The greatest week of the year has arrived. It’s a degenerates Hanukkah, where each day brings a gift of games to throw your money at. As we all know, each year there are always a couple 1st round upsets. Since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams, there is an average of 8 upsets for the 1st round. Last year there were only 3, which tied the record for fewest upsets (No. 3 Iowa State lost to No. 14 UAB, No.3 Baylor lost to No.14 Georgia State, No.6 Providence lost to No.11 Dayton). So as history shows, 1st round upsets are inevitable. Picking these games though is difficult. Before we go into the games, here our some facts:
- No. 1 (100%) vs. No.16 (0%) No.2 (95%) vs. No.15 (5%)
- No. 3 (86%) vs. No.14 (14%) No.4 (79%) vs. No.13 (21%)
- No. 5 (66%) vs. No.12 (34%) No.6 (66%) vs. No.11 (34%)
- No. 7 (60%) vs. No.10 (40%) No.8 (48%) vs. No.9 (52%)
Crazy that the No.9 seed actually has a better record then the No.8 seed. With that stat alone, at least one 8v9 upset has to happen. No.9 UCONN vs. No.8 Colorado is probably the best choice.
However, while the 8v9 match up is technically an upset, this is focused on teams seeded 10 and higher. Here are 3 confident upsets along with others too keep a eye on.
No.10 VCU (-3) vs. No.7 Oregon State
According to the 2016 Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings, VCU is ranked 35th, while Oregon State is ranked 60th, giving the Rams a 58.8 percent chance of beating the Beavers. Plus, VCU always seems to show up in March and even Vegas has them as the favorite.
No.11 Gonzaga vs. No.6 Seton Hall (-1)
Gonzaga has outscored opponents by 13.5 points a game. This puts them in line with the average No.2 seed PPG (12.4) instead of the normal No.11 seed (7.6 PPG). Plus its Gonzaga. Don’t know a single person on the team. Haven’t seen a game of theirs all year. However, what I do know is that they always have a couple scrappy white boys on the team that some how pull off wins. Thats good enough for me.
No. 10 Syracuse vs No. 7 Dayton (Pick Em)
Dayton’s only win vs. a rank team was early in the season against 21 Vanderbilt. Syracuse hasn’t looked that great this season, but they do have some good quality wins and one of the best college basketball coaches of all time. With Vegas making this a Pick Em, Syracuse looks to be easy money.
No.10 Temple vs No.7 Iowa (-7)
No.11 Northern Iowa vs. No.6 Texas (-5)
No.10 Pittsburgh vs. No.7 Wisconsin (-1.5)
No. 11 Wichita State* vs. No.6 Arizona (*-Wichita State needs to win its play-in game first)
No.14 SFA vs. No.3 WVU (-7)
No.13 IONA vs. No.4 Iowa State (-7.5)
P.S- I haven’t won a game in over a week. Deep, deep hole I dug myself into. Might want to take these with a grain of salt.