Baylor Scheierman - 2021-22 - Men's Basketball - South Dakota State  University Athletics

The Madness is officially back, which means upsets are coming! This is by far the best part of the Madness, but you have to pick right the ones to win your bracket pool. Here are five that I will be picking in this year’s tournament.

Indiana over St Marys

Indiana basketball will play Wyoming in March Madness' East Region

I’m putting this one first because it is possible this game never even happens. Indiana has to play Wyoming in the first four, and while I think they take care of the Cowboys, it is March. Yet, if the Hoosiers get by, I love their chances vs. St Marys. In my opinion, Mike Woodson has done an excellent job with this team. There were a lot of new faces in Bloomington, and  Woodson’s team was always ready to play. I like them vs. St Marys because of the pace of play that Gaels plays. It is extremely slow. When a game gets slow, I love the team with the better big man to get extra positions and dominate the game. That is precisely what Trayce Jackson-Davis gives. He is a matchup nightmare giving you 18 points and eight rebounds a night. He will be the difference-maker in this one sending the Gaels home early.

Davidson over Michigan St.

Davidson college basketball season preview for 2021-22 | Charlotte Observer

It has been a real up and down year for Tom Izzo and his Spartans. However, it has only been an up year for the Davidson Wildcats. They have four players who average over 12PPG, and all four of those players shoot over 38.5% from three. This team is full of snipers led by Korean-born Hyunjung Lee (16.5PPG) and former Michigan St point guard Foster Loyer(16.5PPG). They are 15-2 in the conference and have a huge quality out-of-conference win beating Alabama @Alabama. The tournament sometimes goes down to who can hot, and with so many shooters on the floor at any point, the Wildcats can run you off the floor. Plus, Head Coach Bob McKillop has been there before and should have his team ready. I don’t think Michigan State has enough firepower to keep up with Davidson, plus MSU is 2-6 ATS over their last eight tournament games, losing outright in four of them. 

Virginia Tech over Texas

Virginia Tech beats Duke 82-67; Wins first-ever ACC Tournament Championship

This is a classic case of taking the hot team over the not-so-hot team. Virginia Tech shocked the college basketball world as they won the ACC tournament defeating Duke and UNC in back-to-back games. On the other hand, Texas is 5-5 over its last ten games and lacks consistent shooting from their guards. Not to mention on most teams, they have the big man advantage with Timmy Allen, but Kevin Aluma, to me, is a complete big man that will give Allen a lot of trouble. VT shoots the 3-ball at 39.3%, which ranks 3rd in the country, while Texas shoots it at 32.3%, which ranks 255th. That will be the difference in this game as the Hokies move on and Texas continues not to be back. #HornsDown

Vermont over Arkansas

UVM basketball routs Binghamton to tie nation's longest winning streak

This is upset I don’t see many people having, but I love fading Arkansas in this spot. While they have more talent and the best guard on the floor in JD Notae, this Arkansas team is extremely inconsistent. They shoot the 3-ball at an abysmal 30.7% which ranks 316th. The Catamounts do many things well that a team looking for an upset has to be good at. First of all, their top two scorers, Ryan Davis (17.2 ppg) and Ben Shungu (16.1 ppg) shoot over 40% from 3pt land as well, making them extremely difficult to guard. Also, Vermont is number 1 in the nation in the defensive rebounding rate meaning Arkansas will not have a lot of second chances. The Catamounts are a team that has better shooting and rebounding. I think they have an excellent opportunity to pull off this upset. 

South Dakota St. over Providence 

March Madness Cinderellas 2022: Meet No. 13 seed South Dakota State -  SBNation.com

I am all over the Jack Rabbits, and this is by far my favorite upset of the tournament, and Vagas is telling you the same thing. The Friars had one of if not their greatest season ever, becoming Big East regular-season champions and being ranked in the top 10 for some of the seasons only to be 2pt favorites? There is a reason for this; The Jackrabbits average 87.2 points per game which is good for 3rds in the country. This team is extremely deep, with nine guys playing 15+ minutes a game and seven guys averaging 8+ points. They are led by the trio of Baylor Schierman (16.2 PPG 8.2R, and 4.6A), Douglas Wilson(16 PPG), and Noah Friedel(15.1 PPG). In addition, they are riding the longest winning streak in college basketball as they went 20-0 in their conference. Providence played in many close games, but I genuinely believe South Dakota has the shot makers that the Friars don’t, which will be the difference. 

 

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