NCAAB Sports

Mid-Majors to Keep an Eye on in March

March Madness is just weeks away, and that means brackets will be busted in a matter of hours. Mid-major programs with a roster full of three-star recruits prove they can hang with powerhouse programs. It’s what makes the tournament so captivating and thrilling to watch. Here are a few potential 12 or 13 seeds that could get a win in the NCAA Tournament:

Hofstra

(Photo by Lee S. Weissman)

The Pride were once the hottest team in the country, having won 16 games in a row. Still, they sit at 20-4 and 10-1 with a two game lead in the CAA standings. Two of those four losses were to VCU and Maryland, both potential tournament teams.

Hofstra is led by the nation’s third-leading scorer, Justin Wright-Foreman, at 25.1 points per game. A high-scoring team with a guy capable of creating his own shot, the Pride are a team to look out for come tournament time.

Vermont

Last year, the Catamounts were a game away from their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance before falling to UMBC at the buzzer in the America East Conference Tournament. It’ll be interesting to see if that will fuel this team to get back the Big Dance, as Anthony Lamb is one of the most skilled bigs in the country. Lamb is averaging 21.1 PPG and 7.7 rebounds per game. Vermont gave Purdue a game in the 2017 NCAA Tournament, in which Lamb went for 20 points and nine rebounds as a freshman. The Catamounts could give a No. 4 seed difficulty in the opening round.

Lipscomb

The Bisons currently sit at 31 in the latest NET Rankings, which should indicate just how good this team is. Led by Garrison Mathews’ 19.1 points per game, Lipscomb has all the characteristics of a team capable of pulling off an upset in March. They own road wins over SMU and TCU, and lost by four to Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center. The Bisons might be the most dangerous and likely-upset pick on this list. They appeared in their first NCAA Tournament last season as they fell to North Carolina.

Wofford

(Photo by Jason Getz / USA Today Sports)

The Terriers own a 20-4 record, with those four losses coming to tournament-bound teams in North Carolina, Kansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi State. Fletcher Magee is one of the most prolific scorers in the country, averaging 19.5 points per game on nearly 40% shooting from three.

The Terriers will be seeking their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2015. If they get there, this is a team you definitely should keep an eye on as a potential No. 12 vs No. 5 upset.

Belmont

The OVC looks like a three-team race between Belmont, Austin Peay and Murray State, all at 9-2 in the OVC. The Bruins already beat aforementioned Lipscomb twice, as well as UCLA on the road.

Dylan Windler is their leading scorer and rebounder at 19.4 points per game and 10.3 rebounds per game. While the Bruins will be seeking their eighth March Madness appearance, many fans wouldn’t be upset with Ja Morant and the Racers in the Big Dance, either. Both teams have talent your average mid-major wouldn’t have in recent years.

 

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