March Madness is ready to tip off and top college basketball teams are on high alert. Unheralded teams have made reputations for knocking off the cream of the crop in college hoops. Every season there is at least one big named university which goes down at the hands of a “lesser” school. It is bound to happen again this year and basketball fans need to be aware of which teams are potential Cinderella stories. Fans can go to Betway and select the underdogs they believe will win once the tournament begins.
The tournament proper gets started on Thursday, March 21st. Here is a look at 5 NCAA Tournament bracket-busters that are ready to ruin your selections.
Washington – No. 9 seed
The Washington Huskies go into the tournament as a No. 9 seed in the Midwest region. The Huskies will go up against No. 8 Utah State in the first round with a possible second round match-up with No. 1 North Carolina.
The Huskies clog the paint and points down low aren’t easy to get against them. Coach Mike Hopkins learned under Syracuse guru Jim Boeheim as an assistant. He has taken what he learned and applied it to the Huskies. Although Oregon knocked off Washington in the finals of the Pac-12 tournament, they did finish the regular season as champs. Watch out for the Huskies.
Villanova – No. 6 seed
Villanova won both the Big East regular season and Big East Tournament titles. The Wildcats only received a No. 6 seed for their double title win, but that could set them up for a deep run in the tournament.
The Wildcats start off with St. Mary’s in the first round in a very winnable game. A potential second round clash with Purdue is mouthwatering. Beyond the second round, Villanova’s route to the Elite Eight doesn’t look impossible.
Mississippi State – No. 5 seed
Ben Howland takes his Mississippi State Bulldogs into the tournament to play the Liberty Flames in round number one. MSU finished the season at 23-10 overall with eight of those losses coming in the competitive Southeastern Conference.
A win over Liberty would set the No. 5 seed Bulldogs up with either Virginia Tech or St. Louis. A second-round win would put MSU in a potential last-16 meeting with No. 1 seed Duke. MSU have played some top teams this season and won’t backdown from the Blue Devils if they meet.
New Mexico State – No. 12 seed
New Mexico State could pull off the upset of round one. The WAC Tournament winners go up against the Auburn Tigers on Thursday afternoon in the Midwest region. The Aggies may have received one of the best draws. Auburn won the SEC Tournament over the favoured Tennessee Volunteers, but New Mexico State is an accomplished team.
The Aggies finished the season with a 30-4 record. Their most high-profile loss came against the Kansas Jayhawks, 63-60. You shouldn’t sleep on New Mexico State as they have the makings of this season’s Cinderella.
Ohio State – No. 11 seed
The Ohio State Buckeyes have bracket-buster written all over them. They go into the tournament as an 11th seed following a pitiful 19-14 season. They were just 8-12 in the Big Ten. How they got into the NCAA Tournament is a real mystery. Now, in the NCAA Tournament, their previous record means little.
The Buckeyes play Iowa State to begin the tournament with a possible second round game against Houston or Georgia State. A win in their second game would set up a potential third round meeting with Kentucky. The Buckeyes have the potential to ruin a lot of brackets.