March Madness has finally arrived, and people across the country have started to fill out their brackets and everyone has their own strategy. Whether you flip a coin, pick the best mascot, or follow the analysts’ picks, you’re still going need some help. Every season has their fair share of upsets, but I don’t see this tournament having too many in the cards. With that being said, all of the one seeds are doomed to lose. So which double digit seeds have the best chance of stealing a game?
Image: (Charlotte Observer)
#12 Davidson: About two weeks ago nobody had the Wildcats in the tourney, but here we are. Star Power Forward, Peyton Aldridge, pulled Davidson along through the A10 Tournament and stole away a bid from Notre Dame, but what can they do now that they’re here? Well… I was hoping a lot, but they got a tough first round match up. Number 12 Davidson got a Wildcat vs Wildcat second round game against Kentucky. Kentucky should be on watch because Davidson checks all the boxes for an upset. UK has 10 losses this season, and in 7 of those games, they shot less than 30% from three, and in 8 of the games their opponent shot the three at a higher efficiency. On the opposite end of the spectrum is Davidson. To close out the, year Aldridge lead the Wildcats to 8 wins in 9 games, and the team shot over 33% in 8/9 from outside the arc. If Davidson can shut down UK’s elite three point scoring and Peyton Aldridge gets a twenty point double-double, Davidson can be in any game this year. (Also, in the A10 Championship, Aldridge had one of his worst games of the year and they still found a way to win.)
#11 Loyola: Loyola is a weird team. They’re good, but not great; however, neither is their opponent Miami. Miami’s star guard, Bruce Brown Jr. wasn’t cleared to play, but will be dressed on the bench, and that’s a huge loss for the Hurricanes. The only way Loyola can stay in this game is defense. The Ramblers have a top 5 defense in the country and will have a lot on their plate with a gritty Hurricane team. But honestly, they’re just one of those feel good stories. Loyola Chicago hasn’t made it to the big dance in over 33 years and a win would be huge for a program on the rise. Don’t be surprised if a little “March Magic” carries them through.
Image: (New Mexico State Athletics)
#12 New Mexico State: The Aggies are the most complete team on this entire list. They also got a pretty lucky draw in Clemson. Clemson has been without their star power forward Deonte Grantham, for about a month now, and haven’t really played well since his departure. Grantham was a key rebounder and the Tigers will have to really limit second chance points against NMSU’s onslaught of rebounders. The Aggies are ranked top 10 in points allowed, and top 5 in rebounds a game. Those are key numbers for teams trying to pull off an upset: they won’t give up second chance points, and they will get their fair share of extra chances. Also, New Mexico State could have the best player in the tourney who never gets any attention. Jemerrio Jones leads the country in rebounds a game and draws a lot of attention on the offensive side of the ball. So if the Aggies can get clicking on offense they have a chance at a Cinderella story.
So now that you know who are the best Cinderella stories… don’t pick any of them, because nothing comes out right in March.
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