The 2017 NCAA tournament is officially underway.
While the field of 68 has been set, the play-in games (the first one is going down at the time of writing) still need to take place. Once those games have concluded, the field of 64 will then, of course, bet set.
Until then, college basketball fans all over the country will be filling out their brackets. If fans are feeling a little bold this year, then they could always pick a No. 1 seed to go down to a No. 16 seed. Now that would be bold. Until that happens, folks will probably only be willing to pick a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed. Believe it or not, that big-time upset has gone down in previous NCAA tournaments. In fact, No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee took down No. 2 seed Michigan State just last year.
The 2017 NCAA tournament is finally here, and if you are a fan of college hoops, or sports in general, then that should be music to your ears. Before the round of 64 starts firing off upset after upset, make sure to get your fix of bold predictions for the first round of March Madness.
Teams of the field of 64 and creators of brackets, may the odds be ever in your favor.
South Dakota State Star Mike Daum Drops 30 Points, And Gives Gonzaga Fans The Scare Of Their Lives
The Gonzaga Bulldogs will enter the Big Dance with a No. 1 seed. Theoretically, they should, at the very least, cruise into the Sweet 16. With that in mind, the Bulldogs are about to go up against one of the most lethal players in the country.
Mike Daum is averaging 25.3 points per game, which was the second-best mark in college hoops in 2016-17. Nigel Williams-Goss might be a top player in this sport, but Daum is going to get his points, and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits (best name in the dance?) will give the Bulldogs a run for their money the entire game.
Bucknell Starts Off The March Madness Festivities, Knocks Off West Virginia
The upsets are going to happen. They happen every year. While Bucknell over West Virginia might sound like crazy talk (in many ways it is), did anyone predict Michigan State to go down to Middle Tennessee last season? Did anyone call the Lehigh-over-Duke upset? If so, then you probably went to school at Middle Tennessee or Lehigh — just sayin’.
For all it’s worth, the Bison are riding a six-game winning streak into the dance. They also knocked off the Vanderbilt Commodores earlier in the season. Vanderbilt is a team that knocked off the Florida Gators three times (yes, three times), and a team that will also be partaking in the 2017 NCAA tournament.
Middle Tennessee Does It Again
As stated multiple times, the Blue Raiders took down the Spartans last year and destroyed brackets all over the country in the process.
This season, Middle Tennessee is a No. 12 seed, it is rocking a 30-4 record, and it is also riding a 10-game winning streak into the dance. The Blue Raiders are better than they were a year ago, but will they put on Cinderella’s glorious slipper, if you will, in back-to-back tournaments?
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are sitting at an infamous seed. After all, at least one No. 12 seed seems to knock off a No. 5 seed on a yearly basis.
Melo Trimble Drops 40 Points On Xavier
Yes, Melo Trimble is still playing ball for the Maryland Terrapins, and he still has all of the talent in the world. However, if he plans on making a deep run in this year’s version of the dance, he is going to have to be a one-man wrecking crew.
The Terp is averaging 17 points per game, but in bold prediction fashion, look for him to drop at least 40 points on the Xavier Musketeers.
The Tar Heels Drop — Wait For It — 110 Points On Texas Southern
Not only are the North Carolina Tar Heels one of the best teams in the 2017 NCAA tournament (they earned a No. 1 seed), but they know how to put the ball in the hoop at a high rate. That tends to be the case with any Roy-Williams coached team.
In terms of this season, the Tar Heels are averaging 84.9 points per game, and they are about to go up against a No. 16 seed. This is a team that has scored 100 or more points five times in 2016-17. This is a team that is about to drop 110 or more points on a helpless No. 16 seed.
Bryce Alford, Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf Combine For 70 Points
The UCLA Bruins get buckets — you may have heard.
UCLA is putting up 90.4 points per contest, which is the best mark in college basketball. As for Bryce Alford, Lonzo Ball, and TJ Leaf, they are averaging a combined 46.6 points per contest. Needless to say, this prediction is dripping in bold.
Once Again, A No. 2 Seed Will Fall
There is going to be an upset that rarely anyone predicted, and it very well could come in a 15 vs. 2 matchup. It happened last year, and it will happen again this year. As a result, March Madness will stay true to its name during the 2017 NCAA tournament.
[Featured Image by Harry How/Getty Images]