs will probably take even more treys than average against Syracuse's 2-3 zone, given that their lone post presence is
Onuaku's injury clearly wasn't devastating. Boeheim said the Orange played as well in the second round as they have all season. I picked K-State in