March Madness: Five Teams That Could Make a Run During the NCAA Tournament
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Everyone loves a good upset and that's just what you get in the NCAA tournament mens basketball tournament. Every year there is at least one upset that makes the whole country fall in love with that Cinderella team. Last year two Cinderella teams made a run and one of them actually made the championship game only to lose to Duke.
We live for upsets and Cinderella runs and that is why we call it March Madness.
Here are five teams that could make a run in the tournament as of right now.
5. 13 Seed Princeton Tigers
Princeton buzzer beater against Harvard Crimson.
Last year we saw a Ivy league team make a deep run to the sweet 16. Cornell Big Red beat the Temple Owls in the first round and then the Wisconsin Badgers in the second round and eventually lost to number 1 seed Kentucky in the sweet 16.
These Ivy league teams are looked over a lot during tourney time and the Princeton Tigers should be considered a dangerous threat. In the first round they play the Kentucky Wildcats who are a very young team that can be slowed down by a good Princeton defense who has allowed 70 points or more only 6 times this season.
Also watch for Kareem Maddox who leads the team in points per game and rebounds per game.
If they Tigers come into this game with a solid game plan they could take advantage of the young Wildcats.
4. 13 Seed Morehead State Eagles
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The Morehead State Eagles are a dangerous 13 seed playing Louisville Cardinals in the first round. The Eagles are a pretty young team but are lead by a senior who is a monster on the boards.
Kenneth Faried averages a remarkable 14.5 rebounds per game. Louisville big man Terrence Jennings will have to use his big frame to box out Faried to stop Faried from crashing offensive and defensive boards. But that is way easier said than done.
Peyton Siva on Louisville is a great player and the Eagles will have a tough time with him. But if Faried has a big game and Siva has a so-so game then the Eagles could pull off the upset.
Also keep an eye out for Eagles guard Demonte Harper who can get hot at any time.
3. 12 Seed Utah State
Utah State forward Tai Wesley
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This is the second year in a row that the Utah State Aggies have made the tournament. The Aggies are a 12 seed that have an amazing record of 30-3.
Forward Tai Wesley leads the Aggies with 15 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. The Aggies play the Kansas State Wildcats in the first round. The Wildcats had a disappointing season so some standards but did recover and finished with a pretty good record of 22-10.
I like the Aggies because they have experience from last year in this tournament and play great defense only allowing 70 or more points only three times this season.
If Wildcats guard Jacob Pullen goes off in this game the Aggies can kiss there winning chance away but if they play solid defense against him like they have all year the Aggies can pull off the upset and go on to the second round.
The Aggies also have a great shooting percentage at 47 percent as a team and if they can continue that in this game things will go very well for them.
2. 13 Seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies
Oakland big man Keith Benson
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The Oakland Golden Grizzlies are a very dangerous team that won the Summit title for the second time in a row this year. They play the Texas Longhorns in the first round and could potentially upset them if things go right for the Golden Grizzlies.
The Golden Grizzlies have one of the best big men in the nation Keith Benson. Benson averages 18 points per game, 10 rebounds per game and almost 4 blocks per game.
Benson can definitely be a game changer that can go off any game and can play great defense. Benson will have his hands full with Tristan Thompson though. Thompson is shorter than Benson but Thompson is a very athletic big man that can drive to the basket. Benson could have a hay day offensively against Thompson though with the size advantage.
Also watch out for Jordan Hamilton who averages 19 points per game for the Longhorns and is one of the best offensive players in the country.
The Golden Grizzlies have one of the best offenses and the Longhorns have one of the best defenses in the nation. The Golden Grizzlies average 86 points per game and the Longhorns hold teams to 61 points per game.
If Benson can take advantage of the size advantage over Thompson watch for an upset.
1. 13 Seed Belmont Bruins
Here is Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon talking about Belmont (fast forward to about 1:05)
The Belmont Bruins in my opinion are going to make a deep run in this tournament. The Bruins average over 80 points per game while limiting opponents to 62 points per game.
The Bruins don't have a superstar player but have great depth with 11 players averaging over 10 minutes per game.
They play the Wisconsin Badgers who just came off a very disappointing loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions losing 36-33 (yes that is not a error). The Bruins are coming off a great Atlantic Sun tourney beating North Florida by 41 points in the championship game.
The Bruins have all of the momentum going into this game and also have a great record of 30-4. The Badgers have a great point guard in Jordan Taylor who can score 25 points any night.
The Badgers also have Jon Leuer who can a do a little bit of everything. For the Bruins to win they have to contain Taylor and Leuer.
I am very confident though that these Bruins can make a run because they are a very underrated team.