MARCH MADNESS: WEST

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Preview: The West is potentially the easiest region to predict in the entire tournament, but could just as well prove the most surprising. Kansas State and Syracuse seem locked on a collision course and will likely meet up in the Elite Eight, but the West also features a number of strong upset possibilities. A double-digit seed will almost certainly make it to the second weekend, with the likes of No. 11 Minnesota, No. 12 UTEP or even the Ohio Valley champion No. 13 Murray State Racers as probable candidates. A Cinderella story could be in the making in Salt Lake City.

Indy Bound: Syracuse. Coming into the tournament on a two-game losing streak, the Orange are poised to bounce back just in time. Head Coach Jim Boeheim knows what it takes to get a team to the Final Four, and this could be the best Syracuse group since the 2003 title-team featuring Carmelo Anthony and Hakim Warrick. If Akinze Onuaku is healthy, Syracuse will be there at the end.

Dark Horse: Gonzaga. For years, the Zags have flown under the radar, but no one doubts their legitimacy any more. If they can take down Syracuse in the second round, this talented squad could be cutting down nets en route to the Final Four.