MATCHUPS THAT CAN BUST YOUR BRACKET
Everyone knows that upsets are the best part of the NCAA Tournament. And everyone who has filled out a bracket more than once knows that if you pick too many upsets, you will lose your pool. You have to be discriminating, rather, and pick the right upsets.
Here, a guide to six upsets we think could hit. Including, yes, a No. 16 beating a No. 1. Coach
Bill Self celebrated Kansas’ victory over West Virginia in the Big 12 title game on Saturday. defensively. Those are hallmarks of a team that can make noise in March. The Friars took topseeded Villanova to overtime in the Big East championship game and beat Xavier twice this season. Meanwhile, Texas A&M will have to play at noon on the East Coast.
WHY IT MIGHT NOT: The Friars are one of the least efficient offensive teams in the field, and the Aggies won nine of their last 13 in the tough Southeastern Conference.
X FACTOR: Kyron Cartwright, Providence’s senior point guard, hit big shot after big shot in the Big East tournament. If this streaky shooter (42.8 percent) can get rolling again, he can carry the Friars on his back.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Deep breath on this one: It would be the first time a No. 16 beat a No. 1 in what will have been 132 contests. First, consider the imperfection of the No. 1: The Jayhawks are ninth according to KenPom.com, the equivalent of a No. 3 seed; they lag defensively; their average point differential was 21st, the same as fellow Big 12 member West Virginia (a No. 5 seed); and it is unclear how available injured big man Udoka Azubuike will be. Then there’s Penn: The Quakers won the Ivy League, which had a down year but is still a more formidable conference than No. 16s typically come from; are expert at defending the 3-pointer; and are coached by Steve Donahue, who took Cornell to the round of 16 several years ago.