Busting Brackets

10 teams vulnerable to be upset in the first round of March Madness

There is an elite tier of college basketball this season, but it's an exclusive club. If your team is on the outside of that five or six-team group, then they could be vulnerable to a Round of 64 exit in the NCAA Tournament.

Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari
Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari / Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel / USA TODAY
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. . 533. . 26-6 (13-5). . . South Carolina. Net: 48 Projected Seed: 5. 4

Lamont Paris and the South Carolina Gamecocks have been one of the best stories in college basketball this year, but they’re a regular-season team, not a tournament team. South Carolina has a few great wins, going 4-4 in Quad 1 games with wins over Kentucky, Tennessee, and Florida, but the Gamecocks are a pedestrian 72nd in offensive efficiency and 79th in defensive efficiency. 

Meechie Johnson is the team’s leading scorer, but at just 14.1 points on 40% from the field, that’s not saying much. Ta’Lon Cooper is a steady point guard averaging 9.8 points and 4.3 assists, so I have some faith in the team’s backcourt, but I don’t trust their shooting at all. 

The Gamecocks are shooting 44.1% from the field which ranks 223rd, which is fine if they’re an elite defensive team as they’ve been billed, but the numbers don’t show that. South Carolina has been objectively lucky, ranking fifth in Kenpom’s luck metric, and by Shotquality.com’s “record luck” is at -17.19 which says they’re due for massive negative regression.