The world deserves a Carolina-Arizona Elite Eight matchup in the West. We’ve been through enough. Caleb Love against his former teammates with a Final Four on the line? Yes, please.

Standing in the way of what would be must-see TV are a Clemson Tigers squad that won’t stop winning and an Alabama Crimson Tide group that won’t stop scoring. In terms of entertainment factor, the West Region might take the cake this upcoming weekend as the NCAA Tournament shifts to Sweet 16/Elite Eight action.

But is our eventual champion in the West?

At ESPN BET, UConn (+210) is still the favorite. Houston (+500) and Purdue (+600) are next in line. There doesn’t seem to be much value in North Carolina — the final 1-seed — at +1100 or in Arizona at +900. According to BartTorvik, the Heels have just a 3.7% chance to win the tournament, well under the implied odds at ESPN BET‘s price. Arizona has an 8.8% chance to win the title, per BartTorvik, which also puts them in the red.

Read: Analyzing the best bets for Final Four, national championship props

But both Love’s new school and his old school make for interesting fliers if you consider their historical peers.

(For this next exercise, all offensive and defensive ratings cited will come from KenPom’s adjusted efficiency metrics — which are explained here — unless otherwise noted.)

Tommy Lloyd has had the offense down since he got to Tucson, but that alone wasn’t enough to get the Wildcats anywhere in his first 2 seasons. Arizona had future top-10 NBA Draft pick Bennedict Mathurin piloting a top-10 offense in 2021-22 and couldn’t get past the Sweet 16. Last season, the Wildcats had another top-10 offense but stunk up the building in the first round and lost to 15-seed Princeton.

Lloyd vowed that upset would shape his program moving forward. So far, so good, as the Wildcats are 27-8 and back in the Sweet 16, where they’ll face Clemson on Thursday.

While the offense has been even a touch better this year than the last 2, the defense has made significant strides. In Lloyd’s first year, Arizona was good-not-great at that end of the floor, posting a 92.6 defensive rating that ranked 21st nationally. That effort was spearheaded by shot-blocking big man Christian Koloko in the middle.

Last season, Arizona missed Mathurin’s scoring but it also missed the defensive intensity its 3 drafted players (Mathurin, Koloko, and Dalen Terry) brought to the floor. The defense had a 96.3 rating, which ranked 39th.

This year, Lloyd has found the right mix of defensive pieces without compromising his space-and-pace offense. Arizona has a 93.5 defensive rating entering the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, which ranks 10th nationally. The Wildcats are 1 of only 3 teams that rank top-10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, with UConn and Auburn (womp womp) being the others.

They have a net rating of 27.2 — better than all but 3 teams left in the tourney. The offense is scoring 120.7 points per 100 possessions while the defense allows 93.5.

Since the start of the 2009-10 season, there have been 30 teams that posted an offensive rating better than 120 and a defensive rating below 95.

Twenty-one of them made it to the Elite Eight (70%). Fourteen of them made it to the Final Four (47%). Twelve of them (40%) made it to the national championship game and 9 of them (30%) won national titles.

UConn is the only other team still standing that fits this criteria ahead of the Sweet 16.

(Full transparency: 2021-22 Kentucky is also in this group. So… yeah.)

Entering the weekend, Carolina has a 119.2 offensive rating and a 93.1 defensive rating. They’re right on the doorstep of what seems like a pretty good group of teams to be in. And in both of the Heels’ first 2 tournament games, they’ve been better than their season average. They have posted a raw offensive rating of 134.6 across 80 minutes of NCAA Tournament play.

Love and the Wildcats have been less efficient in their first 2 tournament games — by 7 points per 100 possessions. Love himself has 37 points on 32 shots. Meanwhile, the defense has been markedly better, giving up just 88 points per 100 possessions.

Which brings us to the upcoming weekend. Carolina presumably has the tougher matchup against an Alabama team that is just ripping through opposing defenses. The Tide have scored 181 points in 2 games. Mark Sears has 56 of those points, and another 11 assists for good measure — a 1-man wrecking crew that Carolina coach Hubert Davis isn’t looking forward to seeing.

Arizona gets Clemson, a team that doesn’t really fit the criteria for a Final Four squad any way you slice it. Average pace, decent offense, average defense, and no Kemba Walker-level scorer we usually see from these teams that make a random run. The Tigers are here on pure vibes.

On paper, Carolina-Alabama looks more interesting. The Tide can overwhelm teams with their tempo, but Carolina is fine playing at pace. They have a physicality about themselves on offense that makes it hard to imagine Alabama stringing a ton of stops together, too. But Alabama did just close the last 4 minutes of its Round of 32 game against Grand Canyon with a 10-0 run to win by 11.

Carolina is favored by 4.5 points in the matchup, with a total set at 173.5. That’s 21 points more than the next-highest Sweet 16 total. Twenty-one! Now that North Carolina sports betting is legal, fans can wager on this game over at ESPN BET. (Alabama overs have hit 25 times this season.)

Arizona is a 7.5-point favorite in the other West regional semifinal. Only UConn is favored by more in its Sweet 16 game.

An Elite Eight matchup between the two is the most likely scenario according to BartTorvik’s projections. And that feels right.

If we get it, maybe we’re looking at the future champ. Or at the very least, 1 half of the championship game. Wouldn’t that be? Love might take 30 shots.