NCAA Tournament 2012 Bracket: Dangerous Potential Cinderella Teams

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIMarch 11, 2012

BRIDGEPORT, CT - MARCH 07:  Mike Glover #1 of the Iona Gaels looks on dejected late in the second half against the St. Peter's Peacocks during the final of the MAAC men's conference basketball tournment at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard on March 7, 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

If you're scanning your bracket trying to find a potential Cinderella team in the 2012 March Madness tournament, look no further than the Iona Gaels and the New Mexico State Aggies.

Both of these teams are talented enough to make a serious run through their bracket, and we all know that in March, all it takes is one win to get going.

One upset can completely change the balance of the college basketball world, and quite frankly, there are no teams in this tournament that are unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination.

All four of the No. 1 seeds—Kentucky, Michigan State, Syracuse and North Carolina—have flaws, albeit small ones, so as far as I'm concerned every team in this tournament is susceptible to a loss.

Here's a breakdown of these two potential Cinderella's and what makes them so dangerous:


Iona Gaels

BRIDGEPORT, CT - MARCH 07:  Kyle Smyth #33 of the Iona Gaels drives against Nick Leon #22 of the St. Peter's Peacocks during the final of the MAAC men's conference basketball tournment at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard on March 7, 2011 in Bridgeport, C
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Unfortunately for the Gaels, they have an even longer road than most, being that they have to play BYU in the play-in game for the right to play Marquette.

That being said, if there's a team that can take this bracket my storm, it's Iona.

They have the nation's No.1 offense, scoring 83.3 point and notching 19,3 assists per game, and they are extremely good shooters—ranked second in the nation, shooting .429 from the field.

They have a beast of a big man in forward Mike Glover—18.5 points, nine rebounds and one assist per game—and a stellar guard in Scott Machado, who is averaging 9.9 assists per game to go with 13.6 points.

If I just gave you those numbers I highly doubt you would think this was a MAAC team.

I expect that they will blow through BYU in the play-in, and then it's anybody's game from there. Keep an eye out for the Gaels.

They've got Cinderella written all over them.


New Mexico State Aggies

SPOKANE, WA - MARCH 19:  Wendell McKines #31 and Gordo Castillo #34 of the New Mexico St. Aggies block out Garrick Sherman #41 of the Michigan St. Spartans during the first round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Spokane Arena on March 19, 2
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Aggies find themselves as a No. 13 seed and matched up with the No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers.

I think they've got an upset brewing in them.

This is a team that's exceptional on the boards—ranked sixth in the nation with 40.3 a game—and they back up their hustle with 78.5 points per game. The Hoosiers are ranked 145th in the nation for rebounding, so I expect there will be a huge discrepancy on the boards.

Anybody who knows anything about basketball will tell you that the advantage goes to the team that rebounds better. They're a big team, with three players over 6'10'', and they should be able to hamper Indiana freshman Cody Zeller.

Athletic forward Wendell McKines leads the way for the Aggies with 18.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, and I have no doubt he's going to be a force in the tournament.

If they can get by Indiana, look out because this team has all the makings of a Cinderella.


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