This article is part of our NCAA Tournament Preview series.
WEST REGION PREVIEW
Arizona seems to have drawn the most favorable region among No. 1 seeds. The Wildcats not only enjoy close proximity to San Diego and Anaheim, where they would play their first four rounds of the tournament, but the bracket offers Arizona a clear path to the Final Four. Gonzaga or Oklahoma State could represent a challenge, but if it reaches the Elite Eight, Arizona's company on the top-seed lines - Wisconsin and Creighton - do not represent the daunting defensive juggernauts of other regions.
No. 1 Arizona - The regular-season Pac-12 champions, Arizona is 30-4 but is without one of its top players, Brandon Ashley, who tore a ligament in his right foot midseason. Freshmen Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson replaced Ashley, but the key for Arizona to make the Final Four is maintaing its stalwart defensive intensity as opponents come out gunning for an upset.
No. 2 Wisconsin - The Badgers enter the tournament with a different look and feel than they had in the Bo Ryan days. Rather than defensive standouts and a plodding pace, the team can now match the offensive firepower of other teams around the country. Sam Dekker and Frank Kaminsky are skilled big men, and the team shoots 37.1 percent from three-point range. Kaminsky must have success on the interior for Wisconsin to make a deep run through the field.
No. 3 Creighton - Led by player of the year candidate Doug McDermott, the Bluejays rank among the most