Looking to bust your Bracket Pool? Here are my predicted upsets in the Round of 64
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Every year there is that cinderella team that happens to make it to the Sweet 16 or Elite 8, and everyone is surprised about it. In the previous two years, a 15 seed made it to the Sweet 16 in Oral Roberts and Saint Peter's. College basketball this year has been very unpredictable, and these teams, I believe, can and will make a run in the tournament:
Colgate: Colgate is no stranger to the big dance. In 2021, they lost to Arkansas in the Round of 64. In that game, they were down three at the half, took the lead with about ten minutes in the second half, and then Arkansas pulled away at the end. In 2022, Colgate was tied with Wisconsin at the half, and through a back-and-forth second half, and with about three minutes left, Wisconsin hit back-to-back threes to seal it. Playing close games in the tournament has provided the Red Raiders with experience in the dance.
This season, Colgate won the Patriot League, posting a 17-1 record in conference play. Led by three seniors in Tucker Richardson, Keegan Records, and Oliver Lynch-Daniels, these Red Raiders will want to finish what they started in Hamilton, NY. In addition, they are getting valuable minutes from freshman guard Braeden Smith. The Red Raiders shoot approximately 40% from 3 and their Assist-To-Turnover Ratio is approximately 2:1. For playing in the Patriot League, they posted the 44th most efficient offense in the nation. They averaged almost 19 assists a game, the fifth most in the nation. Colgate can explode on the offensive end of the court and watch for this team to cause trouble to Texas' defense.
Iona: 2 words, Rick Pitino. One of the most controversial yet, legendary coaches in college basketball. Iona seems to play a tough schedule every year, and they have proven to win in these games. In 2021 March Madness, Iona almost shocked the world by pulling off the first-round upset over Alabama. This year, Iona dominated the MAAC and walked through the conference on their way to an automatic bid into the big dance. Their offensive and defensive efficiency is posted both in the top 80. In addition, they only allow around 65 points a game which is reasonably high but averaged almost 77 points. Iona has Rick Pitino as their head coach, and he is a basketball wizard. UConn has been phenomenal this year, but there are a lot of flaws in their team, and I believe Rick Pitino will work his magic and exploit them.
Other teams that I believe can pull off a first-round upset:
UCSB over Baylor
Pitt over Iowa State
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