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Buckeyes, Lumberjacks Among Teams With Upset Potential For Thursday’s March Madness Games

Posted by on 3/16/2015 9:47:39 PM

There is no doubt that No. 1 Kentucky deserves all of the praise that it has received while going 34-0 and winning another SEC Championship en route to the national title tournament and with the March Madness about to begin the biggest storyline is clearly whether or not they will be able to complete a perfect season and stand alone as national champions. However, their round of 64 game is considered by most nothing more than a formality at this point meaning that while fans will check in to see how badly they dominate there will be a handful of games with much better upset potential. Here is a quick look at the four best March Madness games scheduled for Thursday.

(14) Northeastern Huskies vs. (3) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Thursday, 12:15 PM ET

The Huskies are looking to make some noise in their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1991 and they have enough skill on their roster to potentially get it done against a 3-seed in Notre Dame. Scott Eatherton is a first-team All-CAA forward and Northeastern is as good as almost any other team in the tournament when it comes to spreading the floor. The Fighting Irish proved a number of experts wrong just by doing as well as they did in the ACC this season but they are extremely vulnerable on the glass and that negates one of the major weaknesses that the Huskies bring in to this tournament. Notre Dame will get through if they are hitting on all cylinders but that will be easier said than done and if they fall behind early it could give Northeastern the confidence they need to shock the world.

Pick: Northeastern

(11) UCLA Bruins vs. (6) SMU Mustangs

Thursday, 3:10 PM ET

The Bruins did more than just sneak in to the field – they ended up with a No. 11 seed despite just two victories over at-large teams. However, that won’t mean much when they go up against a Mustangs team that has become relevant again under head coach Larry Brown. SMU won its first league title since 1993 this season and with a talented team led by star guard Nic Moore and a solid big men pair in Yanick Moreira and Markus Kennedy, Brown has more than enough skill and size at his disposal to help the Mustangs get through to the round of 32.

Pick: SMU Mustangs

(10) Ohio State Buckeyes vs. (7) VCU Rams

Thursday, 4:40 PM ET

D’Angelo Russell has skyrocketed up NBA draft charts and with Sam Thompson, Marc Loving and Jae’Sean Tate there is a strong enough level of depth around him that Ohio State is among the teams that many consider to be a sexy upset pick. VCU was once in a similar position but the hunters are now the hunted and head coach Shaka Smart will be in tough to find a way to get his team through to the next round after losing Briante Weber to a career-ending knee injury in early February. Treveon Graham is one of the top players in the country but he can’t do it alone and the Buckeyes are playing with house money as a sleeper underdog pick.

Pick: Ohio State

(12) Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks vs. (5) Utah Utes

Thursday, 7:27 PM ET

Utah dropped to a 5-seed and was slotted in against a tough opponent that won a tournament game a year ago in Stephen F. Austin and it could be the perfect formula for an early upset. The Lumberjacks press style will be difficult for Deion Wright and the Utes to handle and if Jacob Parker and Thomas Walkup play to their potential it will be Stephen F. Austin that secures one of the first upset wins of the tournament.

Pick: Stephen F. Austin

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