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NCAA Bracket Predictions 2012: Picking The West Region

The 2012 NCAA Tournament will get underway this week. While the First Four will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Round of 64 will kick off on Thursday and this is where the predictions truly begin.With four different brackets and so many variables in place, attempting to accurately predict the outcomes of each bracket is kind of like trying to fit the Hoover Dam through the eye of a needle. In other words, I'll give it a shot, but I might end up looking like a fool.

Anyway, here we go with my predictions for the West Region bracket of the 2012 NCAA Tournament!

No. 1 Michigan St. Spartans vs. No. 16 Long Island U. Blackbirds: The Spartans were a bit of an unlikely No. 1 seed, but they should look plenty dominant against LIU-Brooklyn.

No. 8 Memphis Tigers vs. No. 9 Saint Louis Billikens: I would never, never pick against a team named the "Billikens," which is easily the most awesome team nickname in all of college sports. Billikens now, Billikens forever (until next round).

No. 5 New Mexico Lobos vs. No. 12 Long Beach St. 49ers: If the 49ers have an upset in them, it's against New Mexico. Still, I think the Lobos are playing too well at the moment to drop this game.

No. 4 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 13 Davidson Wildcats: The Cardinals didn't look too great while picking up a conference title, but they'll be able to polish off Davidson without too much trouble.

No. 6 Murray St. Racers vs. No. 11 Colorado St. Rams: This is perhaps a closer match than it might seem, but the Racers will advance here.

No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. No. 14 BYU Cougars or Iona Gaels: I don't think that BYU has a chance of beating Marquette, but I think Iona does. However, I don't know whether Iona can beat BYU in the first place. There's the rub. I'll split the difference and pick Marquette here.

No. 7 Florida Gators vs. No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers: This one is the toughest game for me to pick in the West Region. It really could go either way. I'll pick the Gators, just to be on the safe side. I feel like this could end up being a potential blowout for Florida.

No. 2 Missouri Tigers vs. No. 15 Norfolk St. Spartans: Mizzou is going to make mincemeat of Norfolk State. I feel like the Tigers might actually be the strongest team in this portion of the bracket.

Whew! I think I did okay. What's your take on the region? Let us know in the comments.

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