Throughout the history of the NCAA tournament, there have been many low seeds, or Cinderella teams, that have made history by advancing to rounds that they were not expected to go to.
For example, in the past decade there have been Cinderella teams like George Mason in 2006, Davidson in 2008, and even Arizona in 2009.
This year, though, there is no clear-cut winner, and there is a lot better chance for a lower-seeded team to shine.
Without further ado, here are the five teams that I think will make a big impact as Cinderella teams.
The Panthers, coached by Ben Jacobson, are one of the best teams outside of the Big Six. They are the current Missouri Valley Conference champions and finished the season going 28-4.
They have only lost one game non-conference to DePaul and have had some quality wins over tournament teams and teams from Big Six conferences. Some of those quality wins include wins over Boston College, Iowa, Siena, and Old Dominion.
This is a very dangerous team to face, especially with seven-foot center Jordan Eglseder in the paint.
A No. 11 seed, the Aztecs are just one of a handful of teams that can cause trouble in a tough Midwest bracket.
The Aztecs are one of the most athletic teams in the tournament and will cause trouble to some of the less athletic teams. They are a scoring machine and average about 70 points per game.
Just recently, the Aztecs won the tough Mountain West Conference by beating No. 9 seed UNLV and No. 3 seed New Mexico along the way.
Led by four players averaging double figures in points, this will be a tough team to get past.
The Miners, the No. 12 seed in the West, are one of the toughest teams to beat in the West. They face a tough Butler team, and I will not be surprised if they beat Butler and make a run to at least the Sweet 16.
They were the regular season Conference USA champions but lost a heartbreaker to a good Houston team.
Led by guard Randy Culpepper, the Miners are averaging about 75 points per game and have four players who score in double figures for them. Even though they can beat you offensively, this team can beat you defensively as well with one of the best defenses in the nation.
This team out of all the Cinderella teams seems like it can go the furthest in the tournament.
The Big Red, 27-4 and the Ivy League champions, are one of the teams showing people that even the smartest kids can play ball. They have been one of the most consistent teams in terms of winning all season.
They have a great starting lineup, led by three-point-shooting monster Ryan Wittman and center Jeff Foote.
They are predicted by most to beat their first round opponent Temple. There is no doubt that this team can beat Temple if they just play some better defense and score to their potential.
They have taken some of the best teams, like Kansas, down to the wire earlier in the year. If they play some good Big Red ball, they can be a tough team to face.
The most underrated team in the South, the Gaels are going to be tough for any team to get past. If they beat Richmond in the first round, then it is likely they will be a tough matchup for Villanova or, by upset, Robert Morris.
This team has a great balance between a good offense and a good defense, especially with center and amazing post-up scorer Omar Samhan, who is currently averaging about 21 points and 11 rebounds per game.
This team also has good scorers and three-point shooters in guards Matthew Dellavedova and Mickey McConnell.
Throughout the season this team has had a lot of quality wins in games against tournament teams like Utah State, San Diego State, and Gonzaga.
Overall, this team has one of the most balanced teams in the South region and has a team that could make a deep run in this tournament.
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