Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 NCAA Tournament: Upset Specials

I felt like taking a look at some possible upsets I picked in this 2010 NCAA bracket. I feel like there are quite a few in there. Note: I do not count 9 over 8's as upsets for the purposes of this article. Tomorrow, I will post an article about some of the upsets I passed over and why.

10 Georgia Tech over 7 Oklahoma State

Why I picked it: Georgia Tech finished strong in the ACC Tournament, and Oklahoma State from what I hear is a streaky shooting team. Last time out, OK State got bitchslapped by K-State. On the plus side for them, they should be quite fresh.

Why I might be wrong: The Cowboys might be streaky, but they do have James Anderson, the Big 12 Player of the Year.  Georgia Tech still only managed a 7-9 conference record in the regular season and I'm still not totally convinced on them.

11 Minnesota over 6 Xavier

Why I picked it: Xavier may have a good record, but they've beaten almost nobody this year. They have all of 2 wins against current tournament teams (and 7 losses). Minnesota, on the other hand, played pretty well in the Big Ten tournament until the 2nd half against Ohio State, and have beaten OSU, Butler, Michigan State, Purdue, and Wisconsin during the season. The Golden Gophers can do it.

Why I might be wrong: XU averages a whopping 80 points per game, which tells you that they're quite an offensive club. Xavier also does well away from their home court, whereas Minnesota tends against it.

12 Cornell over 5 Temple

Why I picked it: Ever since I saw Cornell go toe-to-toe with Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, I had a feeling they could pull a first-round upset (assuming they won the Ivy League). I've followed them a bit since and they're a tough team; the best the Ivies have produced in years.

Why I might be wrong: Because Temple is pretty damn good, and they've got quality wins under their belt.  Taking an Ivy League school is not usually good policy, anyway.

14 Montana over 3 New Mexico

Why I picked it: Because I'm nuts, and because I'm not fully sold on New Mexico yet. I have a gut feeling that we will see a huge upset come out of nowhere in the first round this year, a la Kansas-Bucknell several years ago, whether it's a 2/15, 3/14, or 4/13. This is admittedly a longshot, but anything can happen in the Tournament.

Why I might be wrong: I probably will be, but I'd still be surprised if the Lobos went far.

12 Utah State over 5 Texas A&M

Why I picked it: Aside from losing in the finals of the WAC Tournament, Utah State is still playing well and they had an excellent regular season. They allow under 60 points per game and have some good shooting from behind the arc.

Why I might be wrong: The [Texas A&M] Aggies -- how cute that the committee gave us an Aggies vs. Aggies game -- are damn tough. They have a lot of close losses against good teams as well. 

13 Siena over 4 Purdue

Why I picked it: Purdue is simply not the same team without Robbie Hummel. They should be very happy with a 4-seed after getting pwn3d by Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament. Siena has whacked some big-name programs in recent NCAA Tournaments as well.

Why I might be wrong: Siena fans I've spoken to aren't overly happy with their team's current play, either, and Purdue is still quite talented. No doubt the talk about them being upset in the first round will motivate them.

10 St. Mary's over 7 Richmond

Why I picked it: Portland's coach said during the WCC Tournament that he thinks the Gaels are even better now than they were last year with Patty Mills. They unloaded on Gonzaga to take the conference title for the first time in a long time. SMC is also outstanding outside of Moraga, CA. Richmond is good but they don't rebound well (T-265 in the country), whereas the Gaels have one of the nation's top rebounders (Omar Samhan, 11 RPG).

Why I might be wrong: I've been burned by SMC in the tournament in the past. Also, the Spiders came pretty close to taking Temple out in the A10, so they are a force with which to be reckoned.

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