Busting Brackets

10 surprise teams primed to steal the NCAA Tournament

These 10 teams who likely won't end up as a No. 1 or 2 seed in March Madness, could shake up their region and maybe even make a run to a national title if things break right.
Saint Mary's Gaels guard Alex Ducas (44)
Saint Mary's Gaels guard Alex Ducas (44) / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
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. . . . 8. Net: 33 Projected Seed: 7. 21-10 (11-7). team. Florida. 526

Todd Golden has turned the Florida program around quickly with stellar transfer portal additions last offseason. Heading into Year 2 in Gainesville, Golden brought in Walter Clayton Jr. from Iona, Zyon Pullin from UC Riverside, and Tyrese Samuel from Seton Hall, now his three leading scorers. 

Those are all high-impact players for the Gators, Clayton leading the team with 17.0 points a game, Pullin leading Florida with 5.0 assists a night, and Samuel leading in rebounds and steals with 7.5 and 1.2 respectively. Golden has also implemented his unique style to his patchwork group, which has melded together over the course of the year.

The Gators are seventh in the country in scoring at 84.9 points a game and average the 11th most possessions per game. Golden’s team plays at a blistering pace, but the Gators are still 22nd in the country in offensive efficiency. 

Despite having veteran guards, Florida is -1.1 in turnover margin this year, but makes up for their sloppiness on the backboards, with a +7.2 rebound differential (18th in the country). The Gators can score as well as anyone, so with a good draw in the tournament, the Gators could go from missing the tournament in 2023 to a deep run in 2024.