Snap Judgments’ West Region Preview (2018 NCAA Tournament)

Robert Cole/ALOST


akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief


The most wonderful time of the year is here!

Once more, we are talking about “March Madness” and the NCAA Tournament, and the 2018 NCAA Tournament may prove to be the most exciting yet; There is no one (or two) dominant team in the country while a number of talented smaller-budget programs are primed to pull off some upsets – as they always do this time of year. In A Lot of Sports Talk‘s build-up to the Big Dance, we have had the honor of being able to have a number of photographers courtside for many of the game’s biggest contests, and in so doing, have managed to take photos of players and coaches from teams that, combined, make up more than half of the 2018 NCAA Tournament field.

We are continuing to put all of those photos to good use, as the next four “Snap Judgments” galleries will be extensive displays of photos, taken from our lenses, of the major players who make up each of the four regions of the NCAA Tournament. Along with the photos, the accompanying captions will provide details on each of the teams highlighted as we preview many of the teams and edify you with what you need to know to better familiarize yourself with those schools. At the end of each gallery, we make our prediction as to which team we believe will make the Final Four in San Antonio.

Our latest preview is of the West Region, where the top seed, the Xavier Musketeers, look to build on their historic season after winning the regular season Big East Tournament title and are hoping to make it to their first-ever Final Four. Final Four appearances are what North Carolina, the No. 2 seed, specializes in, and after winning the national championship last season, look to become the first team to repeat as national champions since the Florida Gators teams of a decade ago (2006 & 2007). The team UNC beat in the national championship game, Gonzaga, also is looking to make a return trip to the Final Four, while two talented Big Ten teams, Michigan and Ohio State, look to throw a wrench into things for the top seeds out West.

We would not have been able to entertain this story idea without the yeoman effort of our senior photographer, Robert Cole, who snapped almost all of the 31 pictures in this gallery. Special thanks also go out to Yasmin Vahdatpour, whose work is also featured in this gallery.

Note: Not all teams are represented with a photo, so our apologies if your team is not a part of the gallery. That does not mean we don’t have love for you. More often than not, that means we weren’t able to make it out to the school’s location to have a photographer present to shoot them. Pictures that were not taken my A Lot of Sports Talk but featured in the galleries are noted in parenthesis at the end of each caption.

Keep refreshing this page over the next couple of hours, as we will roll out previews of each of the other regions over the next few hours.After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures.

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