Iceman’s Top 3 NCAA Tournament Potential Upsets
March Madness is officially here and with the field of 68 announced on Selection Sunday, it's time to fill out your brackets! Now comes the tricky part of trying to figure out where the most significant upsets will occur, which generally take place in the first couple of rounds before the Sweet 16 is set. Here are some things to keep in mind when submitting your bracket.
Odds are that a top seed will win it all as one of the top three seeds have won the NCAA Tournament 19 of the last 20 years. The 8-9 games are virtually a pick em as teams with those seeds are 68-68 verses one-another all time. The 6 seeds are 8-12 against the 12 seeds in the last 5 years of the tourney. One double-digit seed has reached the Elite Eight 4 of the last 5 years. With all these interesting facts being noted, here are my top three upsets to look for.
#5 Auburn vs. #12 NMSU Midwest Region from Salt Lake City. New Mexico State is making their 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance all time and this could be the year that they actually make a deep run. The Aggies have won 19 consecutive games, and have proven that they can hang with anyone in the country as was the case when Kansas had to come from behind to beat them last December in Kansas City. NMSU set a single-season record with 30 wins and are led by All-WAC first-team guard Terrell Brown and All-WAC second-team forward Eli Chuha. Look for the Aggies to shock Auburn who just won the SEC Tournament championship for the first time since 1985.
#4 Florida State vs. #13 Vermont East Region from Hartford, CT. I understand that historically speaking 4 seeds are 108-28 all-time against 13 seeds, however, I 'm saying there's a chance for the Catamounts to pull off the huge upset. Vermont is lead by Anthony Lamb, the American East player of the year, who can score like it is going out of style and is an exceptional rebounder. The Catamounts are also a well-rounded team as they are ranked 2nd in the country at keeping opponents off the offensive glass, grabbing 78.2% of possible defensive rebounds. Vermont also is superior at defending two-point shots, limiting opponents to 46.5% inside the arc.
#4 Kansas vs. #13 Northeastern Midwest Region from Salt Lake City. This is a classic example of a trap game for Kansas, who is clearly down this year. The Jayhawks are a 4 seed, which is generous to say the least, as they are certainly accustomed to being a 1 or 2 seed , making this is unusual territory for them. The Huskies are riding a 7-game winning streak, love to shoot the deep ball and are great at doing so as all four members of their starting backcourt enter the Big Dance having already hit at least 50 3-pointers this season. The Jayhawks don't have as much depth this season and if there was ever an opportunity for a dark horse to knock them off in the first round, it is now.
The best part about the NCAA Tournament is that it is all about matchups and most of these teams have never faced each other, making it a challenge to predict some of the games that seem to be easy to figure out. One thing is for certain, throw seeding out the window because this is the most unpredictable tournament on earth, and I assure you, there will be upsets as is the case every year. Good luck with your brackets.