NCAA Tournament: Teams on Upset Alert in the Second Round


March Madness is here and as usual, we have all filled out brackets that will most likely turn to trash once the Sweet Sixteen is all figured out.

It happens every year.

Usually, this includes a team like last years Cinderella VCU, upsetting higher seeds on their way to the Final Four.

This season should be no different. Even in the VCU Rams case once again coming in as a 12 seed, they could be poised once again to make a run.

Even with a teams seeding and record indicating how good they are suppose to be, throw that all out the window for game time and March Madness.

This list below includes 7 match-ups in which the lower number seed(favorite to win) of the two should be very concerned if not fully prepared come tip-off. Each of the teams listed have the talent to not only pull off an upset in their first game but also find their way into the Sweet Sixteen or farther.

#12 VCU vs. #5 Wichita State   Thursday Portland, OR

VCU did it last year under Head Coach Shaka Smart, basically shocking the world getting to the Final Four. This seasons team plays no different and is better defensively. VCU needs just one more win to break the single season school record they are currently sitting on at 28. Senior 6’6″ G-F Bradford Burgess was key in last seasons run and will need to be the same this March if the Rams smell upset once again because the number 18 nationally ranked Shockers from Wichita State are no slouches at 28-5.

#13 New Mexico State vs. #4 Indiana   Thursday Portland, OR 

Indiana hasn’t tasted this much success in College Basketball for quite some time. Combine that with the fact that their most talented player is a Freshman center with not too much post season experience at this level. I can see Indiana loosing this game due to mistakes, more than I see the Aggies winning even-though as a team New Mexico State has two stats that jumped out at me. One, they average over 14 offensive rebounds a game and two, they take 29.4 free throw attempts per game showing that they make each of those second chance opportunities count. Something Indiana will have to do better than the Aggies if they don’t want to go home.

#12 Long Beach State vs. #5 New Mexico Thursday Portland, OR

Though it may be harder for me to back this upset if the Big West Defensive Player of the Year is out, Long Beach still has the depth and talent to overcome and win. Senior Larry Anderson suffered an MCL injury in early March heading into the Big West Tournament. That didn’t slow down anyone else as they still won the title minus Anderson. Fellow Senior, Casper Ware has the ability to shoot the lights out at anytime. Ware alone could put the Beach on his back and win a game or two behind a similar performance he put on in his 33-point Big West Title win over UC Santa Barbara.

#12 Harvard vs. # 5 Vanderbilt  Thursday Albuquerque, NM 

Even with many picking Vandy to make it to the Final Four, if they overlook their first opponent odds are they won’t be doing much but watching from home after game one.

Head Coach Tommy Amaker has his Crimson team playing the type of basketball that can slow you down and force you to play efficient on offense. They play solid defense and make few mistakes. Coming off their second straight Ivy League Title and heading into their first NCAA Tournament since 1946 should be all the motivation they need to get a win. Im sure Amaker is hoping this is not all too much to handle for his guys heading in.

#11 Texas vs. #6 Cincinnati   Friday Nashville, TN

The Bearcats have been playing great since the infamous fight against Xavier. They made a great run in the Big east Tournament and find themselves with a good seed.

Unfortunately for them they are playing a team with plenty of young, athletic, NBA potential to start their tourney. Led by Head coach Rick Barnes, I think he enjoys this unusual underdog position when he has a guy like J’Covan Brown. The Junior from Port Arthur, Texas has the NBA scoring ability already from the field and the free throw line so he could also win a game all by his lonesome.

#11 North Carolina State vs. #6 San Diego State   Friday Columbus, OH

The way Steve Fisher put San Diego State basketball on the map solidified his HOF career in my eyes. The key players lost from last seasons tourney team would have been key in this match-up against the Wolfpack.

State spent the last few weeks playing for their Tournament life and trying to get out of the bubble. The way they made it into the Tournament reminds me of last seasons VCU run. Many say the Pack wasn’t deserving of their spot, meaning they will do everything to prove they are. C.J. Leslie and the Seniors at State have done a complete 180 from a year ago now under first year coach Mark Gottfried.

#10 West Virginia vs. #7 Gonzaga     Thursday  Pittsburgh, PA

West Virginia’s 19-13 record may be deceiving when you look at some of the games the Mountaineers lost in heartbreaking fashion.

This game also will show once again what happens when you match a power conference school against a mid-major. Senior Kevin Jones is a double-double machine and has that same ability I continue to mention in taking over games. If his teammate, and fellow senior, PG Daryl “Truck” Bryant can keep Gonzaga’s Freshman Kevin Pangos under control the Mountaineers should win a close one.