NCAA Tournament 2016 First Round Upsets: Any Takers?

Jules Rules

Football season is back and so is Jules Rules!I'm a die hard Broncos fan and will likely never write anything positive about the Patriots or Redskins.Deal with it.

Do you view college basketball as a one month sport? Are you feverishly trying to find a printer in your office that doesn’t chew more paper than it spits out so you can print your much awaited NCAA brackets? Maybe this year you’ll finally take home that bragging rights prize and won’t have to listen to your Duke fan colleague that’s hanging onto last year’s championship title.  March Madness is upon us so let’s get to it and analyze some middle seeds striving for upsets in the first round.

East

Chattanooga (12) v. Indiana (5):

This is a relatively even matchup.  Indiana (25-7) has a slight edge statistically but is coming off a hard loss to Michigan last Friday.  Having won convincingly in their three games prior to Maryland, Iowa and Illinois, respectively, the Michigan loss was difficult to bear heading into the tournament.  Chattanooga (29-5) is no slouch averaging 75.8 points per game but the Hoosiers will make it through to round two from the three point line.

Pitt (10) v. Wisconsin (7):

The pummeling Pittsburgh (21-11) suffered at the hands of UNC last week is still raw so the Panthers are looking for redemption in round one.  The same could be said for Wisconsin (20-12) coming off two terrible losses to Nebraska and Purdue.  The Panthers are averaging 78 points per game to Wisconsin’s 68 and have higher overall field goal and free throw percentages.  This could be a squeaker but Pitt will come out on top.

West

VCU (10) v. Oregon St. (7):

Another interesting matchup.  VCU (24-10) has an impressive in-conference record (11-4) but let’s be honest, the Atlantic 10 isn’t exactly tough competition.  Oregon State (19-12) is averaging 72.1 points per game but their scoring margin is only 2.1.  I’ll give the Beavers credit for trying to make their mascot look like a scary animal we should fear but…we don’t.  Look for VCU to upset the not so scary Beavers.

Midwest

Gonzaga (11) v. Seton Hall (6):

Although Gonzaga (26-7) has had a consistent showing in the tournament over the past 15 years, they’ve lost in round two five years in a row prior to 2015.  In 2015 the Bulldogs made a run, losing to Duke in the regional semifinals.  So can the Bulldogs rough up Seton Hall (25-8) and make it past round one in 2016?  All signs point to yes.  Averaging around 80 points per game with a scoring margin of 13.5, the Bulldogs are pretty solid offensively.  Factor in a squad with a 76% free throw percentage and you know in the final two minutes of a game they’re clutch.  No disrespect to Seton Hall coming into the tourney as a 6th seed but this matchup looks to be destined for an upset.

Little Rock (12) v. Purdue (5):

Let’s just cut to the chase.  Little Rock, Arkansas isn’t good for anything, especially not basketball.  While it’s a nice little story that this is only the Trojan’s fifth trip to the big dance, unfortunately for the few fans out there, this is where the story ends.  I’ll give them the fact that they have a decent record heading into the tournament at 29-4 but Purdue (26-8) has the experience and stats to back it up.  The Boilermakers have a scoring margin of 13.1, one of the highest in the league and feel no pressure at the foul line shooting 74%.  It was a dream come true just to get into the tournament but the Trojans will enjoy watching round 2 from their living rooms.

South

South Dakota (12) v. Maryland (5):

I’m a little torn on this matchup because I just don’t like Maryland (25-8) come tournament time.  Too unpredictable and inconsistent, the Terrapins haven’t had their act together in March for a long time.  That being said, they are on the heels of a three point loss to Michigan State and are ready to take it out on the Coyotes (14-8).  The Terps will win in round one but round two is a different story.

Jules Rules:  Get ready for cheers, heartache and last second buzzer shots.  Enjoy the roller coaster ride they call March Madness.

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Jules Rules

Football season is back and so is Jules Rules! I'm a die hard Broncos fan and will likely never write anything positive about the Patriots or Redskins. Deal with it.

Jules Rules

Football season is back and so is Jules Rules! I'm a die hard Broncos fan and will likely never write anything positive about the Patriots or Redskins. Deal with it.

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