First Round Upset Alert

Steve O Speak

By Guest Blogger Kyle Howard:

After looking at the bracket for the past hour I have come to the conclusion that picking the winners of this bracket is harder than college level calculus.  Anyone who has any knowledge of college basketball in general can make an argument for there picks. I have Here is my top 5 list of first round upsets I see happening:

1) #9 Villanova over #8 Mason:  I don’t know if any of you consider this an upset but, I feel its a game that many experts and tourney challengers have written off as a Mason win. Mason was a strong team this year going 25-5 in the CAA coming up short in their conference tourney. I am a sucker for the Big East and I would take a Big East team over a small conference team 6 out of 7 days. Nova has been shaky of late and many experts questioned whether or not if they were tournment worthy. Look for the balanced attack of Mason to keep it close but, Nova has the experience and will move on to face Ohio State in the round of 32.

2) #11 Marquette over #6 Xavier:  Marquette has been a steady competitor in the Big East this season and look to follow past experiences going into a tough match up against Xavier. Xavier finished the year with an impressive 25-6 record and regular season A10 title coming up short in the conference tourney. Xavier had no opponent on a Big East caliber level this season and look for experience to play a huge role in this outcome. Marquette will be a team to watch out for come the next round after they advance to the round of 32.

3) #9 Tennessee over #8 Michigan: This is a very tricky match up to break down. Tennessee had high hopes in the SEC this season and overcame adversity from the NCAA on recruiting violations with the loss of Bruce Pearl for the first 8 games of conference play. Tennessee is one of the most athletic teams in the NCAA and look for their zone to break down the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan had an impressive year, well beyond the expectations of many experts. With the Michigan Wolverines coming off a good run in the conference tourney, look for this matchup to come down to the last minute. Tennessee wins based on coaching experience and just more athletic of a team built to run.

4) #10 Penn St. over #7 Temple: Penn St. won its way into the tourney by making a championship appearance against #1 Ohio St. and battled with them throughout the game. The NCAA has been notorious for having star drivin teams show up (Stephon Curry, Davidson; Andrew Bogut, Utah) Penn St. has that player in Taylor Battle. Temple was atop the A10 this year and has been a consistent top 25 team throughout the year. The team is based on all around play with no for sure star player. Look for Penn St. defense to defend well and come through with the first round upset.

5) #10 Michigan St. over #7 UCLA: Its that time of year for the Spartans to step their game out. With the loss of their 3 point gunner Kory Lucius kicked off the team earlier in the year, the Spartans took a big step backwards. Preseason ranked top 5, the Spartans have been a major disappointment in many experts eyes but have been playing up to their potential of late. With star point guard Kalin Lucas leading the spartans look for them to pull the upset of the Bruins, and watch out for the Izzo lead Spartans to make some noise in the next around against another possible upset in the Florida Gators.



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