Before you call me an idiot, remember I said your team is on “upset alert” not “your team will be upset”. If you want to call me an idiot for that, then that’s your choice I suppose.
Now that March Madness is less than 24 hours away, we might as well go over some games that have “upset alert” written on the way. Then, I will give my flawless interpretation on why that is.
Disclaimer: 8-seed vs. 9-seed and 7-seed vs. 10-seed games will be excluded as they really aren’t an upset.
(3) LSU vs (14) Yale
Line: LSU -7.5
Time and Date: 12:40 pm, Thurday 3/21
LSU still has a very strong roster. However, not having their head coach, Will Wade, will have some sort of effect on the teams performance. Whether it’d minor or substantial, that’s something that should be looked for when they play. Yale certainly has the firepower to keep up with LSU. So if it comes down to the wire, not having Wade could be the difference.
(6) Maryland vs (11) Belmont
Line: Maryland -3
Time and Date: 3:10 pm, Thursday 3/21
I think everyone has Belmont as their sleeper team to make the Sweet 16. Redundant? Yes, but for good reason. They have won 15 out of their last 16 games including their First Four win over Temple. They can run the score with ease as they are second in the nation in PPG, and do their job on the other end. Maryland, on the other hand, has came in to the Tournament very sluggish. 6-7 in their last 13 games, and have been very stagnant on offense. While how you come in to the tournament has no effect on how you’ll play, it’s tough to see a scenario where Maryland either keeps up with or slows down the Belmont offense.
(4) Kansas vs (13) Northeastern
Line: KU -6.5
Time and Date: 4:00 pm, Thursday 3/21
Northeastern has a very balanced scoring unit with four guys averaging 10+ points a game, and seven guys who average eight plus points a game. They are one of the top three point shooting teams in the entire nation. With about four to five guys who can shoot from three. Kansas lost their best three point shooter, Lagerald Vick, last month. While Kansas does have a few guys who can shoot from distance, they don’t have any that can match with Northeastern, as they shoot at a higher clip with a lot more attempts as well. If they fall in a hole early it might get ugly. Kansas has a chance if they can contain the threes on one end and dominate the paint on the other.
(5) Marquette vs (12) Murray State
Line: Marq -3.5
Time and Date: 4:30 pm, Thursday 3/21
This is another match up of one team coming hot while the other hit a few a bumps late in the season. This will probably be the most interesting 5-12 game as they both have elite scores and top players in the country. For Murray State, they have Ja Morant who’s averaging 24.6 points, 10 assists, and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 50% from the field. For Marquette, they have Markus Howard who is averaging 25-4-4 for the season as well. Both teams can score in bunches. So for a 5-12 game, this will be interesting.
(5) Wisconsin vs (12) Oregon
Line: Wisc -2
Time and Date: 4:30 pm, Friday 3/22
This is pretty much going to be the opposite of Marquette-Murray State. We got ourselves two teams who take their pride in defense. Both also have been able to get by a lot of adversity this season. For Oregon, it was losing Bol Bol. At 15-12 in late February it seemed all but over for them, but they rallied, won eight straight, and won the Pac-12. For Wisconsin it was overcoming their mid-season slump in mid-January where they lost four of five. They won 12 of their last 16 to end the season. The reason why this game is on upset alert is because while Oregon was able to learn how to win without their superstar.
For Wisconsin it’s merely trying to support theirs. Ethan Happ, who leads the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals, needs to not be carrying the load for Wisconsin. When they are winning, his averages in almost every category go down. Which simply means that while he is leading the charge he doesn’t have to worry about doing everything. So his teammates will need to bring their A-game.