The dark horse teams in this year's tournament you haven't heard of

The darkish horse groups on this yr’s event you have not heard of

This text exhibits who the true Cinderella is earlier than she will get to the ball. The convention tournaments are over and now it is right down to the true dance.

Virtually yearly we now have a mid-major coronary heart assault in America. It is the most effective a part of selecting a bracket.

Will you be the one who picked the correct twist? It is my job that will help you get there and under is a have a look at the groups which have the most effective likelihood of doing so.

The Event is extra open than ever. We have got some nice midrange picks to get by means of these upsets. So when chaos ensues and everybody else’s props burn to the bottom, your prop will nonetheless be intact.

Listed here are the mid-major darkish horses not named Gonzaga or Houston.

Remaining 4 ceiling

No. 5 San Diego State

The Aztecs obtained the No. 5 seed after successful the Mountain West regular-season and event championships. The Aztecs open the event towards 12-seed Charleston.

Whereas the Cougars are a sizzling capturing staff, the Aztecs’ protection is stellar. They’re 11-6 in Quad One and Two video games. The Aztecs rank tenth in defensive effectivity and seventh nationally in 3-point protection. They’ll change one in 5 and are top-10 within the nation in bench minutes.

They’ll go 9 deep and have scorers off the bench. Their main scorer, Matt Bradley, can carry a staff and make massive pictures late. This staff brings again 4 starters from a staff that blew a double-digit lead over Creighton within the NCAA Event final yr.

Search for them to get previous Charleston very simply and take the winner of the Furman-Virginia sport. Subsequent, within the Candy 16, they may face No. 1 seed Alabama. The Aztecs can match the physicality that Bama shows.

As I discussed earlier than, the Aztecs are elite at defending the perimeter. So I really like their expertise, their depth and their protection. Anticipate the Aztecs to symbolize the Mountain West extraordinarily effectively.

No. 8 Memphis

I really like this Memphis staff. The Tigers have among the finest level guards within the nation in Kendrick Davis, who’s averaging 21.7 factors and 5.4 assists on the season. Memphis performs 5 seniors and they’re extraordinarily athletic. They rank within the high 35 in each offensive and defensive effectivity.

We noticed their ceiling once they dominated Houston within the American Athletic Convention championship sport. Within the first spherical, they may play a tricky Florida Atlantic staff, which can even be featured on this article. The winner of that sport would get the extra susceptible high seed in Purdue.

Memphis at 90-1 to win all of it is great worth. You may have an excellent hedging alternative within the Candy 16 or Elite Eight.

Candy 16 Potential

No. 9 FAU

First off, how is that this 9 seed staff? NINE SEED???!

This staff received 31 video games and dominated their convention.

I already talked in regards to the first spherical opponent in Memphis. The committee actually bought this FAU staff shortly after it received a program-record 31 video games.

The Owls play quick and rise up on the sector. They rank within the top-20 in discipline aim share and are within the top-32 in offensive effectivity. Additionally they rank within the top-15 in defensive effectivity.

They play a four-guard lineup with 7-foot-7 middle Vladislav Goldin within the center. Jonelle Davis is usually a actually dynamic guard.

FAU has actually efficient spacing and is balanced on each side of the ground. If the Owls get previous Memphis, they will have an honest shot at beating Purdue.

FAU is simply too proficient to not be on this checklist.

No. 12 VCU

The Rams have been a distinct staff since Ace Baldwin recovered from his wrist harm.

VCU is elite on the defensive finish, rating twenty sixth nationally in scoring protection, seventeenth in defensive effectivity and seventh in defensive turnover charge.

Michigan switch Brandon Jones can match up with anybody on the low block.

The Rams have an excellent first spherical matchup towards Saint Marys, who battle with ball stress. VCU is the most effective 12-over-5 upset candidate on the board for me. Then they might doubtless play a UConn staff that struggles with ball stress.

VCU has improved on the offensive finish over the past month. VCU has shot 40 % or higher in three of its final 4 video games. If he continues to shoot the ball effectively, this staff has an insane ceiling. Search for the Rams to make some noise within the event.

No. 12 Oral Roberts

I could not write this text with out mentioning the schedule that gave us one of many largest Cinderella runs in 2021. Paul Mills and the Golden Eagles are again to show that making the event was no fluke.

Oral Roberts has the nations longest lively hitting streak with 17. Max Abmas returns to the NCAA Event. Abmas averaged 26 factors through the Golden Eagles Candy Sixteen run. Abmas is among the nations main scorers as soon as once more, averaging 22.4 factors, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists.

The Golden Eagles have one of many nations high offenses, rating seventh nationally in efficient discipline aim share. They care for the ball higher than anybody within the nation. Oral Roberts options 7’5″ middle Connor Vanover, who’s averaging 12.7 factors and seven rebounds per sport.

The Golden Eagles have a tricky matchup with Duke, who hasn’t misplaced a sport in practically a month. Of the 9 groups Duke has overwhelmed since its final loss, solely 4 are event groups. Duke has but to face an explosive offense like Oral Roberts, apart from Miami. The Golden Eagles simply have that magic contact.

No. 13 Kent State

The Golden Flashers dance after beating common season champion Toledo within the MAC championship sport. Kent State has a first-round matchup towards a susceptible Indiana staff.

Kent State got here by means of when it confronted a number of the nations greatest. Holding a lead towards Gonzaga within the second half in Spokane, Wash. Misplaced to Houston by two possessions. They misplaced to Charleston by two.

They are going to make the sport with the Hoosiers fairly shut. Sincere Carry is a guard that may penetrate anybody. Outdoors they’ve shooters and play strong protection. They’ll upset groups which have inferior guard play, and Indiana is in that class. It is a group to not be messed with. I am going to have Kent State beat Indiana in my bracket.

No. 12 Drake

Drake is among the most skilled groups within the event and is the oldest. He has the recipe for a mid-sized underdog. The Bulldogs have a lineup made up of fellows who ought to have graduated two years in the past.

The main scorer is Tucker DeVries, the coach’s son. The Valley hasn’t been the most effective convention this season, however Drake took care of enterprise. Within the first spherical, they may play a Miami staff that has an harm to its star participant, Northad Homer. If Omier cannot swimsuit up for the Hurricanes, Drake is alive on this sport.

First Spherical Titties

No. 10 Utah State

The Aggies are favorites of their first-round matchup with Missouri. Utah State is ranked within the top-20 of the NET. Utah State is 200-1 to win all of it on the DraftKings sportsbook. Whereas I do not like their matchup with Arizona, the Wildcats are winners. The Aggies rank eleventh within the nation in discipline aim share and are additionally high 10 in 3-point share.

Coach Ryan Odom has beforehand pulled off miraculous turnarounds within the Event. Bear in mind UMBC beating Virginia?

Stephen Ashworth is averaging 16 factors per sport. They’ve 5 kids averaging in double figures. Taylor Funk is a seasoned veteran after his time at St. Josephs. He is a superb stretch 4 and can make an excellent guard on the perimeter. Utah State is a staff that may burn on the offensive finish and could be very troublesome to maintain up with at occasions.

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