Every year, unheralded teams make a run through the tournament and destroy brackets everywhere. Here are five potential teams–and a longshot bracket buster–that can ruin a lot of brackets in this year’s NCAA tournament.
1. Winner of Boise State and La Salle
These two teams have a bunch of talented guards, and Boise State’s Derrick Marks can take over a game. La Salle’s Tyreek Duren and Jerrell Wright are solid players that have the poise required in March. The winner of this game may upset No. 4 Kansas State and potentially make it to the Sweet 16 by defeating the winner of the first-round game between Ole Miss and Wisconsin.
While Arizona has defeated teams like Miami and Florida this season, the Wildcats often play down to their competition and have notoriously been known for first round exits. Belmont is a disciplined and methodical team that can catch fire from behind the three point line. Arizona has the talent to make it to the final four, so an early Arizona exit could destroy a lot of brackets.
Bucknell, if they beat Butler, can bust the East bracket, especially if Davidson upsets Marquette as well.
4a. Colorado State – The Rams could potentially trip up Louisville, especially if Louisville reverts to its mid-season form and looks past them to the Sweet 16.
4b. Saint Louis – Saint Louis is playing for their late head coach Rick Majerus, and they come from a very strong A-10 conference. They can also potentially bust the Midwest bracket by knocking off Louisville with their disciplined schemes and play. If they play Louisville, they will have a week to prepare and scheme for Louisville’s press. More importantly, they will have been rested.
5. Winner of Middle Tennessee State versus St. Mary’s
Memphis quite possibly may be the most over-seeded team in the tournament at No. 6. Middle Tennessee State and St. Mary’s could both upset Memphis. Matthew Dellavedova leads St. Mary’s, and a St. Mary’s upset over No. 6 Memphis may show that the West Coast Conference, which Gonzaga won, was not as weak as some people thought.
Ohio State is too talented to lose to Iona. But if there is a No. 2 seed that can be shocked, Ohio State could be vulnerable after a grueling Big Ten tournament run. Lamont “MoMo” Jones, the former Arizona player who could technically play his former team in the tournament in the West, of Iona is one of those players that can have one of those magical games for which March Madness has always been known. He is third in the nation in scoring, and Aaron Craft, arguably the nation’s best on-the-ball defender, will have his hands full with “MoMo” Jones. An Iona win would destroy the West bracket completely.