2015 NCAA Tournament: 10 Dark Horses That Could Make the Final Four

By Trevor Lowry

NCAA Tournament: 10 Dark Horses That Could Make the Final Four

Indiana Basketball
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

At this point, any team not named Kentucky might as well be a dark horse, amirite? Seriously, the Wildcats are being compared to the best teams of all time. However, March Madness puts a whole new meaning to crazy, meaning any-freaking-thing can happen.

Did anyone expect Connecticut to win it all last year entering the dance? I didn't, that's for sure. So, let's find some more Connecticuts. You know, dark horses that could win the NCAA tourney.

10. SMU Mustangs

SMU Mustangs
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

10. SMU Mustangs

SMU Mustangs
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Can you imagine how good SMU would be with Emmanuel Mudiay on the team? That aside, SMU is 22-5, and has only lost to teams that could end up in this year's tournament.

This is a team that was jipped out of the dance last year, and ended up making it to the NIT championship. While filling out your bracket, just remember to watch out for those Mustangs.

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Cowboys
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9. Oklahoma State Cowboys

Oklahoma State Cowboys
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This one may be a pipe dream more than anything considering the fact that last year’s more talented squad couldn’t even make a run. It’s a new year, though, right? If Le'Bryan Nash and Phil Forte III show up every game, the Cowboys could make an improbable run. There are plenty of other teams that are more talented than Oklahoma State, but this is March Madness we are talking about, which is a time that has no respect for the more talented team.

8. Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana Hoosiers
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8. Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana Hoosiers
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Three is better than two (trust me, I did the math). Indiana may not have the most size in the tournament, but it can straight up shoot the long ball. The Hoosiers have the third-highest three-point shooting percentage (41.2) in college hoops. Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. have to knock down shots, but this could be a very fun team to watch if it is making its threes.

7. Dayton Flyers

Dayton Flyers
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7. Dayton Flyers

Dayton Flyers
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Dayton made the Elite Eight last year. Sure, this year has absolutely nothing to do with last year, but the Flyers still have some returning talent, and they actually hold a 20-6 record. Lightning may not strike twice in the real world, but it does in the Big Dance (Butler made back-to-back title games out of nowhere a few years back).

6. Butler Bulldogs

Butler Bulldogs
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6. Butler Bulldogs

Butler Bulldogs
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

You just never know with the Butler Bulldogs. They made two of the most improbable runs in tournament history not too long ago. Now, they play in the Big East and are currently ranked in the top 25. Would anyone be surprised if the Bulldogs actually made the Final Four once again? I hope not.

5. Northern Iowa Panthers

Northern Iowa Panthers
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

5. Northern Iowa Panthers

Northern Iowa Panthers
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Northern Iowa is going to be a very popular dark horse pick when filling out brackets. Although the Panthers can be considered a dark horse, let's remember that they are ranked in the top 10 and have also won 15 games in a row.

4. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State Spartans
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4. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State Spartans
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As long as a Tom Izzo-led team makes the dance, it has a chance at making the Final Four. As for this Spartans team, it is relatively hot (four-game winning streak), and it will assume the underdog role in the NCAA tournament.

3. Utah Utes

Utah Utes
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3. Utah Utes

Utah Utes
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

These next three teams may all receive pretty high seeds in the tourney, but they are not Kentucky or Duke, instantly making them underdogs. As for Utah, it still has a chance at winning the Pac-12, and you better believe it has the talent to make the Final Four.

2. Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Sooners
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2. Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma Sooners
Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in the way-too-competitive Big 12 has only benefited teams like Oklahoma up until this point.

The Sooners have Buddy Hield, which is the No. 1 reason why they can make a deep run. Hield can drop 20+ points on any given night, which is a very valuable weapon to have in the dance.

1. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

1. Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State Cyclones
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Although Georges Niang is the star of the Cyclones, five other players are averaging 10+ points per game on this team. Opposing teams can try to contain Niang (key word try), but then they have to worry about five other players as well. Needless to say, Iowa State will not be an easy out this year.

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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