Cinderella Teams to Watch for in March Madness
March Madness is only about two short months away from starting, which means it is time to start thinking about your bracket. It is never too early to start scouting which teams you will pick to go far in the NCAA tournament in order to win your bracket pool. Here are a few good teams that could make a run in March.
- Monmouth Hawks- Monmouth’s bench, ironically, gets most of the attention, because of their celebrations and antics, but the Hawks have had a pretty impressive season so far. They have beaten UCLA, USC, Notre Dame, and Georgetown, which got them through their non-conference season impressively. To go along with their great non-conference play they have only lost one conference game this season, which came against Canisius. The Hawks have one of the most underrated guards in Justin Robinson, who averages 20.9 points per game. Monmouth also boasts a three point percentage of 38.7%, which is something they are going to need to beat teams who are more talented on the inside. There is only one reason that Monmouth might not be a Cinderella, and that’s if they keep on winning and get a good seed, meaning they won’t surprise anyone in March.
- UAB Blazers- The Blazers have only lost three games this season and all of their losses were to teams from big conferences and were also away from home. They don’t have any big wins this season, but did beat Stephen F. Austin, a team that is looking to make their third straight NCAA tournament appearance. UAB also returns a lot of key players from their team last season that won a game in the NCAA tournament. Robert Brown and Chris Cokley lead the Blazers in scoring and will use their tournament experience from last year to their advantage. The Blazers are a great passing team, averaging 19.2 assists per game, which is the fifth best in the country. If UAB gets to the big dance, they will use their offensive balance and their great passing ability to make a run.
- Belmont Bruins- Belmont seems to be on this list every year, but this might be the year they are able to break through. The Bruins opened their season by getting a big win at Marquette, who is much improved this season. While beating the Golden Eagles is the only major win for Belmont, the Bruins have challenged themselves with a tough non-conference schedule that should help prepare them for March. The Bruins are twenty-fifth in the country in points and assists per game. Their leading scorers are Evan Bradds and Craig Bradshaw, who both average more than 16 points per game. Belmont can win in the NCAA tournament because of their two leading scorers being able to answer runs by their opponents.
- Chattanooga Mocs- Chattanooga is probably going to be one of the last teams anyone would suspect to be a Cinderella. They will probably be in the 12-16 range depending on how they finish their conference season. As of now Chattanooga has only three losses and a list of impressive wins over Georgia, Illinois and Dayton. They have four players averaging over ten points, which will make them hard to guard. Their leading scorer, Casey Jones, has been out with an ankle injury since December 11. The Mocs then went on to beat Dayton on the road without Jones in the lineup. With the depth to beat Dayton and an experienced team the Mocs will be a tough out in the NCAA tournament.
Make sure to follow the Game Haus and myself on twitter, like the Game Haus Facebook page and post on our forums.