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Breaking down the West Region bracket heading into Sweet 16

We take a look at the West Region heading into the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament and discuss our picks for an upset, teams to fade and more.

TCU v Gonzaga Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The West Region semifinals take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday, March 23. Let’s take a look at the matchups, which will air on CBS.

No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 4 UConn, 7:15 p.m. ET Thursday

Spread: UConn -4
Total: 140
Moneyline: UConn -195, Arky +165

Arkansas shocked the world with a win over the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks in the second round. Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks have been dangerous in the tournament, holding No. 9 Illinois at arm’s length for the entire first-round game. Ricky Council IV is their top scorer and likes getting to the line.

UConn has been quite the powerhouse in March, as well. They easily took care of No. 13 Iona in the first round before overcoming No. 5 Saint Mary’s by 15 points in the second round. Adama Sanogo has been a star for the Huskies this season.

No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 2 UCLA, 9:45 p.m. ET Thursday

Spread: UCLA -1.5
Total: 145.5
Moneyline: UCLA -125, Gonzaga +105

Gonzaga is still running, trying to chase that elusive national title. Drew Timme, who has evolved into an experienced leader as well as a productive scorer, is hoping for a long run here, but the top-scoring offense in the nation will need to get by the No. 1-ranked defense in the nation first.

It is no easy feat to put up points against this UCLA defense. With Jaime Jaquez, Jr. and Tyger Campbell leading the team, this Bruins squad is going to be out to avenge that 2021 heartbreaker in the Final Four against the Zags.


UConn -4

The Huskies have been steamrolling opponents lately, and with the emotional win over Kansas last week, Arkansas may not have another one of those in them. I like UConn to cover here.

UCLA/Gonzaga over 145.5

Despite UCLA’s top-ranked defense, I think this ends up being a high-scoring offensive shootout. They won’t want to foul Drew Timme down low too often, and UCLA has the height to get some points up as well. It’s a high total, but I think this one is going to hit.