Harvard, Oregon, Cal start the NCAA March Madness upsets: Who's next?

The men’s NCAA tournament, March Madness, is officially underway, complete with several upsets already and a few more on the way. Photo: AP

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, March 22, 2013 – The men’s NCAA tournament, March Madness, is officially underway, complete with several upsets already and a few more on the way.

Harvard surprised almost everyone with its 68-62 victory over the New Mexico Lobos, which pundits had placed in the Sweet 16.  The win was the first NCAA tournament victory for Harvard, and probably a once-in-a-lifetime game for the team.

The technical upset of Oregon over Oklahoma State 68-55 was almost expected.  Bracketologists noted Oregon’s strangely low seed, and widely expected the Duck’s victory.

California’s win over UNLV 64-61 was largely thanks to experience and strong play by senior guard Allen Crabbe.  

While America loves a Cinderella team, and the Tournament almost always delivers one, it is unlikely any of these three will survive the next round.  

Oregon next plays St. Louis, one of the best defensive teams in the tournament – and the country.  An upset by Oregon is not completely out of the question, but is not probable against the incredible defense and hustle of the St. Louis team.

Cal’s next game is against the Syracuse machine.  California has almost no chance to beat the Orange just have more talent, and coming off a whopping 81-34 win against Montana yesterday, Syracuse will be hard to beat.

Whose next in the upset category?  

For today’s Round of 64 games, watch for Minnesota (11) to beat UCLA (6).  Minnesota is a strong team, beating Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin this year, and it will have the added advantage of facing a hobbled UCLA.  The Bruins lost second-leading scorer Jordan Adams last week after he broke his foot.  

The other likely upset is Cincinnati (10) over Creighton (7).  The press loves Creighton, but the team is not as strong as the media suggests.  Moreover, Cincinnati plays physical, tough defense and will disrupt the Creighton shooting.

The Round of 64 continues today and tomorrow, with more upsets sure to follow.

 

 


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Lisa M. Ruth

Lisa M. Ruth started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service and analysis.  After leaving the government, she joined a private intelligence firm in South Florida as President, where she oversaw all research, analysis and reporting.

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