NCAA Bracket 2012 Predictions: Top Teams on Upset Watch in Round 1

T.J. McaloonContributorMarch 13, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 11:  Festus Ezeli #3 and James Siakam #35 of the Vanderbilt Commodores celebrate their 71 to 64 win over the Kentucky Wildcats with cheerleaders after the championship game of the 2012 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at New Orleans Arena on March 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NCAA Tournament sees its fair share of upsets every year. This year will be no different as there are top seeds that, despite their high seeding, will taste defeat in the first round. 

These three favorites will be on the wrong side of the scoreboard at the end of their first-round games on Thursday or Friday. 

 

No. 5 Vanderbilt Commodores

Vanderbilt has been in this position before as a top seed going against a dangerous lower-seeded team. The last two NCAA Tournaments saw the Commodores enter as a No. 4 and No. 5 seed. 

Despite being a high seed, Vanderbilt has not made it out of its first game, losing to No. 13 Murray State in 2010 and to No. 12 Richmond last year.

This season, Vanderbilt goes up against the champions of the Ivy League, the Harvard Crimson. Harvard enters March Madness as the No. 12 seed in the East, having only allowed 54.8 points per game. 

Vanderbilt will be shut down by this relentless Harvard defense, resulting in another disappointing NCAA Tournament run. 

 

No. 4 Louisville Cardinals

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals gestures from the sidelines against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the finals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden at Madison Square Garden on Mar
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Louisville enters the NCAA Tournament having won a tough Big East Conference Tournament. The Cardinals had to play four games in four days against three NCAA Tournament teams. However, over the last two years, Louisville has not made it past its first game in the Big Dance. 

Last year, Louisville, a No. 4 seed, lost to No. 13 seed Morehead State 62-61. 

This year, the Cardinals come in hot and are a dark-horse pick to end up playing for the national championship on April 2. 

Except that they play a tough team to star their tournament, facing off against the champions of the Southern Conference, the Davidson Wildcats. On the year, Davidson averaged 78.4 points per game, 10 points more than what Louisville averaged this year. 

If Louisville cannot stop this Davidson attack, it could result in another disappointing Tournament finish. 

 

No. 3 Georgetown Hoyas

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08:  Jaquon Parker #44 and Yancy Gates #34 of the Cincinnati Bearcats in action against Henry Sims #14 and Otto Porter #22 of the Georgetown Hoyas during their quarterfinal game of the 2012 Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madi
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Georgetown finished among the best of the Big East Conference and is deserving of its No. 3 seed. However, the Hoyas go up against a very tough Belmont team to begin their quest to the Final Four. 

Belmont comes into the NCAA Tournament on a 14-game winning streak, averaging 81.5 points per game and keeping their opponents to only 67.3 points per game.

If Belmont can get hot and turn this game into a point-scoring bonanza, the Hoyas could see their tournament end after only one game.