Every year, the high seeded teams that make the tournament are hopeful to make a run. Most will see a first round exit, but each year, we have those that make a run and are labeled as a Cinderella team. Last year, we saw #15 seed Saint Peter’s made it all the way to the Elite 8. This year, we’ll be breaking down 5 Cinderella Hopefuls for this tournament, after all it is March and anything can happen.
#12 Seed: Drake Bulldogs
The Drake Bulldogs finished their season winning 13 of their last 14 games on the year. Drake won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and had the conference player of the year in Tucker DeVries. Drake has a first round matchup against one of last year’s Cinderella teams in the Miami Hurricanes and is hopeful to take that title from them this year.
#12 Seed: Charleston Cougars
The Charleston Cougars were one of two teams named the Cougars to go 31-3 in the nation with the Houston Cougars being the other. The Houston Cougars were a #1 seed while the Charleston Cougars drew a #12 seed in the tournament. Having a share of the nations best record and being a #12 seed is having these Charleston Cougars criminally underrated. They are a very dangerous team that should be on everybody’s radar.
#13 Seed: Kent State Golden Flashes
The Golden Flashes won the MAC tournament on their way to earning an automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. The Golden Flashes beat the favorite Toledo on their way to doing so. Kent State draws an Indiana team in the round of 64 who’s had an up and down season that could make them a flashy team in this year’s tournament.
#13 Seed: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Louisiana raged its way to a Sun Belt Championship and a #13 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Ragin’ Cajuns are putting the Tennessee Volunteers on upset alert in a very winnable matchup. From there, Louisiana gets a former Cinderella team in Oral Roberts or a blue blood squad in Duke. That round of 32 matchup will be one we all will want to keep our eyes on as it can be another Cinderella team marching their way on or one of college basketba’’s legacy teams.
#14 Seed: UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
The highest seeded team making this is the Gauchos of UC Santa Barbara, a #14 seed from the Big West conference. The Gauchos get a first round matchup against Baylor who has lost 4 of their last 6 games to end the year making it a matchup we’ll be on the lookout for. After the first round, a potential game against Pac-12 winner Arizona can shock the world. The Gauchos 27-7 record is impressive and they are a team that has a high-powered offense that can put up some points when they get hot.
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