It’s March Madness everybody.
The time of the year that we all get excited for, but then instantly get disappointed over after we have to watch as our brackets burn to smithereens after the first day. The fun part about picking a bracket is trying to call the key upsets. It’s always hard to tell which teams will actually be able to pull out the win, but it’s always fun to look at some of the 16 and 15 seeds that have a chance to do it.
Now, as we know, a 16 seed has never won a game in the NCAA Tournament. So, let’s just assume that all of the 1 seeds are going to win their opening game.
What about the 15 seeds though? Can we have another Middle Tennessee or Florida Gulf Coast type team make a huge upset to ruin people’s brackets?
Well, let’s first look at the 4 teams this year:
Cal State Fullerton
Two teams stick out there as realistic options for an upset. First, it is Lipscomb. Led by Garrison Mathews, the Bisons are a team that should be feared going into their match-up with UNC.
Garrison Mathews is a straight gun from deep who can light it up in a hurry.
Mathews will need to be on his game if they want to have any chance against UNC in their game on Friday.
One thing that was apparent in the Atlantic Sun championship game against Florida Gulf Coast was that when Kenny Cooper was in foul trouble, they had no one else to handle the ball. They need him to stay out of foul trouble and remain on the court for 35+ minutes.
Lipscomb still isn’t the 15 seed with the best chance to upset the 2 seed. Joel Berry will have his squad ready and it’s hard to see him losing in what will be his last hurrah before entering the league.
The team that does indeed have the best chance to upset has to be Georgia State. Why? Because of one man:
Simonds is a terrific playmaker and scorer who led the Sun Belt conference in scoring. He’ even shown some glimpses of brilliance that have led us to believe that he could make the league:
Georgia State loves to run their offense through the sophomore guard. With Simonds taking almost double the amount of shots from last year, it makes sense how his FG% dropped down a bit, but it’s still at a very respectable 46% clip.
D’Marcus Simonds has long arms leading to 1.7 steals per game and is great up top in the 2-3 zone that Georgia State loves to run.
Simonds isn’t the only difference maker on this team though. Devin Mitchell is one of the best three-point shooters in the nation as he’s shooting just above 45% from deep on the year. Jeff Thomas is also a very good shooter who’s at just about 40% from 3-point range.
The key to upsetting a top tier seed is to have a star who can handle the ball and to have shooters surround him. Georgia State is exactly that team and could pull off another miracle if the chess pieces align right.
Cincinnati isn’t a team to look over though. Georgia State will have a lot of problems with their defense, but if D’Marcus Simonds can have one heck of a game, then this team has a good chance of pulling off an upset.
So, if you are going to pick a 15 seed to pull of an upset, bet on Georgia State. Who knows though, the month of March is just too unpredictable.
Let the Madness continue!