Busting Brackets

March Madness: 8 biggest winners from 1st round of 2024 NCAA Tournament

Oakland v Kentucky
Oakland v Kentucky / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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6. NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack finished the regular season with four straight losses and almost lost to Louisville in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. Yet that version of them is dead and gone, as they’ve now won six straight games, including an 80-67 win over 6-seed Texas Tech in the Round of 64. They got a career-high 21 points from Ben Middlebrooks to lead the way.

What also made NC State a “winner” is how the path opened up for them in this bracket. Instead of Kentucky, who can drop 100 points on anyone, they now get 14-seed Oakland in the Round of 32. Still, the Grizzlies shouldn’t be taken lightly.

5. James Madison Dukes

JMU opened the season with a road upset win over Michigan State to get on the map and for the most part, they kept winning all season. They may not have gotten into the Big Dance without the Sun Belt autobid. But now that they’re in, they’re looking to do some damage.

The Dukes defeated 5-seed Wisconsin, 72-61, in a balanced effort. They led the whole way and showed that they were a true threat to beat anyone in this field. James Madison now has a massive opportunity to shock the world, taking on Duke next.