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2014 College Basketball Betting – Four Likely First-Round Upsets

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/19/2014 9:22:54 PM

1- North Carolina State Over Saint Louis

North Carolina State was the last at-large team into the NCAA tournament. The Wolfpack had a profile that, for many people, was not worthy of being included in the NCAA tourney. Yet, North Carolina State got a chance to show the nation what it could do on Tuesday in Dayton against Xavier, and the Wolfpack made good. They rolled past the Musketeers and moved into Thursday's full slate of NCAA tournament games. This North Carolina State team is the hot team that catches fire late in the season after struggling to make everything work for most of the way. This team believes in itself as a group. Players trust each other. Star T.J. Warren is playing at his best, but Ralston Turner, a transfer from LSU, is also providing a lot of support. Post player Jordan Vandenberg is also making a difference for this team by blocking shots and rebounding in the paint. North Carolina State has a lot going for itself right now, whereas Saint Louis, after winning 19 games in a row in the middle of the season, has won only once in the past two weeks. The Billikens look gassed, and that's no way to enter the NCAA tournament. North Carolina State is in a groove, and it will take a special performance from Saint Louis to change the way in which this game moves. 

2 - Western Michigan Over Syracuse

The Syracuse Orange lost to Boston College and Georgia Tech at home within the past month. If they can tumble against those kinds of teams, they can certainly stumble as well against a Western Michigan team that clubbed Toledo in the championship game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament this past weekend. Western Michigan is in a comfort zone right now, and Syracuse's job will be to push the Broncos out of that comfort zone. This might seem relatively easy for the Orange to do, but they have not been shooting very well of late, and if they don't find ways to get some easy baskets in the first half, you'll be able to see an upset coming a mile away in the second half. A low-scoring game would enable Western Michigan to stay close and then steal the win in the final minutes.

3 - Mercer Over Duke

It would be a huge upset, but Duke is not that great. The Blue Devils are certainly a very good team, but they're not as powerful or as good on defense as some of the better Duke teams have been in the fairly recent past. Mercer is highly skilled, with enough athleticism to beat "Dunk City," otherwise known as Florida Gulf Coast University, in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Mercer's offense might not meet enough resistance from Duke's defense, and if that's the case, this game could be a lot of fun to watch... unless you are a Duke fan. This game could become complicated if Duke doesn't play really good defense.

4 - North Dakota State over Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Sooners had a great regular season, but against unfamiliar opponents, they might be in trouble. Oklahoma shoots really well, but one bad day in a foreign arena against a tricky mid-major school could be enough to send the Sooners home. North Dakota State has multiple high-quality scorers and can keep up with Oklahoma in a shootout. Any sign of panic from the Sooners is likely to be recognized and punished in short order.

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