March is Madness as they say. The favorites never win all of the games. Last season, UCLA went from the first four to the final 4. Oral Roberts beat Ohio State (2 seed). A school I had never heard of beat Texas. North Texas beat Purdue. Upsets just happen! Below is some teams that can make a cinderella run and complete upset(s) in this year’s March Madness!
9. Creighton Blue Jays (Prediction: Round of 32 exit)
The Blue Jays are coming off a late Big East run, just some baskets away from being the top dogs of the Big East. Instead, Creighton sits as a 9 seed, playing San Diego State in the first round. The Blue Jays have a very good offense and defense. Despite the inconsistency, they have wins over Villanova, UConn and Marquette. They have been a team that has shown signs of playing great basketball and those teams can shine in March. San Diego State does have a very good defense so they will have to be ready. However, San Diego State can’t put the ball in the hoop as well as the Blue Jays. It will be a tough for them to make it past the Round of 32 since they would have to play Kansas (most likely) in the 2nd round. But this is not a team I would like to play in March!
10. San Francisco Dons (Prediction: Round of 32 exit)
The Dons may have not been in the toughest conference, or played the toughest opponents to some, but they are a great basketball team! They have had close games against Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s and Loyola Chicago and wins over BYU, Santa Clara, Arizona State and UAB (below). They have a very good offense and an okay defense, exactly like Murray State. That game will be a battle, in favor of the Dons. But, like Creighton, I can’t see them making further in the tournament since they will most likely have to play Kentucky in the 2nd round. But I love to see smaller basketball schools like San Francisco make the tournament and I see them getting the 1st round upset!
10. Loyola Chicago Ramblers (Prediction: Round of 32 exit)
Loyola Chicago is here again in the big dance, this time as a 10th seed. After missing the NCAA tournament for 33 years, Loyola Chicago made it all the way to a Final 4 as an 11th seed. They also made it to the Sweet 16 last season as an 8th seed, upsetting #1 seed Illinois. Why can’t they do it again. Well, they are going against a team who has proven to lose in an upset last season, Ohio State. If history repeats itself, the Ramblers will make it past Ohio State. But from a basketball perspective, Loyola Chicago also has a chance. Ohio State has been very inconsistent this season. They have pretty similar offenses and the Ramblers have a better defense. I have them winning that game and playing Villanova in the round of 32. While I have the Wildcats winning that, I would not be surprised to see Loyola Chicago win because of their defense against Collin Gillespie. I can see another fairytale ride in the making for Loyola Chicago!
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (Prediction: Elite 8 appearance)
Some people may say “This is the stupidest prediction of all time”. Some people might say “I see where you’re coming from”. Most people say the first option. However, I think the Virginia Tech Hokies will go all the way to the Elite 8, losing to Baylor. The Hokies are coming off an ACC championship, getting past Clemson, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Duke in the process. They also finished the season hot, winning their last 4 games and ending the year with a 13-2 record. The Hokies are a good defensive team. I don’t think Texas is that great this season. I think VaTech’s defense would keep them in the game against Purdue and I think their defense can shut down Kentucky. I got to talk to Fran Fraschilla, former college basketball coach for St. Johns and current ESPN college basketball analyst and he said that my pick for Virginia Tech going all the way to the Elite 8 makes sense because of their defensive play. You should be believe the unbelievable with Virginia Tech!
11. Rutgers/Notre Dame
Can’t give enough information since I don’t who will be playing in that game! But I have Rutgers winning and beating Alabama in the 1st round.
12. Indiana Hoosiers (Prediction: Round of 32 elimination)
The Hoosiers have great potential int the 1st round. The Hoosiers are coming off a great Big 10 tournament run, coming just 1 game off from making it to the finals. They are getting hot and the right time. They are also going against Saint Mary’s, a school with not a lot of March Madness experience and an inconsistent team. Indiana has great potential to make it out of the Round of 64.
13. South Dakota State (Prediction: Sweet 16 appearance)
To me, I see South Dakota state easily winning over Providence. It’s less about South Dakota State and more about Providence. The Friars were a top team all season long but had a disappointing blowout loss to Creighton in the Big East tournament. South Dakota State also has too much offensive power. SDSU averaged 86.7 points per game this season. That against Providence okay defense will be good enough for them to move on to the Round of 32. I also have them beating Iowa, moving onto the Sweet 16 before losing to Kansas. I think SDSU fans would take that from this year’s March Madness!
Enjoy this year’s March Madness! Expect the Unexpected!
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