Everyone knows how good Gonzaga, Kentucky, Kansas, and Arizona are. But although those teams should have deep NCAA Touranment runs, the fact that 7 Top 10 ranked teams lost on Feb. 26 proves underrated squads often play well in the NCAA Tournament. Check out a list of five NCAA Tournament teams that are flying under the radar.
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5 Potential 2022 March Madness Cinderella Picks to Consider
READ MORE: Best 2022 March Madness Upset Picks
St. Mary’s Gaels
24-6 St. Mary’s notched their ticket to the big dance no matter what happens in the upcoming West Coast Conference Tournament. This past Saturday, St. Mary’s dusted Gonzaga by 10 points, 67-57. Even if the Zags exact revenge in the WCC Championship game by beating St. Mary’s by 20, the Gaels will dance.
Don’t discount St. Mary’s. There’s a big chance the Gaels mustn’t face their 1-ranked rivals until the Final Four. So who knows? Maybe, St. Mary’s, which is a Top 25 ranked team, pulls a massive upset as an 8-seed or 9-seed in the second-round and then dances all the way to New Orleans.
Colorado State Rams
Do you like Boise State or Colorado State? One of the two Mountain West teams figure to have a huge impact on their bracket. Boise State should end up winning the Mountain West Conference regular season and could be a 7-seed. Colorado State figures to be an 8-seed or 9-seed.
If the Rams are an 8 or 9, they’ll play the 1-seed in the second-round. So even though Boise State is the higher seed, Colorado State can make a more immediate impact. When looking at Cinderellas, you want to knock out your peers’ brackets early. Backing a team like Colorado State, one with a shot to upset any 1-seed in the tournament, is a way to do it.
Junior guard Foster Loyer averages 16.5 points and close to 4 boards and close to 4 assists per game. Loyer is the reason Davidson has lost just 4 games this season.
Unlike a lot of other Cinderellas, Davidson has had past NCAA Tournament success. The Wildcats almost made it to the Final Four when Steph Curry played for them. Loyer is no Steph Curry, but he could be Curry-esque in the NCAA Tournament. If he is, Davidson, which is a deeper team than the one Curry led, can provide upset after upset victory.
Colgate Red Raiders
Yes, Colgate is 20-11. But the Red Raiders are 16-2 in their conference, the Patriot League, and must only win their conference tournament to secure a spot in the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament.
Three different players lead Colgate in points, assists, and rebounds. Nelly Cummings is the high-scorer with 14.6 per, Keegan Records averages 6.4 boards each game, and Tucker Richardson averages 3.8 assists each contest.
The Red Raiders’ reliance on 3 players instead of a single player should serve them well in their first game. If Colgate ends up playing a vulnerable 2-seed or 3-seed, a team like Purdue or Tennessee, they can pull off a shocking upset.
South Dakota State Jackrabbits
The Jackrabbits are 27-4 and have won 18 straight. Some teams, like Auburn and Colgate, prefer the team strategy. Others like Kansas and South Dakota State lean on a single brilliant player. Ochai Agbaji is the Jayhawks’ top player.
The Jackrabbits’ star is Baylor Scheierman. Scheierman averages 16.2 points, 8.2 boards, and 4.6 assists each game. The reason South Dakota State is a legit 12-seed, or, maybe, even 11-seed, is because of Scheierman, who shoot 52% from the field and a ridiculous close to 47% from three. Scheierman is 6’ 6”, which means he can shoot over almost any other team’s guards. The Jackrabbits are a legit Cinderella squad.
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