It happens at some point during the NCAA tournament every year.
You think you have created the perfect bracket for March Madness, but then one of your Final Four teams loses early on in the tournament, which results in you ripping up said “perfect” bracket before the festivities really even get underway. Unfortunately, the 2017 NCAA tournament will likely be no different.
In hopes of helping college basketball fans predict the major upsets of March Madness, let’s unleash some double-digit seeds that could bust brackets everywhere.
Reminder: While all of these teams won’t make a run to the Final Four, don’t be surprised if one of them emerges as 2017’s version of Cinderella.
No. 12 Seed Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
As is the case on virtually a yearly basis, No. 5 seeds have to watch out for those No. 12 seeds, and so do the makers of brackets as well.
In one of the more intriguing 12 vs. 5 matchups, the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
If Middle Tennessee sounds familiar, that’s because it should. Just last season, the Blue Raiders, who rocked a No. 15 seed at the time, took down No. 2 seed Michigan State. This season, the Blue Raiders are back in the dance, they are 30-4 in 2016-17, and they haven’t lost since February 4. On top of that, they are currently ranked No. 25.
Rankings might mean nothing once the Big Dance rears its beautiful head, but Middle Tennessee has proven that it is, at the very least, worthy of a top-25 ranking. Not every team in the dance can say that.
Minnesota, you have been warned.
No. 12 Seed UNC Wilmington Seahawks
The UNC Wilmington Seahawks are yet another No. 12 seed that is riding some serious momentum into the dance (the Seahawks haven’t lost since February 11).
The Seahawks get buckets. Not only do they have four players who are averaging 12-plus points per contest, but they are also averaging 85.2 points per game as a team, which is the 10th-best mark in college hoops.
As a result of the tournament committee being matchmaking geniuses, it would only make sense if UNC Wilmington was going up against one of the best defenses in the nation. Well, the Seahawks will take on the Virginia Cavaliers in the first round, a team that is — believe it or not — averaging the least amount of points per game in college basketball (55.6).
As the saying goes, something has to give, and that will surely be the case when one of the best offenses takes on one of the best defenses.
No. 11 Seed Rhode Island Rams
The Rhode Island Rams entered the 2016-17 college basketball season with a good amount of hype (they were ranked in the top 25, after all).
The Rams might not have met expectations this season, but it’s important to keep two things in mind: (1) Not meeting expectations or not, this team will still be partaking in the 2017 NCAA tournament, and (2) the Rams have rattled off eight wins in a row.
The Creighton Bluejays, on the other hand, started the season off red-hot, winning their first 13 games of 2016-17. Unfortunately for Bluejays fans, Creighton has lost six out of its last 11 games, and entering the tournament cold is the last thing a team wants, especially when it is about to go up against a team that is top-25 worthy despite the fact that it holds a No. 11 seed.
No. 10 Seed Wichita State Shockers
If you are looking for a double-digit seed that is capable of making a run to the Final Four, then look no further than the underrated Wichita State Shockers.
The Shockers might rock a No. 10 seed, but they are so much better than what a No. 10 seed might indicate. For starters, Wichita State is 30-4 on the year. Plus, they are one of the hottest teams entering the Big Dance, as they have won 15 games in a row. ESPN‘s Eamonn Brennan even has them down as the 13th-best team in the entire bracket.
For all it’s worth, Wichita State is no stranger to deep runs in the NCAA tournament, which is why no one should be surprised if the Shockers make yet another Cinderella run, if you will.
While anything can happen in this magical tournament, during this magical month, the Shockers have “deep NCAA tournament run” written all over them.
[Featured Image by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images]