2022 NCAA Tournament West Region Bracket, Odds & Predictions
After coming up just short of a first-ever national championship and a perfect season last season, Gonzaga entered the 2022 NCAA Tournament favored to win the national title for the second straight year.
But yet again, the Zags have fallen short of the ultimate goal. In Thursday’s Sweet 16 matchup with #4 seed Arkansas, Gonzaga fell 74-68 to see their title dreams come to a crushing end.
Many were looking ahead to an Elite Eight rematch between either Gonzaga and Duke, who beat the Bulldogs earlier this season, or Gonzaga and Texas Tech, who lost to the Bulldogs earlier this season.
Instead, it will be #2 seed Duke facing off with the Razorbacks for the West Region title on Saturday evening, in a rematch of the 1994 NCAA Tournament championship game. In Thursday’s second regional semifinal, the Blue Devils staged another rally to send #3 seed Texas Tech home and keep Coach K’s career going for at least one more game.
Here’s a look at where each team stands in the latest March Madness odds at BetMGM.
Odds to Win the 2022 NCAA Tournament for the Remaining West Region Teams (As of Friday, March 25)
- Duke +450 (3rd behind Houston and Kansas)
- Arkansas +1200 (7th)
Here’s a look at the odds to win the West Region.
Odds to Win the West Region of the 2022 NCAA Tournament
Pre-tournament odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Thursday, March 17, 2022. Teams in bold are still in the tournament after the second round of the tournament.
West Region Odds Prior to the NCAA Tournament
- #1 Gonzaga -150
- #2 Duke +440
- #3 Texas Tech +650
- #5 Connecticut +1800
- #4 Arkansas +2000
- #6 Alabama +2500
- #9 Memphis +3900
- #10 Davidson +5000
- #7 Michigan State +5000
- #8 Boise State +7000
- #11 Notre Dame +11000
- #13 Vermont +13000
- #15 Cal State Fullerton +25000
- #14 Montana State +25000
- #16 Georgia State +25000
- #12 New Mexico State +25000
Current Odds to Win the West Region (As of Friday, March 25)
- #2 Duke -170
- #4 Arkansas +140
2022 NCAA Tournament West Region Venues & Locations
- West Region First and Second Round Venues & Locations: Buffalo, New York (KeyBank Center), Greenville, South Carolina (Bon Secours Wellness Arena), Portland, Oregon (Moda Center), San Diego, California (Viejas Arena)
- West Region Sweet 16 and Elite Eight Venue & Location: San Francisco, California (Chase Center)
2022 NCAA Tournament West Region Bracket
West Region First Round
Portland, Oregon (Moda Center – Thursday, March 17)
#1 Gonzaga 93, #16 Georgia State 72
#9 Memphis 64, #8 Boise State 53
Buffalo, New York (KeyBank Center – Thursday, March 17)
#12 New Mexico State 70, #5 UConn 63
#4 Arkansas 75, #13 Vermont 71
San Diego, California (Viejas Arena – Friday, March 18)
#11 Notre Dame 78, #6 Alabama 64
#3 Texas Tech 97, #14 Montana State 62
Greenville, South Carolina (Bon Secours Wellness Arena – Friday, March 18)
#7 Michigan State 74, #10 Davidson 73
#2 Duke 78, #15 Cal State Fullerton 61
West Region Second Round
Portland, Oregon (Moda Center – Saturday, March 19)
#1 Gonzaga 82, #9 Memphis 78
Buffalo, New York (KeyBank Center – Saturday, March 19)
#4 Arkansas 53, #12 New Mexico State 48
San Diego, California (Viejas Arena – Sunday, March 20)
#3 Texas Tech 59, #11 Notre Dame 53
Greenville, South Carolina (Bon Secours Wellness Arena – Sunday, March 20)
#2 Duke 85, #7 Michigan State 76
West Region Semifinals (Sweet 16)
San Francisco, California (Chase Center – Thursday, March 24)
#4 Arkansas vs. #1 Gonzaga, 7:09 p.m. ET, CBS – #4 Arkansas 74, #1 Gonzaga 68
#3 Texas Tech vs. #2 Duke, 9:39 p.m. ET, CBS – #2 Duke 78, #3 Texas Tech 73
West Region Final (Elite Eight)
San Francisco, California (Chase Center – Saturday, March 26)
#4 Arkansas vs. #2 Duke, 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS
2022 NCAA Tournament West Region Predictions: Who Will Win the Region
Pre-Tournament Pick: Gonzaga (-150)
While it would be a great story if Duke were to make the Final Four and go all the way in Coach K’s last hurrah, it’s hard to see the Blue Devils repeating their November win over Gonzaga.
Duke certainly has the talent and potential, and that was evident in their early wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga. But we haven’t seen that level frequently enough since then to really feel confident that it will come out when it needs to in the NCAA Tournament. Just as easily as they could make it to the Final Four, they could fall in the second round.
Texas Tech held Gonzaga to only 69 points, which was a pretty nice result compared to what most other teams have done this season. But knowing what to do and being able to do it is another, and just ask Saint Mary’s for how difficult it is to keep the Bulldogs under 70 points multiple times in one season.
Ultimately, the only way that Gonzaga doesn’t win the region is if they beat themselves. Like Purdue, who is my pick to win the East Region, Gonzaga can beat you in some many ways. If they don’t turn the ball over too much, they won’t run into trouble.
Pre-Sweet 16 Pick: Gonzaga (-165)
So, all you need to know about Gonzaga’s first two NCAA Tournament games is this:
- First Half Points Scored: 66
- First Half Points Allowed: 74
- Second Half Points Scored: 109
- Second Half Points Allowed: 76
In their opener against Georgia State, the Zags led by only two points at halftime, and it was a tight game until almost midway through the second half. In fact, the Panthers led 54-52 with 13 minutes left.
Then Gonzaga went on a 31-4 run spanning almost eight minutes, and that was that.
In the second round against Memphis, the Tigers went on a 24-9 run over the final 7:22 of the first half to take a 10-point lead into the locker room and extended that advantage to 12 on their first possession of the second half.
But Gonzaga rallied and would not trail over the final ten minutes. Memphis certainly didn’t go away, even when they fell behind by seven late, but the Bulldogs pulled it out to advance.
Putting themselves in similar positions against Arkansas, Duke, or Texas Tech might not work out so well, but being tested early could be the best thing for them.
In last year’s NCAA Tournament, they led by double digits at halftime in each of their four West Region games and won by 43, 16, 16, and 19. Then they got taken to overtime by UCLA in the Final Four and were run out of the building by Baylor in the championship game.
Ultimately, much will depend on Drew Timme’s continued dominance, which means he will have to fare better against either Texas Tech or Duke than he did earlier this season.
Drew Timme vs. Texas Tech and Duke This Season
- vs. Duke (lost 84-81 on Nov. 26): 17 points (7 of 13 FG), five rebounds, five assists, four fouls)
- vs. Texas Tech (won 69-55 on Dec. 18): 7 points (2 of 4 FG), four rebounds, three assists, three fouls
Against Duke, Timme had 15 points with 17 minutes left but managed only two points the rest of way.
Timme has been a beast thus far in the NCAA Tournament, putting up 32 points and 13 rebounds against Georgia State and 25 and 14 against Memphis. He also had a dominant four-game stretch in last year’s tournament before being rendered a non-factor against Baylor, so it will be key to continue to be a monster and produce the effort and performances that his teammates feed off of.
In the end, now that the real business end of the tournament has arrived, I expect his best and Gonzaga’s best to truly shine. Their best is better than anyone else’s best, and that best will see them through to New Orleans.
Result: Tournament favorites often don’t win, so ultimately this one is more disappointment than surprise.
2022 NCAA Tournament West Region Best Value Bets
Pre-Tournament Pick: Notre Dame ML vs. Alabama (+160 at Caesars Sportsbook)
Of the potential value options, there aren’t many that stick out as exceptional value relative to the options that were selected for the East Region, South Region, and Midwest Region.
That said, I do like the value in backing Notre Dame to knock out Alabama in the first round. It wouldn’t qualify as an upset–at least not in my view–but the Irish are good value against a team that was shaky down the stretch.
Result: Notre Dame 78, Alabama 64 – While a tired Indiana wasn’t able to hang with Saint Mary’s after a First Four win over Wyoming, Notre Dame had no such issues against Alabama. Alabama was hurt by the early loss of Jahvon Quinerly, their second-leading scorer. But Alabama went into the NCAA Tournament shooting poorly, and continuing to do so did them in.
2022 NCAA Tournament West Region Pre-Tournament Early Upset Pick: #12 New Mexico State over #5 UConn
I gave the Huskies some love as one of my March Madness sleeper picks, but I do think UConn should be on upset alert here.
My initial pick here was going to be Michigan State over Duke, but that requires the Spartans need to beat Davidson first. And strangely I’m far more confident about the former result than the latter one.
Notre Dame over Alabama? Not really an upset. Since beating Baylor on January 29, Alabama is 5-6 and enters the NCAA Tournament on a three-game losing streak.
So, we focus on this matchup. Why? UConn has numerous close games this season. They have been in four overtime games and have had ten games decided by five or fewer points.
New Mexico State is solid defensively and crashes the boards well. If they stick around–and they can–the Aggies could send the Huskies packing. In Nebraska transfer Teddy Allen (19.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.6 APG) and Sir’Jabari Rice (12.2 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.2 APG), the Aggies have two guards that have size and can keep them in it.
The key for New Mexico State could be free throws. The Aggies are shooting only 69.8 percent from the stripe, and that can be costly in a close game.
A few players on this year’s team know this well. Three years ago, late free-throw misses cost #12 New Mexico State a chance at a first-round upset of #5 Auburn, an eventual Final Four team.
Result: New Mexico State 70, UConn 63 – All of my upset picks did not come to fruition, but this one did. The Aggies went on to give Arkansas all they had before bowing out in the second round. And we’ll see Chris Jans and Eric Musselman go head-to-head next season, as Jans has been hired by Mississippi State.