The Gonzaga Bulldogs are one of the few non-power conference teams in recent memory to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
But the Zags have their doubters; how do they match up against Ohio State? Or New Mexico? Or Wisconsin?
The West Region computer predictions point to Gonzaga winning but failing to cover the spread in its opening game. The computer is picking Belmont and Ole Miss to emerge with upset victories.
West Regional play begins Thursday with four games in Salt Lake City. First, eighth-seeded Pittsburgh takes on ninth-seeded Wichita State; then top-seeded Gonzaga out of the West Coast Conference goes against the champions of the SWAC, 16th-seeded Southern; then sixth-seeded Arizona meets the champions of the Ohio Valley Conference, 11th-seeded Belmont; and to cap off the day third-seeded New Mexico plays the Ivy League champs, 14th-seeded Harvard.
In the early betting, the Panthers were favored by five points over the Shockers; the Zags were favored by 22 points over the Jags; the Wildcats were favored by five points over the Bruins; and the Lobos were favored by 11 points over the Crimson.
Friday's West Regional action tips off in Kansas City, where fifth-seeded Wisconsin takes on 12th-seeded Ole Miss, and fourth-seeded Kansas State plays the winner of Wednesday night's Boise State/LaSalle play-in game.
Then in Dayton second-seeded Ohio State, winners of the Big Ten tournament, goes against 15th-seeded Iona, champion of the MAAC tournament; and seventh-seeded Notre Dame takes on 10th-seeded Iowa State.
In early betting the Badgers were favored by six points over the Rebs; the Buckeyes were chalked by 14 points over the Gaels; and the Irish were favored by one point over the Cyclones.
On the NCAA tournament futures betting market, Bovada is listing Gonzaga as a 12/5 favorite to win the West Region. Ohio State is the second choice on the West Region board at 11/4, followed by New Mexico at 9/2, Pitt and Wisconsin at 9/1, Arizona at 14/1, Kansas State at 16/1, Notre Dame at 30/1, Iowa State at 35/1, Ole Miss at 40/1, Belmont at 50/1, Wichita State at 66/1, Boise State at 75/1, LaSalle at 100/1, Harvard and Iona at 150/1 and Southern at 200/1.