2010 NCAA Tournament Bracket: Top 10 Potential Upsets the First Weekend

Carl Stine@@CFBAllDayCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

Hope springs eternal, especially for the two days before Arkansas Pine Bluff and Winthrop meet for the privilege of being Duke's sacrificial lamb.

All around the country, team's tourney hopes were crushed while other team's dreams of the Big Dance came true.

Now that we know the matchups, which teams fare the best chance of making a run? Who is going to play this year's George Mason and surprise us all by knocking off a couple of teams they have no business beating?

Who is on a roll, and who is going to roll over?

If you are going to win your office pool, or take the online bracket from your buddies, you need to be aware of the fact that there are upsets every year in this tournament. And with the parity in college basketball this season, expect more than most years. Here is my list of the 10 best possible upsets for 2010 March Madness, weekend one.

Probability is on a scale of 1-10 with ten being very likely and one being less than likely.

Upset No. 10 - #7 Oklahoma State (22-10) vs. #10 Georgia Tech (22-12)  Second Round                  

The frigid town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is where we look first for our first possible upset. The Cowboys of Oklahoma State take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a battle between two mediocre regular-season teams.

Oklahoma State has lost three of their last six games, and are only 5-9 against the RPI top 100. The Cowboys face one of only three ACC teams to beat No. 1-seeded Duke, and the Yellow Jackets are looking for some vindication.

Besides beating Duke, Tech also gave ACC regular season co-champion Maryland all they could handle.

This one is a potential upset, simply because Okie Lite does not have the horses down low to hang with Tech's Freshman phenom, Derrick Favors.

Tech will punish the 'Boys on the boards and sneak away with the "W."

Probability - 5

Upset No. 9 - #6 Tennesee (25-8) vs. #3 Georgetown (23-10) Second Round

Let's head to Providence, Rhode Island for our next possible surprise. The Georgetown Hoyas will be taking on the Tennesee Volunteers, barring a first-round upset.

I know, the Hoyas are a very good team, but the Volunteers lost to Purdue by one, and have beat both No. 1-seeded Kansas and No. 1-seeded Kentucky already this season.

Nothing concrete here makes me say UT is a lock in this one, but they have a great coach in the flamboyant Bruce Pearl, and are about due for another upset.

Probability - 7

Upset No. 8 - #13 Siena (27-6) vs. #4 Purdue (27-5) First Round

Purdue looks like a pick-up truck stuck in the mud without four-wheel drive in the absence of star Robbie Hummel. I mean, Purdue was exposed by Minnesota in the semifinals of the Big Ten tourney, and Siena will be hungry for a win. By the way, Purdue scored 11 points in the first half of their last game against Minnesota.

'Nuff said about this one.

Probability -5

Upset No. 7 - #7 Richmond (26-8) vs. #2 Villanova (24-7) Second Round

Villanova coach Jay Wright and Wonderboy Scottie Reynolds go up against the Richmond Spiders of the underrated Atlantic 10 in this matchup. 'Nova started out the season on a roll, but have slowed down significantly over the last few weeks, losing 4 of their last six games.

Richmond has won four of their last six, and their solid defense could present some problems for the Wildcats.

Probability - 5

Upset No. 6 - #12 Cornell (27-4) vs. #5 Temple (29-5) First Round

The Cornell Big Red took Kansas to the wire earlier in the season, and Coach Steve Donahue and company will look to work some magic against the Temple Owls in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday.

Temple has one of the best zone defenses in the nation, and what is the key to beating a zone defense? Good three-point shooting. And Cornell shoots almost 44 percent from beyond the arc.

Cornell will also have a chip on it's collective shoulder, as they deserved a higher seed.

Probability - 7

Upset No. 5 - #12 Cornell (27-4) vs. #4 Wisconsin (23-8) Second Round

As much as it pains me to say this, in the second round, Cornell will have a chance to keep the ball rolling against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Wisconsin is coming off of a tough loss to Illinois, and has been a tough team during stretches of this season.

But the Badgers may be overlooking the Big Red in this one, and Cornell is a solid team.

Probability - 4

Upset No. 4 - #6 Marquette (22-11) vs. #3 New Mexico (29-4) Second Round

The Golden Eagles have been an enigma this season, losing some very close games to some very tough teams. But toward the end of the season, they have been very good, and won seven of their last 19.

Steve Alford's Lobos have no one over 6'9" on the roster, and that means should they advance to play Marquette, they are going to be hurtin'. Eagles forward Lazar Hayward will score at least 20 in this game, and Marquette will walk out with the upset.

Probability - 8

Upset No. 3 - #12 UTEP (26-6) vs. #5 Butler (28-4) First Round

Since 1989, a No. 12 seed has upset a No. 5 seed, every year but two. Butler may be the fated five this year.

UTEP's Derrick Caracter is the catalyst of this team, averaging 14 points and almost nine rebounds per contest, and he could create some matchup problems for the interior of the Bulldogs.

Probability - 3

Upset No. 2 - #11 Minnesota (21-13) vs. #6 Xavier (24-8) First Round

Minnesota snuck its way into the tournament by beating Michigan State and Purdue. The Golden Gophers guard tandem of Lawrence Westbrook and Blake Hoffarber score 23 points per game for the Golden Gophers, while Xavier guard Jordan Crawford averages almost 20 per game by himself.

Look for the Gophers experienced guards to drive the ball and attack against the stingy Xavier defense.

Probability - 5

Upset No. 1 - #7 BYU (29-5) vs. #2 Kansas State (26-7)

Jacob Pullen and his "Abe Lincoln" beard will have all they can handle against BYU and Jimmer Fredette.

BYU has something to prove, and Kansas State has yet to step up in a  big game this season.

Probability - 8

There you have it. Let me know what you think.

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