Daniel Izqueirdo and Isaias Martinez
BMHS Pridetime Reporter
March Madness is finally here, and even after Day 1 of the tournament we’ve seen huge upsets, like 13th seed Buffalo defeating 4th seed (and heavy favorite to win it all) Arizona. This may have ruined A LOT of people’s brackets but there is an option to start over with the second round. This gives you another shot at getting the perfect selection and winning some of those money prizes or even just bragging rights. The key to getting the best bracket is to select the underdog wins that no one else sees coming. We’re going to show you 3 of the teams that have the best chance to make a deep run or potentially even go all the way.
Although a 5 seed might not be your typical underdog, the Buckeyes aren’t being given a real shot by almost anyone to even get past the second round. Even though Ohio State started off the season rough, their record down the stretch was almost perfect barring their 3 losses to Penn State. Although those losses were quite costly, with one of them coming in the quarter-finals of the B1G conference tournament, the Nittany Lions were not selected to the NCAA tournament so OSU probably dodged a bullet there.
Aside from that they have one of college basketball’s best scorers in Keita Bates-Diop, a 6’ 7” Junior who averaged 19.5 points and 8.9 rebounds, and was the B1G Player of the Year. Along with that, first year head coach, Chris Holtmann was nominated for NCAA coach of the year. So look for the Buckeyes to turn some heads as we get deeper into the tournament.
Mizzou played without their best player, Michael Porter Jr., all year and still managed to snatch an 8th seed. But the tricky this is their first round match up against Florida State where they will be without leading scorer, Jordan Barnett, who is suspended for the game due to a DWI arrest. This is a huge blow for the Tigers as he has probably been their best performer in the absence of Porter Jr. They are 6-4 in games this season where Barnett less than 10 points, which is decent, but it nothing to rave about. With all that being said, if Missouri can make it out of the first round, Barnett and Porter Jr. could make a lot of noise and cause some upsets.
This one seems a little odd considering they are a 3 seed and(according to Vegas betting odds) are the 9th most favored team to win it all. Nevertheless, they still aren’t really getting the respect they deserve by most analysts and even the typical viewers. Michigan are a well rounded, disciplined team that can win a variety of ways.
Moritz Wagner has been a pleasant surprise for the Wolverines averaging 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds a contest. He has a finesse to his game that most 7-footers simply don’t. He is great with his back to the basket, has excellent footwork in the post, and is lights out from deep. This goes along with his ability to protect the rim and defend the pick-and-roll very impressively. They also have an X-factor which is red-shirt senior, Duncan Robinson(B1G 6th Man of the Year). A spark-plug off the bench who shoots nearly 40% from three, he has the prototypical build of Duke guard, Grayson Allen. Michigan has great length and shooting which will allow them to cause some of the elites(i.e. Vilanova, Virginia, Duke) trouble and potentially be the last team standing in San Antonio.