March Madness: Predicting 5 First Round Upsets and 2010 Team They Resemble
Now that the brackets have been released, it's time to start talking upsets. In this slide show I will predict five must-have upsets for your bracket. My upset predictions are based on offensive, defensive and shooting efficiency (stats taken kenpom.com). Those may sound like weird stats to build a bracket around, but based on past statistics, teams like Butler, Northern Iowa and George Mason, all of whom made long, unexpected runs in the NCAA Tourney, placed highly in those statistical categories.
No. 13 Belmont over No. 4 Wisconsin
Belmont: 30-4, Atlantic Sun Conference
Belmont has one of the best defenses in the country, holding their opponents to under 60 points 15 times over the course of the season. Add that to a solid offense and you have a formula for success. Although they do not have any key wins, they have shown that they can compete with traditional powerhouses such as Tennessee after losing to them by a measly point. Belmont is on a 12-game winning streak.
2010 Cinderella Team That Belmont Most Resembles: Old Dominion
No. 13 Utah State over No. 4 Kansas State
Utah State: 30-3, WAC
Another team that has a great defense, Utah State has been virtually unstoppable all season. The only problem with Utah State is that they played an extremely easy schedule, but no bad team goes 30-3. Utah State will beat Kansas State.
2010 Cinderella Team That Utah State Most Resembles: Murray State
No. 10 Florida State over No. 7 Texas A&M
Florida State: 21-10, ACC
Florida State might have the best defense in the country. I do not think this Florida State is built for a championship run, but they are definitely capable of winning in the first round. Florida State has been very consistent all year and does not have any bad losses. All of their losses came from elite teams and I would not put Texas A&M in the category of elite teams.
2010 Cinderella Team That Florida State Most Resembles: Missouri
No. 9 Old Dominion over No. 8 Butler
Old Dominion: 27-6, Colonial Athletic Conference
Old Dominion won their first-round game last year, and I believe they will pull off another upset. They have shown that they can compete with top talent by beating tournament teams: Richmond, VCU, George Mason, Dayton and St. Peter's. Old Dominion is another team that has a great defense. They have a great chance of beating last year's finalist Butler.
2010 Cinderella Team That Old Dominion Most Resembles: Northern Iowa
No. 11 Missouri over No. 6 Cincinatti
Missouri: 23-10, Big 12
Unlike all the other teams I have on this list, Missouri is not a good defensive team. However, they are a great offensive team as they average over 80 points per game. They have beaten Illinois, Kansas State, Vanderbilt and Old Dominion. Missouri is definitely capable of knocking off Cincinnati.
2010 Cinderella Team That Missouri Most Resembles: Washington