It’s finally here!
March Madness is well underway and we are at the time where all of you are beginning to fill out your brackets. What comes with filling out your brackets is trying to figure out who the Cinderella team could be.
Well, one team that you should take a strong look at is Georgia State. Georgia State has the right recipe to make a couple upsets in the Tournament.
1. They are hot
Georgia State is coming off of a Sun Belt championship. And while they didn’t play their best basketball that game, they are currently riding a 5 game win streak into their matchup with Houston. It’s always popular to pick a team coming off of a conference championship win. Especially one with as much confidence as this team:
D’Marcus Simonds called his shot. Said no one in the Sun Belt was beating Georgia State. He was right.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) March 17, 2019
2. They have a star
D’Marcus Simonds is a bonafide star and the leading scorer on this Georgia State team. He’s one of the best finishers in the nation and a tough shot maker if we’ve ever truly seen one. He’s got a full bag on him.
Simonds is one of the fastest players in the nation and will be put in plenty of iso situations against Houston. Just as Corey Davis Jr. started manning up Jarron Cumberland in the American Athletic Championship game, he will do the same to Simonds.
Last year, when Georgia State made the Tournament and played Cincinnati, Simonds went for 24 points. Look for a similar type of productive game. Early on against them, he was dominating on both ends and helped Georgia State keep the game close. Unfortunately, he just wasn’t getting the help he needed.
D’Marcus Simonds is a player that will not shy away from the competition. He’ll be ready.
3. They have the shooters
Georgia State has 4 3 point specialists who shoot above 40% from beyond the arc. And one of them isn’t even D’Marcus Simonds! The four are:
Devin Mitchell – 42.9%
Malik Benlevi – 41.8%
Kane Williams – 41.4%
Jeff Thomas – 40.7%
With Simonds as the main initiator, this is exactly what the team needs around him to make them a dangerous team in the tournament. Not often do you see the 4 of these guys not on their game. At least 1 or 2 of them will always be hitting their shots and that’s exactly what they need. In the Sun Belt Championship game, it was Malik Benlevi.
Malik Benlevi is lighting it up today and leading Georgia State to a now 12 point lead! pic.twitter.com/5PRXgdJihI
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) March 17, 2019
We’ll see if he and the rest of the 3-point specialists can come alive against Houston. We’d say, you should definitely bet on that.
4. Houston lost their title game
The final ingredient to this perfect recipe that is a Georgia State upset win is the fact that Houston lost to Cincinnati in their conference championship game. And it isn’t just the fact that they lost, it’s the fact that they just didn’t look too good. They had no answer for Jarron Cumberland as he torched them for 30+ points.
It’s always scary to pick a team that is coming off of a bad loss and especially when their best player, Corey Davis Jr., shoots as bad as he did. (3/13 FG, 2/10 3PT). Houston also doesn’t have that star needed to really make a push after losing Rob Gray last year.
Houston is a very talented team, but they are playing the wrong team at the wrong time.
Georgia State should be a very popular Cinderella pick. They have the pieces to make a deep run even though they don’t have the easiest road. A win against Houston would only mean a matchup with Iowa State (most likely) who also won their conference tournament. We don’t know if Georgia State can pull off a magical run to the Sweet 16, but just keep an eye on them and beware of picking against them.