As has been the theme in the pre 2012 NCAA Tournament talk, this year’s field is as balanced as ever and parity persists. Thus, there are a plethora of 1st round upset possibilities, which of course makes for an unbelievable tournament.
Let’s take a look at five upsets to look out for:
(3) Baylor vs. (14) South Dakota State – South Region, Albuquerque, NM, Thurs. 7:27 PM ET
The Jackrabbits of South Dakota State finished the season with a 42 RPI, that’s ahead of teams like Cincinnati, Kansas State, NC State, Texas and Virginia. They won at Washington by 19 points in December and have won eight straight coming into this contest.
We all know Baylor’s story. They are ridiculously talented, but have lacked toughness and discipline at times. Will Perry Jones III and company show up from start to finish? They will need to if they are to avoid the upset versus junior guard Nate Wolters (21.3 ppg) and the rest of the Jackrabbits.
(4) Louisville vs. (13) Davidson – West Region, Portland, OR, Thurs. 1:40 PM ET
Last year, Rick Pitino and Louisville lost as a 4 seed to 13 seed Morehead State on a late three-point basket. Is it possible the Cardinals could suffer the same fate for the second year in a row?
Davidson is surely capable of making history repeat itself for Louisville. The Wildcats won at Kansas, played Vanderbilt very tough, and gave Duke a game earlier in the season.
Louisville will look to slow down the high-scoring Davidson squad, averaging 78 points per game, 12th in the nation. The key for the Cardinals will be junior guard Peyton Siva, who has played well of late and must continue to do so in order for Louisville to advance.
(4) Michigan vs. (13) Ohio – Midwest Region, Nashville, TN, Fri. 7:20 PM ET
Ohio’s another good team out of the MAC with an RPI in the 40s. Their best win this year was probably early in the season at Marshall, but they played Louisville tough on the road and have won seven of their last eight games.
Michigan has had an impressive season, but they have been a bit vulnerable away from home. They lost at Virginia, at Iowa and at Arkansas, and they are coming off a drubbing at the hands of Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament.
Michigan will have to regain their confidence in a hurry in order to avoid a surprise from DJ Cooper (15pts, 6asts per game) and the Bobcats.
(3) Georgetown vs. (14) Belmont – Midwest Region, Columbus, OH, Fri. 3:10 PM ET
This is just a flat-out good game. If Belmont were to prevail, it might be a reach to even call it an upset.
After being blown out at Memphis in the second game of the season, Belmont has been under the radar. In the preseason, many predicted the Bruins would be a top 25 team. However, the game prior to Memphis, they gave Duke all they could handle in Cameron Indoor, and they have run off 14 straight victories since late January.
Georgetown has been good all year. They have easily exceeded preseason expectations on the strength of a deep, long and offensively balanced squad. The Hoyas must approach this game as if it’s a typical Big East battle. If they do, they are the slight favorite.
(2) Kansas vs. (15) Detroit – Midwest Region, Omaha, NE, Fri. 9:57 PM ET
It’s rare to see a 2/15 match-up singled out as a possible upset game, but it’s also rare to see a 15 seed the caliber of Detroit.
You can attribute Detroit’s high seed to a very poor start to their season, much of it played at less than full strength. However, the Titans finished the season on a 13-2 roll and won the Horizon in the process. They were led by the coach’s son, sophomore guard Ray McCallum (15.6ppg).
It does seem unfair for Kansas to have to face the Horizon league champion as a 2 seed, but fortunately for the Jayhawks, they are coached by Bill Self. He should have them ready to play at a high level, which is just what it will take for them to advance.
What are your thoughts on these possible upsets?