Monday, March 18, 2013

4 first-round NCAA upset picks

The best part of the NCAA bracket other than seeing one for the first time in its pristine state is trying to forecast where the inevitable upsets will occur. They are the "can't-miss" part of the tournament, the games that envelop offices and living rooms around the nation. Other than the Olympics or the World Cup, when all of America pretty much pulls together to cheer for the nation's own athletes, I can't think of a much more singular experience in U.S. fandom than pulling for, say, a No.15 seed to beat a No.2.

With that in mind, here are my four upset picks for the first round of the tournament. (I don't count it as a real upset unless a double-digit seed wins -- no No.9 over No.8 games). Use them in your own brackets at your own risk. I stay away from online gambling for several reasons, but one of them is that I'd lose money at it:

1. No.14 Davidson over No.3 Marquette. Davidson has won 17 games in a row -- the longest win streak in the country -- and has much more size than your average mid-major conference champion in Jake Cohen and De'Mon Brooks, who has found his game just in time. Marquette is a serious team -- the Golden Eagles went 14-4 in the bruising Big East and love to grind it out. Don't be surprised if the final score is in the 50s. But if the Wildcats can make 35 percent or more of their three-point shots, they're going to surprise the country.

2. No.12 Oregon over No.5 Oklahoma State. Oregon was seeded too low to begin with and Oklahoma State once lost to Virginia Tech. Yes, that Virginia Tech.

3. No.13 New Mexico State over No.4 Saint Louis. I know Saint Louis is the class of the Atlantic 10. I know that conference was really good this year. For some reason, though, I just think this one is going to happen.

4. No.13 South Dakota State over No.4 Michigan. A team nicknamed the Jackrabbits? You've got to love that. Plus, guard Jackrabbit guard Nate Wolters can shoot the lights out.

If you've got a better upset pick, I'd like to hear it.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

No way Davidson and NMSU pull the upset. Davidson can't even matchup with Charlotte's athletic ability, how are they suppose to do that with Marquette? St. Louis is much too efficient to lose the 3rd best team in the WAC. I can definitely see Ok State and Michigan losing.

Tim said...

Belmont over Arizona, Northwestern over Florida, and Minnesota over UCLA.

Anonymous said...

Davidson isn't just going to lose to Marquette, they're going to lose by more than 15.

NMSU certainly isn't going to beat SLU. NMSU is a solid squad, but SLU is Final Four talented. I don't think they'll make it that far, but wouldn't be shocked if they do. They have talent at every position and a lot of talent on the bench. They're big, athletic, talented, and deep.

Anonymous said...

I agree with oregon and i like minn over ucla. I also like nova over unc,although that's not a real upset since it's an 8 vs 9 matchup.

Anonymous said...

Davidson will win the NCAA championship! And have a parade in uptown Charlotte...zzzz..sorry, I dozed off for a minute.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. NMSU over SLU. If SLU's perimeter game sucks, are you telling me they'll take it to the hole against NMSU's andre the giant center? Two mid majors against each other first round. It's a toss up regardless of the sad story. NMSU over SLU. Locked!

punkrockcowboy said...

I had this crazy impulse to pick NW State over Florida. I just don't get why the media is all crazy about the Gators. Wisconsin could definitely fall in the first or second round also. Their offense is abysmal.

Anonymous said...

Bucknell over Butler, Minnesota over UCLA, Belmont over Arizona, St. Mary's over Memphis.

gonring said...

Hard to believe Davidson will surprise the country when just about everyone is picking it as the upset special. And it's only getting 3.5 points. Of course, when everybody picks something a team to win in an upset, that usually means the other team (Marquette) will win.

Anonymous said...

If Davante (6'9", 290lbs.) gets going with his "and ones," and Junior and Vander drive in at will, it's all over! Marquette never got any respect the last two years on their way to the Sweet 16.