Bracket Racket: West Side (Cinderella?) Stories

Riddle me this: How does UConn get a No. 1 seed in the West Region? Just wondering.

UConn is a good choice to make it out of this bracket, but injuries and a little bit of a stumble down the stretch makes me think they could be vulnerable in the tournament. But Jim Calhoun's a great coach ... and a great quote. Double points for him.

Keep your eye on: In this region, I'm not focusing on a player, instead the coaches take the cake out west. There's a lot of college basketball knowledge with Calhoun, John Callipari (Memphis), Gary Williams (Maryland), Paul Hewitt (Washington) and former SIU boss Matt Painter (Purdue).

Then there are the up-and-comers such as Mike Anderson (Mizzou), Buzzz Williams (Marquette) and Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa). One wonders if someone like Anderson or Jacobson could be in line for a bigger job down the line.

Must see TV: No. 5 Purdue vs. No. 12 Northern Iowa. Purdue features the former Saluki coach who went 17-1 in Valley play with the only loss coming at ... you guessed it ... Northern Iowa. So, if you're affiliated with SIU, who do you cheer for? Your friends at Purdue or the team that could make the conference (and with the trickle-down effect, the school) some much needed money and some noteriety.

Upset Alert: Marquette. With Dominic James, the Golden Eagles could have been Final Four bound. Without him, they're primed for an upset at the hands of No. 11 Utah State.

'Chalk' it up to: UConn. They were No. 1 ... twice. And since Pitt is not in this bracket, it might be safe to say the Huskies are Final Four bound.

Sleeping giant: Memphis. Callipari's kids have unfinished business. Too bad they don't have Derrick Rose, huh?