2014 NCAA Tournament schedule: Arizona, Wisconsin headline west region

Ethan Miller

The Wildcats are the best defensive team in the country. The Badgers are one of the nation's best offensive teams. Their quest for Dallas begins on Thursday.

The west region has been a wild one in recent years, and that was the case once again in 2013 as No. 9 seeded Wichita State knocked off Gonzaga, Ohio State and others to advance to the Final. With a ton of talent in the region this year, we could be in for even more upsets over the next few weeks. Will top-seeded Arizona be able to survive?

Here is the full schedule for the west region. All times are eastern.

No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Weber State, 2:10 p.m. Friday, TNT

The Wildcats may have lost Brandon Ashley to injury midway through the season, but Sean Miller has Arizona firing on all cylinders again. UA (30-4) has only lost one game by more than four points all year and plays defense better than just about anyone.

No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State, 4:40 p.m. Friday, TNT

The Bulldogs played a weak schedule and lack marquee wins, but they shoot the ball really well (49.8 FG%, 39.4% from 3) and have four players averaging double-digits. Can they slow down Oklahoma State's three-headed monster of Marcus Smart, Le'Bryan Nash and Markel Brown?

No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 North Dakota State, 7:27 p.m. Thursday, TruTV

In what will be one of the trendy 12-5 upset picks, expect a lot of points to be scored in this one. The Bison and Sooners both average upwards of 76 points per game, and both teams can really shoot the ball.

No. 4 San Diego State vs. No. 13 New Mexico State, 9:57 p.m. Thursday, TruTV

The Aztecs struggle to score, but they play very good defense and have one of the nation's top guards in Xavier Thames. As for New Mexico State, get used to hearing the name Sim Bhullar. Bhullar is 7'5, weighs 355 pounds and averages 10.3 points and 7.9 rebounds a game.

No. 6 Baylor vs. No. 11 Nebraska, 12:40 p.m. Friday, TruTV

The Bears had a rocky season, but they've won 10 of their last 12 games and are one of the nation's top offensive teams. Nebraska is equally hot, winning eight of its last 10 games -- a stretch that included wins against Michigan State and Wisconsin. If Baylor can play just a smidgen of defense, it will be very tough to knock them out.

No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette, 3:10 p.m. Friday, TruTV

Two words: Doug McDermott. Get ready, America.

No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 BYU, 3:10 p.m. Thursday, TruTV

Don't sleep on the Ducks. It's easy to forget they were once undefeated and near the top-10 in the polls towards the end of 2013. The month of January was brutal, but UO responded by winning its final eight games before falling to UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals. The first team to 85 points probably wins this one.

No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 American, 12:40 p.m. Thursday, TruTV

Wisconsin has a reputation of being a team that can't score. That isn't the case for Bo Ryan's boys this year; the Badgers methodically dominate teams on the offensive end of the floor with crisp passing and sharp shooting, featuring four double-digit scorers.

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