The West region of the 2022 NCAA Tournament is defined by a familiar mid-major sitting at the top, a blue blood hoping to send its coach out on top, and a few teams that could play spoiler.
Let’s break down the favorite, a sleeper and a dark horse to come out of the East region.
Favorite: Gonzaga (-160)
No. 1 Gonzaga enters as the top seed of the entire tournament and has the best odds out of anyone to reach the Final Four. Looking to make it back to the national championship game after falling to Baylor last year, the Bulldogs have been powered by true freshman center Chet Holmgren, who some are projecting as the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
The Zags have an easier path than the other No. 1 seeds in other regions, but it will have to bring the intensity if it wants to avoid getting knocked off.
Sleeper: Memphis (+2800)
One of those very teams that could catch Gonzaga slipping on the wrong day is No. 8 Memphis. That statement would’ve sounded insane to anyone in January as it truly looked like head coach Penny Hardaway had lost this group.
Instead of folding, the Jalen Duren-led Tigers turned things around by winning 11 of their next 12 games before falling to Houston in the AAC Tournament title game. If Memphis can send Gonzaga home early in the second round, then who knows how far it can go.
Dark Horse: Davidson (+5000)
No. 10 Davidson solidly made it into the field of 68 even after falling to Richmond in the A-10 Tournament title game. Ranked 41st in KenPom, the Wildcats have a Top 15 offense in adjusted efficiency and are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation.
If they get past Michigan State in round one, the Wildcats will most likely have a second-round matchup against No. 2 Duke and could be the ones to officially end the Coach K retirement tour. If they’re able to pull that off, Davidson would then ride a high not seen since Steph Curry was suiting up for the squad in the late 2000’s.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL/IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat (CT), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-877-770-STOP (7867) (LA), 877-8-HOPENY/text HOPENY (467369) (NY), visit OPGR.org (OR), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 1-888-532-3500 (VA).21+ (18+ NH/WY). Physically present in AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/LA/MI/NH/NJ/NY/OR/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.