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2011 March Madness Tournament Upset Predictions

2011 March Madness Underdogs – NCAA Tournamant Upset Picks

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Will Marquette go a miraculous Cinderella run? Is Ohio State a Lock for the Final Four? Can Princeton Continue Its Dream Run Against Kentucky?

All legitimate possibilities that make each year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament fun to watch and a nightmare for even the most experienced Bracketologist.

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Just for fun, here I take a look at what I think maybe some of the biggest upsets in the 2011 edition of March Madness.

Looking for Tournament Upset Picks & Predictions? Here’s my take for March Madness on who we should watch as the best chance to play spoiler.

Round Two

East Region: No. 12 UAB over No. 5 West Virginia. I look for UAB to top West Virginia here. The Blazers are a bubble-rific team and as Marquette demonstrated –WVU can be beaten.

West Region: No. 12 Memphis over No. 5 Arizona. Opponents have been able to shoot the ball way too well against the Wildcats, and Memphis has the players that can get to the bucket fast and often.

Southwest Region: No. 12 Richmond over No. 5 Vanderbilt. The Commodores defense will be challenged by the Spiders effective offense. Richmond was a surprise landing at No. 12 after winning the Atlantic 10 title, plus they are playing great right now.

Southeast Region:  No. 15 UC Santa Barbara over No. 2 Florida. UC-Santa Barbara doesn’t really look all that tough on paper after going just 18-13 this season. However, the Gauchos returned everyone from a team that won the Big West regular season and tournament championships in 2010.

Round Three

East Region: No. 7 Washington over No. 2 North Carolina. The Huskies looked good winning the PAC 10 Tournament with Isaiah Thomas’ buzzer beater in overtime. Washington’s track meet style matches up well with the Heels who don’t light up the scoreboard as much, and that could be enough to outpace UNC in this one.

West Region: No. 7 Temple over No. 2 San Diego State. For the Owls, it was a loss to A-10 Champion 27-7 Richmond that ended a very good 25-7, 14-2 season. Defense is how Temple gets it done, losing by double digits just three times this season. With Fernandez conducting a proficient offense and the likes of Moore on the wing, and Allen down low, Temple appears to have the horses to make this a race.

Southwest Region: No. 12 Richmond over No. 4 Louisville. The Cardinals were dazed and confused against 21-10 Drexel in mid-December on their home court. This Spiders have only lost twice in their last 16 games, and that was against Xavier and Temple. Although it won’t be easy, I think this senior heavy Richmond team has what it takes to cause their second upset.

Southeast Region: No. 10 Michigan State over No. 2 Florida.  Should the Gators stave off a second round upset to Santa Barbara, they will likely run into the Spartans who surprised a lot of us this year with their dreadful play. However, MSU still limped into the tournament with a 19-14 overall record, winning two games in the Big Ten Tournament over Iowa and an upset over Purdue. The trio of Lucas, Green, and Summers is hard to bet against.  

Sweet 16

Southwest Region: No. 3 Purdue over No. 2 Notre Dame. Notre Dame has the talent to go all the way to the Final Four, and offensively can compete with anyone. It’s defense, that is more problematic. The Irish won 94-93 at 15-17 Providence despite Marshon Brooks pouring in a career-high 52 points. Purdue wasn’t good in their last two games, but Johnson and Moore should help them offensively this time around against an unpredictable Irish defense.

Southeast Region: No. 4 Wisconsin over No. 1 Pittsburgh. The Badgers have been playing well, winning nine of 11 to close out the regular season. Scoring is generally not an issue with a defense that has given up 58 points on 43 percent shooting, ranking number four in the nation in points allowed. The Panthers could find this tricky.

Elite 8

West Region: No. 4 Texas over No. 1 Duke. Texas finished with a 13-3 mark in the Big 12, one game back of the No.1 Jayhawks. The Longhorns are one of the more balanced teams in the nation with an offense at 75 points on over 45 percent from the floor while allowing just 61 points on just over 38 percent. Good enough to give the Devils a run for their money, especially in the later rounds.

Your thoughts? Give me your best Upset Predictions for the tournament and I hope you have some good luck if you use My picks for the best Upsets in the 2010 National Title tournament better known as March Madness.

Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian, the Oregonian, Springfield Republican, Sacramento Bee, and the San Diego Union Tribune. I leave handicapping to the pros. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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