Well, we have finally made it. It is March, the weather has gotten slightly warmer, and the smells of fresh-cut grass and newly-seeded basketball teams linger in the air as we head into postseason college basketball. Cities like Louisville, Columbus, Greensboro and Nashville are all abuzz with what is to come in the next week, and New Orleans is eagerly awaiting a high-caliber national championship game. But will there be any surprises? Who will make it to the top, and who will claim a few unexpected victories—could they be the same teams?
MidwestSportsFans.com has not only given us a few of their picks, but they have also given us some strategies on how to gather some of the best upsets this year. They give reference to ESPN’s “Giant Killer” blog, which looks closely at the statistics of certain teams to get a good view of who will be a smarter surprise pick while playing a top-ranked team. MSF also did a great job of making it clear that seeds have no relation to what happens on the court in a given game; that’s the beauty of basketball—anything can happen at any given time, and it’s not over until it’s over.
I agree with a few of MSF’s upset picks, including #12 Cal over #5 Temple and #14 Belmont over #3 Georgetown. But after looking closely at #6 Murray State a month ago, I believe they will get their spunk back once they hit the court in the first round and will be able to stop #11 Colorado State. I also do not see #11 Texas over #6 Cincinnati; the Bearcats have beaten teams such as Georgetown and Louisville, so maybe they will keep up the same pace they have had all season and defeat the Longhorns.
Upsets are always a tough call; what happens on the court is completely unpredictable, and once in the postseason, a team’s history essentially has nothing to do with what will happen next. But that is what makes March “madness”—each year, you never can tell what the tournament will bring.
Photo courtesy of Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.