As much of a sure-thing as sunshine (and bad traffic) in L.A., my mother calling the night before to remind me to change my clock for daylight savings time, or NCAA sanctions for a John Calipari team…
They’re inevitable: upsets in the NCAA tournament.
While filling out your bracket, consider these popular ‘upset’ picks. Because we all know some shockers will unfold come tournament time, it’s just a matter of predicting the right ones.
(12) VCU over (5) Wichita State
Both teams look poised to be sexy Sweet 16 picks, but only one has the chance to go. Wichita State is considered this year’s best mid-major, while VCU went all the way to the Final Four last year. However, VCU only has one returning starter from last year’s squad and Wichita State has six seniors, led by a 7-foot center that helped win them the NIT championship last season. No doubt this would be a shocking upset if they were to win, but most analysts feel VCU has the tough defense that can slow down one of the top offenses in the nation in the Shockers.
(13) New Mexico State over (4) Indiana
This would be a big upset pick, but many think it’s possible. NMSU won ten of eleven down the stretch and play up-tempo, while Indiana hasn’t performed well on the road. Also consider that IU hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament in years, and is now without one of their best players, Verdell Jones, due to an injury.
(12) Long Beach State over (5) New Mexico
Steve Alford led New Mexico is athletic as any team in the country, but many think Long Beach State can hold their own, considering their impressive non-conference schedule this year. ‘The Beach’ could make this game a toss-up.
(13) Montana over (4) Wisconsin
Wisconsin has the prototypical, low scoring Big Ten offense that tends to stall. Montana has won 14 in a row and will be ready if the Badgers can’t get the ball moving. While they can match Wisconsin defensively, Montana also has five guys that average over nine points a game.
(14) Belmont over (3) Georgetown
Belmont lost to Duke by one point at the beginning of the season, and lost three of their seven games by only one-point. Georgetown has lost their last two tournament games in as many years by double-digit seeded teams.