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NCAA Tournament 2015: West Region Preview Part 1

A quick primer of the top half of the West Region.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We still have two days until the Ducks play their opening game in the NCAA tournament. Since we have plenty of time to kill until then, why not take a look at some of the possible opponents Oregon could face in the West Region?

First Round

#9 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Record: 18-13 (8-10 Big 12)

Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma

Miles from Eugene: 1,889 miles

Best Player: Le'Bryan Nash

Nash, a consensus top-10 recruit from the 2011 class, is an athletic scorer for the Cowboys. Nash has scored double digit points in every game he has played this season, and has posted nine games of 20 or more points.

Best Alum: Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks once tried out for the New York Mets and went 0-for-17 in spring training. You are welcome to use this fact at your next Garth Brooks Trivia Night.

Best Coach Rant One-liners: Mike Gundy's rant

This rant gave us not one, but two of the most quoted lines from coach rants. Both "That's not true!" and "I'm a man! I'm 40!" have been said by everyone who has seen this video at least a dozen times each.

Potential 2nd Round Matchups

#1 Wisconsin Badgers

Record: 31-3 (16-2 Big Ten)

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Miles from Eugene: 2,105 miles

Best Player: Frank Kaminsky

Kaminsky, who just won Big Ten player of the year, is the most versatile big man in college basketball this season. Kaminsky will post you up, spot up for three in the corner, pick and pop for a mid range jumper - the list could go on and on. Last year when these two teams met in the second round, Kaminsky had 19 points and 5 rebounds. Let's just say Kaminsky could be an issue if the Ducks and Badgers meet in the second round.

Best Alum: Ron Dayne

This is false, but this may be the best picture I've ever seen, and a 5'10", 260 lbs running back is the most Wisconsin thing of all-time.

Coach Who Looks the Most Like the School's Mascot: Bo Ryan

Bo Ryan


The resemblance between Bo Ryan and Bucky is uncanny.

#16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

Record: 24-9 (12-6 Big South)

Location: Conway, South Carolina

Miles from Eugene: 2,393 miles

Best Player: Warren Gillis

Gillis does a little bit of everything for the Chanticleers. Despite only being 6'3", Gillis has been known to play four positions, and is capable to doing whatever is asked of him out on the court. The senior leads Coastal Carolina in points and assists.

Best Alum: Tyler Thigpen


Best Nickname in the Tournament: Chanticleers

This description of a chanticleer comes straight from Coastal Carolina's website.

The Chanticleer is a proud and fierce rooster who dominates the barnyard. For the best description of Chanticleer, we turn to Chaucer's words. "For crowing there was not his equal in all the land. His voice was merrier than the merry organ that plays in church, and his crowing from his resting place was more trustworthy than a clock. His comb was redder than fine coral and turreted like a castle wall, his bill was black and shone like a jet, and his legs and toes were like azure. His nails were whiter than the lily and his feathers were like burnished gold." With all of his splendor and great looks, Chanticleer is also greatly feared and mightily respected by all.

Can't beat that.

Potential Sweet 16 Matchups

#4 North Carolina Tar Heels

Record: 24-11 (11-7 ACC)

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Miles from Eugene: 2,855 miles

Best Player: Marcus Paige

Paige's junior year has not quite lived up to the standard he set during his sophomore year, but he is still one of the most dangerous point guards in the country. Last year he was a second team All-American, first team All-ACC, and the ACC's Most Improved Player. Paige has a quick trigger from deep; more than half of his shot attempts come from three-point range.

Best Alum: Michael Jordan

I was going to get cute here and come up with a Ron Dayne-like answer but let's be honest, there's only one possible answer.


Worst NBA Lottery Picks in Single Year: 2005

After winning the 2005 National Championship, North Carolina had four players drafted in the lottery of the 2005 NBA Draft. Those four players were Marvin Williams (2nd), Raymond Felton (5th), Sean May (13th), and Rashad McCants (14th). Marvin Williams and Rashad McCants have had lengthy, disappointing careers, Raymond Felton was arrested on gun charges, Sean May played a total of 119 NBA games.

This has very little relevance to this Tar Heel team, but it's just so mind-boggling that it always needs to be brought up.

#5 Arkansas Razorbacks

Record: 26-8 (13-5 SEC)

Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas

Miles from Eugene: 2,031 miles

Best Player: Bobby Portis

Portis, the SEC Player of the Year, is a beast for the Razorbacks. He demands a double team in the post, and is able to knock down midrange jumpers at a consistent clip. He can bring rim protectors out from down low and he can abuse smaller defenders in the post. Portis is a nightmare matchup for just about every team in the tournament.

Best Alum: Bill Clinton

Even though he didn't technically go to Arkansas, Bill Clinton is basically synonymous for Arkansas, so we're making an exception here.


#12 Wofford Terriers

Record: 28-6 (16-2 Southern)

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

Miles from Eugene: 2,714 miles

Best Player: Karl Cochran

Cochran leads the Terriers in points, assists, steals, and blocks. He is the usual "do it all" superstar that turns up at mid major programs.

Worst Alum: David Bresenham

The guy who directs and produces Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Whale Wars. There's probably a joke here, but I think his IMDb page speaks for itself.

#13 Harvard Crimson

Record: 22-7 (11-3 Ivy)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Miles from Eugene: 3,099 miles

Best Player: Wesley Saunders

Saunders, along with his fellow guard Siyani Chambers, make the Harvard offense tick. He averaged nearly 17 points a game for the Crimson this season, and has the experience in the tournament to take this team out of the first round.

Best Alum: Conan O'Brien

With Harvard, I turned "best" into "most surprising," and I had no idea Conan went to Harvard. Turns out he graduated magna cum laude in 1985 with a literature degree. Now watch this clip knowing that this man graduated from Harvard.

Best Embodiment of a college: Andrew Flesher

Part 2 is TBD, based on whether or not the Ducks make it out of the opening weekend.