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West Region Overview

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Yahoo! Sports breaks down each region of the 2007 NCAA tournament.

Regions: Midwest | West | East | South

Features by Yahoo! Sports Experts More Exclusive Tourney Coverage

West Region Blog
West Region Bracket

Jarvis & Wetzel: Top seeds
Jarvis & Wetzel: Upset specials

NCAA Tournament West Region Overview
Seed Team (Record; Conference) Highlight Video
1.
Kansas
Kansas Jayhawks (30-4; Big 12)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The Jayhawks are the hot tournament team, but stop us if you've heard that one before. KU needs a deep run to make folks forget back-to-back first-round exits – to Bradley last season and Bucknell the year before. They're loaded with talented sophomores Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers and Julian Wright, but lack a clutch scorer. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Region champion and Final Four

2.
UCLA
UCLA Bruins (26-5; Pac-10)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: Arron Afflalo's value is undeniable, yet tough to quantify. He's a terrific on-ball defender who doesn't register high in the typical defensive categories (steals, blocks, defensive rebounds). He hasn't shot that well in big games. Yet Afflalo and PG Darren Collison steered the Bruins to a regular-season title in one of the Pac-10's strongest years, which speaks volumes. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Sweet 16

3.
Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Panthers (27-7; Big East)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: One year ago, Army women's coach Maggie Dixon was the most visible fan at Pitt's NCAA Tournament games, cheering on her brother Jamie's team. Her sudden death last summer will evoke some difficult memories, but the Panthers will attempt to honor her memory through tough defense and 7-foot Aaron Gray. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Second round

4.
S. Illinois
Southern Illinois Salukis (27-6; Missouri Valley)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: They held opponents to 56.5 ppg, which can be misleading because offensive pace also is involved. But no team – none – plays more aggressively at the defensive end, as the Salukis' field-leading 649 fouls attests. This team will beat you up. Jamaal Tatum and Randal Falker lead them at both ends of the court. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Second round

5.
Va. Tech
Virginia Tech Hokies (21-11; ACC)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: Their 2005-06 season was such a nightmare of close losses and tragic deaths to family members, the Hokies deserve all the good fortune that might come their way. Senior guards Zabian Dowdell and Jamon Gordon helped make this a special season, with a win over Duke and a pair of them against North Carolina. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

6.
Duke
Duke Blue Devils (22-10; ACC)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The young Blue Devils don't have their typical offensive talent but have remained competitive with a solid defensive effort. Josh McRoberts has perimeter skills and Greg Paulus has snapped out of a scoring slump (8.8 ppg in his first 22 games, 17.1 in his final eight), but his turnovers remain a concern. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Regional final

7.
Indiana
Indiana Hoosiers (20-10; Big Ten)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The Hoosiers learned to appreciate point guard Earl Calloway after his shoulder was separated a few weeks ago. Calloway produced 15 points and 11 assists in his first game back. When he is driving and dishing to Rod Wilmont or A.J. Ratliff for 3-pointers, the lane opens for D.J. White and Indiana becomes a tough out. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

8.
Kentucky
Kentucky Wildcats (21-11; SEC)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The heat is on Tubby Smith, whose ’Cats reached double-digit losses for the fifth time in 10 seasons. While the rap on Smith is that he doesn't recruit like he coaches, Randolph Morris and Co. must over-achieve if Kentucky is to avoid a record nine consecutive seasons without a Final Four appearance. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

9.
Villanova
Villanova Wildcats (22-10; Big East)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: Only Mike Nardi (12.0 ppg) returned from Villanova's vaunted four-guard offense, but the Wildcats benefited from the return of Curtis Sumpter (17.3 ppg) from a knee injury and a coaching change at Oklahoma that brought them freshman Scottie Reynolds (14.5 ppg). Reynolds, who switched schools when Kelvin Sampson went to Indiana, got extremely hot over the final seven games, averaging 28.6 ppg. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Second round

10.
Gonzaga
Gonzaga Bulldogs (23-10; West Coast)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: After big man Josh Heytvelt was suspended for legal problems, the Bulldogs turned to Derek Raivio and won their final five games. But the real find was Kansas transfer Micah Downs. After sitting out 17 games because of injury and transfer rules, Downs averaged 4.3 ppg in his first eight appearances and 12.5 during Heytvelt's eight-game absence. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Second round

11.
VCU
Virginia Commonweath Rams (27-6; Colonial Athletic)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The Rams can chase both the ultimate CAA standard set by George Mason’s Final Four appearance, and that NCAA championship ring that first-year coach Anthony Grant, a former Florida assistant, showed them before their CAA title game. That should be plenty of motivation for guards B.A. Walker, Eric Maynor, Jesse Pellot-Rosa. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

12.
Illinois
Illinois Fighting Illini (23-11; Big Ten)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The Illini lost starter Jamar Smith to DUI charges with just four games left in the regular season, but they kept their focus and won five of seven games in his absence to remain in NCAA contention. More than any other team, they did it through defense: In the five wins, they held opponents to 48.6 ppg. More

Y! Sports Prediction: Sweet 16

13.
Holy Cross
Holy Cross Crusaders (25-8; Patriot League)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The Crusaders are one of those national leaders in scoring defense that actually does play good defense. Many of those teams simply play slow offensively, but Holy Cross really gets after it on both ends of the floor. They also have the Patriot League player of the year, Keith Simmons. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

14.
Wright St.
Wright State Raiders (23-9; Horizon League)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: On Jan. 6, the Raiders fell to 9-7 after being spanked by 31 points by Butler. They’ve beaten the Bulldogs twice since while building a 14-2 head of steam. The two greatest reasons: first-year coach Brad Brownell, who made the lateral move there from UNC Wilmington, and 5-11 DaShaun Wood, the Horizon League player of the year. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

15.
Weber St.
Weber St. Wildcats (20-11; Big Sky)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: First-year coach Randy Rahe inherited only four players – one a starter – which was partly by design. Nine players left for various reasons, and many of the 10 new ones were junior college transfers. And it somehow worked for the Wildcats. Rahe was smart to bring back Big Sky player of the year David Patten (14.4 ppg). More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round

16.
Florida A&M
Florida A&M Rattlers (21-13; Mid-Eastern Athletic)
Overview: Rome Sanders, a 6-foot-8 forward who arrived from Northern Illinois, gives the Rattlers someone taller than 6-5 in the starting lineup and was the most dominant post player in the guard-heavy Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. A&M has guards, too, such as Leslie Robinson, Brian Greene and Darius Glover. More
16.
Niagara
Niagara Purple Eagles (22-11; Metro Atlantic Athletic)
Regular-season highlights
Overview: The Purple Eagles are at least strong finishers. A fight outside a bar last August led to six player suspensions of up to eight games, wiping out half the roster (they lost six of seven). But everyone stuck around – including Charron Fisher, suspended eight games – and the Eagles won their last 11. More

Y! Sports Prediction: First round