Cinderella Watch: March Madness
With this year’s March Madness tournament quickly approaching, let’s look at some potential Cinderella teams to look for as this tournament begins.
Furman Paladins, No. 13 Seed, South Region
The Furman Paladins have finally made their long awaited return the NCAA Tournament having last appeared in 1980. They are in the South Region, where they’ll face number 4 seed Virginia in the first round.
This matchup presents a very interesting and promising chance for the Paladins. They will look to use their high-powered offense, led behind seniors Mike Bothwell and Jalen Slawson, to break-down Virginia’s stout defense. If they are able to get past the Cavaliers, they have a good chance to make it to the Sweet 16 as well.
Drake Bulldogs, No. 12 Seed, Midwest Region
The Drake Bulldogs are one of the most experienced teams in this tournament. They are led by sophomore guard Tucker DeVries who averages 19.0 points per game.
Alongside him, he’s joined by a pair of 25-year-olds, D.J Wilkins and Roman Penn who run the backcourt. The Bulldogs like their chances against Miami, using their experience and continual success under head coach, Darian DeVries to boost them to a first-round upset.
VCU Rams, No. 12 Seed, West Region
The VCU Rams draw a first-round matchup with Saint Mary’s in what figures to be low-scoring battle. Both teams are very-strong defensively and for this reason, VCU likes their chances of an upset even more.
Although the Rams may not be the best shooting team, they make up for it by drawing a lot of fouls and scoring in transition. They will look to find some magic in this tournament, like they did in 2011, making it to a Final Four as an 11-seed.
Memphis Tigers, No. 8 Seed, East Region
The Memphis Tigers come into the tournament as one of the most in-form teams after beating Houston handedly in the AAC title game. The Tigers are a very athletic and experienced team, with one of the best point-guards in the country, Kendric Davis.
This is the type of team that can most-definitely make a charge into the second weekend of this tournament. They draw a first-round matchup with FAU, a dangerous team that lacks competition.
For this reason, I see Memphis being too much for FAU as they set themselves up for a potential matchup with Purdue, who has been vulnerable in the tournament in the past. This Memphis team is scary and is getting hot at the right time.
Winner of Penn State (No. 10 Seed) and Texas A&M (No. 7 Seed), Midwest Region
The final Cinderella comes from the winner of the Penn State and Texas A&M game. This matchup is almost too hard to choose from, as Penn State is on-fire right now but draws an unfortunate matchup against an Aggies team that should be higher than a No. 7-seed.
The winner of this game will like their chances to make a run in this tournament being in a Midwest region that seems quite open.
If Penn State can stay hot, behind the success of Jalen Pickett, Seth Lundy and Andrew Funk, the Nittany Lions can make it into the second weekend or even further in this tournament.
Brady McCormick is a third-year student majoring in telecommunications. To contact him email email@example.com.