Upset Watch: Which NCAA Tournament Favorites Should Be On Alert?

03.18.19 4 months ago

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The NCAA Tournament bracket is now available in full and from the moment the 68-team field came to light, the attention of the country turned to what might happen on the court over the next few weeks. If nothing else, most sports fans will fill out a bracket of predictions in the next few days and, even if a lot of attention will be paid to which teams could make the Final Four in Minneapolis, some of the fun is trying to unearth a few sleepers.

Almost without fail, a couple of double-digit seeds make noise on the first weekend of the tournament, and in 2019 there are a few interesting candidates. In order for that to happen, though, a higher-seeded team has to fall and, in this space, we will be putting some squads on full-fledged upset alert for their first round contests.

Let’s roll through the teams that should have their guard up, and we’ll do so in chronological order.

No. 3 LSU vs. No. 14 Yale (12:40 pm ET, Thursday)

LSU is a lot more talented than Yale. The underdog does have a legitimate NBA prospect on the roster in Miye Oni but, in short, no one would willingly take Yale’s collective group against an LSU team that has big-time recruits all over the place. With that said, there are weird circumstances in play, with LSU functioning without head coach Will Wade and a team that shoots only 32.3 percent from three-point range this season. LSU is still nearly a double-digit favorite for a reason and they should take care of business, but Yale’s offense is legitimately potent and it only takes one hot performance.

No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Northeastern (4:00 pm ET, Thursday)

Northeastern can really, really shoot it. They are 5th in the country (per KenPom) in effective field goal percentage and that goes along with a top-15 national mark in three-point shooting. When you’re looking for an upset, that isn’t a bad place to start, especially with the random nature of a single 40-minute basketball game. Then, you throw in the fact that the Huskies run great offense and, perhaps more importantly, Kansas looks extremely vulnerable. The Jayhawks do have some very good wins on their resume but, in the same breath, this isn’t the same roster that was playing in November and Kansas just hasn’t been scary away from Allen Fieldhouse with their current roster.

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