Giant Killing in the West

This region is filled with upset potential, including two games that qualify as "best bets"

Originally Published: March 16, 2010
By Jordan Brenner and Peter Keating | ESPN Insider

On Monday, we touched on the East and South regionals with detailed breakdowns of all first-round games with Giant Killer implications. On Tuesday it's the Midwest and, finally, the West. We'll also remind you (again) to follow the Giant Killers blog for all things GK-related. In case you've forgotten, a Giant Killer is a team that beats an opponent seeded at least five spots better and doesn't come from a BCS conference. Other teams -- Gonzaga, Butler, BYU, Xavier, Northern Iowa and Temple -- are excluded, too. Check out our methodology for a full explanation. Our model generates statistical ratings that compare potential Giant Killers to past Davids as well as all Giants to the Goliaths who were slain. Those ratings enable us to predict the chances of an upset in each matchup -- and this year looks like a doozy. And the West might be the craziest of the four quadrants. A host of high seeds are in serious peril, the highest-rated Giant Killer ever resides here and maybe, just maybe, history could be made.

Jordan Brenner | email

ESPN The Magazine contributing writer
Brenner writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. He covers the NBA and college basketball.
Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.