Ryan Knuppel  |  Sat 23rd Mar   | NCAAB

The West Region in the NCAA Tournament has been one of the wildest portions of the bracket through the first round of the tournament. There have already been three upsets through the first eight games, and there figures to be more in the second round. The top four seeds still remain, but how many will be left standing after the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament concludes.

There are some great games on tap in the second round, and this should be one of the most exciting regions to follow. Let’s take a look at each of the four second-round games below before making a betting prediction for each game.

Check out all of our March Madness previews & picks here.

Florida Gators vs. Michigan Wolverines Preview and Picks

The Florida Gators (10) will take on the Michigan Wolverines (2) in one of the early games in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Both teams were impressive in their first-round victory, and this should be a terrific second-round matchup. Florida and Michigan feature two of the best defenses in the country, and points will be hard to come by in this game.

Florida has struggled on offense for much of the season, but they were making all kinds of shots in their 70-61 over Nevada in the first round. Michigan has allowed just 58.3 points per game this season and held their first-round opponent to just 55 points in cruising to victory. Florida was making shots in the first round, but Michigan has a much better offense.

This should be a tight game throughout, but Michigan will pull away with the win. The Wolverines just have too many scoring options on offense, and their defense has just been too good this season.

Bet the Michigan Wolverines -7.0 over the Florida Gators in this game.

Murray State Racers vs. Florida State Seminoles Preview and Picks

The Murray State Racers (12) will look for a second straight win when they take on the Florida State Seminoles (4) in this game. Murray State was the talk of the tournament in the first round, putting together a complete game in dismantling Marquette. Florida State used their depth and athleticism to hold off an upset bid from Vermont in their first-round win.

Murray State point guard Ja Morant had a triple-double in the first round and is one of the best players in all of college basketball. Florida State will play up to ten players in this game, and they are one of the deepest teams in the country. The Racers will want to speed up the tempo in this game, while Florida State will try to win it with defense.

Florida State has the more complete team, but Murray State has the best player and a ton of momentum. Look for the Racers to continue their Cinderella run into the Sweet Sixteen with another impressive win. The Seminoles won’t be an easy team to beat, but Ja Morant is going to lead his team to a win.

Bet the Murray State Racers +5.0 over the Florida State Seminoles.

Baylor Bears vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs Preview and Picks

The Baylor Bears (9) will try to knock off the Gonzaga Bulldogs (1) and turn the West Region upside down in this game. Baylor used lights out shooting to upset Syracuse and their vaunted 2-3 zone in the first round. Gonzaga has been one of the best teams all season long and had no trouble in their first-round victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.

Gonzaga is dominant on both sides of the ball, averaging 88.8 points per game while allowing just 64.6 points per night. Baylor is playing without their best player, Tristan Clark, but it didn’t matter in their win over Syracuse. The Bears will have to make shots to keep this game close, while Gonzaga will try to get this into a high-scoring game.

Even though Baylor seems to have a ton of momentum coming into this matchup, they are running into a team that is just much better than they are. Gonzaga has plenty of weapons, and they look like they are a real Final Four contender. Baylor won’t be an easy team to knock off, but the Bulldogs are going to win this game with ease.

Look for Gonzaga to pull away in the second half, and find a way to cover this spread.

Bet the Gonzaga Bulldogs -13.0 over the Baylor Bears in this second round matchup.

Buffalo Bulls vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Preview and Picks

The Buffalo Bulls (6) are one of the best teams that you have never heard of, and they will take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3) in this second round matchup. Both Buffalo and Texas Tech put together impressive victories in the first round, and this has all the makings of the best game in the West region in the second round. Texas Tech is a -3.5 point favorite over Buffalo in this game.

Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver had a monster game in the first round, finishing with 29 points and eight rebounds. The Buffalo Bulls have won 13 straight games, and put on an offensive clinic in scoring 91 points in their first-round victory. Buffalo will want to speed this game up and win with offense, while Texas Tech is one of the best defensive teams in the country.

Buffalo has been on a remarkable run late in the season, but they are running into a great team in this round. Texas Tech was dominant in their first NCAA Tournament game, and their defense will be good enough to slow down the Bulls.

Bet the Texas Tech Red Raiders -3.5 over the Buffalo Bulls in this game.

Check out all of our March Madness previews & picks here.

Ryan Knuppel