Picking chalk and cheering for favorites works for some NCAA hoops fans. It doesn’t for this one.
The most thrilling part of choosing a bracket is carefully deciding which upsets are bound to happen. They don’t always occur as often as we’d like but there’s a extra bit of pride that encompasses correctly pegging a 13-seed to knock off a 4-seed.
Freshly released by the Tournament committee, here are five early games (excluding the First Four play-in’s) that have the ability to ruin entire office pools.
1. Long Beach State (12) over New Mexico (5): The 49ers likely get Larry Anderson back from injury and play this game in Portland.
2. West Virginia (10) over Gonzaga (7): The Zags are a higher seed and playing the Mountaineers in Pittsburgh. If your geography is off, that’s way too close to the West Virginia campus for Gonzaga’s comfort.
3. Texas (11) over Cincinnati (6): Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information’s Twitter, “6th time that Texas has been a double-digit seed. Each of the previous 5 times, the Longhorns won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament.”
4. North Carolina State (11) over San Diego State (6): The Wolfpack nearly thwarted in-state rival North Carolina in the ACC Tournament. They’re no longer sweating the bubble and C.J. Leslie is capable of imposing his will on any matchup in which he’s involved.
5. Harvard (12) over Vanderbilt (5): With Jeremy Lin running the point for Harvard, not even a Vanderbilt upset of Kentucky can stop the…wait, what?