5 squads in danger of busting brackets with early NCAA tournament exits

Today’s March Madness assignment is to find a few high seeds who could be on first-round upset alert. Get out your brackets and let’s sort through some teams in possible danger.

[Free bracket contests for both tourneys | Printable Women’s | Men’s]

Marquette, No. 2 seed in East region

Marquette picked up Creighton’s slack in the Big East, cruising to the league title. Head coach Shaka Smart is going to need a new trophy case to house all of his end-of-season awards. But Marquette is a curiously small 10.5-point favorite over Vermont; the betting public has been all over the Catamounts since this game opened. Vermont has the type of things you want to see from a live underdog: it’s a low-turnover team, the roster is experienced, and the team is in fine form, rattling off 15 straight wins to enter the tournament. The NCAA tournament isn’t a novelty for Vermont, either; the Cats have made nine trips over the past two decades. I’ll grab the points, and an upset wouldn’t shock me.

No. 2 seed Marquette shouldn’t overlook Vermont despite being a double-digit favorite. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Virginia, No. 4 seed in South region

Although Virginia is a No. 4 seed, it’s only a 5.5-point favorite over Furman. The Cavaliers play at a slow pace; they rarely run and they’re coached to eschew the offensive boards. And it’s not like the Virginia half-court offense is humming, either; you can see how much they miss forward Ben Vander Plas, who’s out for the season. Furman is an efficient offensive team entering the tourney on a 14-1 streak. This game should be competitive for two hours.

Duke, No. 5 seed in East

Full disclosure, I expect Duke to go far in the tournament. It’s the tallest team in the field and the nation’s best recruiting class has grown up nicely after a slow liftoff. But the selection committee did Duke no favors in Round 1, sending Oral Roberts for a Thursday showdown. Oral Roberts is a mid-major with a star scorer (Max Abmas), an interior…

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Author : Yahoo Sports

Publish date : 2023-03-14 22:18:02

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