NCAA Tournament

March Madness 2014 Bracket: Printable Schedule and Upset Picks

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Jordan Sibert #24 of the Dayton Flyers reacts after a play in the first half against the Saint Joseph's Hawks during the Quarterfinals of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 14, 2014 in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2014

Now that the official bracket has been released, the upset picks can start flowing.

Any good bracket smartly picks upsets each year, and the 2014 field looks to have a number of lesser seeds that will upend teams with higher rankings in the early going.

While fans surely won't see a No. 1 fall in the opening round, a few matchups feature underdogs in a strong positions to pull off an upset.

Whether a team is simply underrated, getting hot at the right time or strongly countering the opposition's strengths, a few lower seeds seem like locks to stun the collegiate landscape right away.

 

All Your Bracket Essentials

No. 10 Saint Joseph's over No. 7 Connecticut (East)

Bleacher Report

After a 65-61 win over No. 23 VCU in the final of the A-10 tournament, the Hawks have a serious amount of momentum going into the tournament.

It's been a tough road for Phil Martelli's Hawks as a bubble team, but Langston Galloway (17.4 points per game) and Co. have made themselves tough to ignore.

The attention and tournament bid are warranted.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16:  Langston Galloway #10 of the Saint Joseph's Hawks celebrates after a basket in the second half against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the Championship game of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Ce
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Galloway is quietly one of the nation's best scorers, and he can get hot on a given night and carry the team on his own. He is flanked by Ronald Roberts Jr., who averages more than 14 points and seven rebounds a game.

What has transformed Galloway into a superstar the last few months? Martelli asked him to be more selfish, according to Mike Jensen of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"I was really conscious of talking to him about how to find opportunities, look at opportunities," Martelli said. "His teammates trust him and they're willing to let him be selfish." 

That trust now has the Hawks in a position to upend Connecticut, a team that was very vulnerable all season long and dropped games to the likes of Houston and SMU. Saint Joseph's size and efficiency will hurt the Huskies in an upset.

 

No. 11 Providence over No. 6 North Carolina (East)

A strong showing in the Big East tournament that resulted in the Friars being crowned champions has Providence on the minds of everyone now that the bracket is out.

That doesn't mean Ed Cooley's team is overrated. In fact, the Friars are still strong underdogs against the big-name Tar Heels. 

But senior Bryce Cotton is the real deal with 21.4 points per game, and there is not a team in the country that can effectively bottle him up on a consistent basis. He leads an impressive group that has downed Creighton twice and Xavier oncenot to mention close games against the likes of Villanova.

Against North Carolina, Cotton will have to be at the top of his game. That said, Roy Williams' team has looked more human this year, losing to teams such as Belmont and UAB and losing two in a row coming into the tournament.  

Given the Tar Heels' downward trend, the well-rounded Friars are in a position to send North Carolina home early.

 

No. 11 Dayton over No. 6 Ohio State (South)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15:  Bryce Cotton #11 of the Providence Friars celebrates in the final seconds of their 65 to 58 win over the Creighton Bluejays during the Championship game of the 2014 Men's Big East Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Who was it that said the committee doesn't look for interesting matchups?

Right.

A small fish such as Dayton certainly wants a shot at in-state whale Ohio State, and it just so happens that the Flyers match up very, very well with the Buckeyes.

Jeff Svoboda of Scout.com put it best:

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 13: Jordan Sibert #24 of the Dayton Flyers celebrates with Jalen Robinson #12 after a play in the second half against the Fordham Rams in the Second Round of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March
Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

Dayton is wicked from deep, and it ranks in the top 60 in the nation in overall field-goal percentage. Remember, Michigan splashed home 52.2 percent of its three-pointers against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten tournament to further expose that weakness.

If junior Jordan Sibert and Co. can hit anywhere close to that percentage, the Buckeyes simply don't have the offensive firepower to match.

 

Follow Chris_Roling on Twitter

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices