NCAA First Round Upsets; Which team will “go dow …

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As we finally approach March Madness, everybody starts to look at the best teams in the bunch while also picking out the worst teams. In this article, we will be diving into which NCAA teams will be knocked out first, starting off with some of the obvious choices for the NCAA first round upsets before jumping into the top teams in the tournament.

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NCAA First Round Upsets – First off, we can go with the easiest choices.

#1 Cleveland State

There is simply no way that Cleveland State lives to see the second round of the tournament. Not only did they barely squeak past a terrible Purdue Fort Wayne team a little while back in triple overtime, but they face off against Houston in the first round.

Houston is the number two seed in their side of the bracket and are talented in pretty much every single area on the court. Cleveland State would need a giant shooting night in order to compete with Houston offensively but happen to be one of the worst shooting teams in the tournament.

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It is also worth mentioning that Houston has utterly dominated the offensive glass throughout the year and even leads the entire nation in adjusted shooting defense. Not only do they have a fantastic guard duo, but they also have a solid big man in Quentin Grimes who is bound to cause problems for Cleveland State on both ends of the court.

This Houston team isn’t the best in the tournament, but they are a sleeper to win it all and there is no way that they lose in the first round given their excellent roster. Houston should roll over them and advance while Cleveland State should get sent home earlier than they hope.

#2 Oklahoma

Next up we have Oklahoma.

This team started their year off great but have been dropping down the rankings consistently ever since then. They have lost five out of their last six contests heading into this tournament and don’t seem like they are gelling together like the other top teams in the tourney.

They do have a solid trio of young players with Austin Reaves, De’Vion Harmon and Brady Manek but the rest of their roster is average at best. Although they were given a very favorable matchup in the first round against Missouri, it will still take a lot to advance towards the second round.

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Missouri has struggled lately also but have a dominant center in Jeremiah Tilmon and have proven that they can be great at times during the season. Even though each of these teams have regressed while the year has gone on, I believe that Oklahoma will struggle to get past Missouri and if they do, they won’t make it much farther.

#3 Norfolk State

We can hit on one more obvious choice here. Norfolk State will be going head-to-head against Gonzaga in the opening round.

But I will say, Norfolk is a decent team overall with three different players all shooting over 40 percent this year in Joe Bryant, Kashaun Hicks and Jalen Hawkins.

They also are known for knocking off the number two seed Missouri as the 15th seed in the tournament about nine years ago, so they have gotten a huge upset before.
[su_panel color=”#131518″ border=”7px solid #3151a2″]But they play the best team in this tournament by a long shot. Gonzaga went undefeated this year and has tons of talent on both the offensive and defensive end. They are a group of athletic and intelligent young players who are hungry to pull off a full undefeated year.[/su_panel]

This team is just good in literally every single category, it has been a while since a team was this dominant entering the tournament.

While Norfolk will be able to put up a fight, many people already have Gonzaga going all the way and for good reason, they should knock Norfolk out of the competition when it all gets underway.

Now, we can move onto which NCAA top seed in this tournament is likely to be dropped off early.

#1 Baylor

I can tell you right now that Gonzaga is probably the least likely to be knocked out although crazier things have happened. I believe Baylor could be in a compromising position come tournament time despite them being a top seed.

They were completely dominant during the first half of the year and were inches behind Gonzaga during that time. However, they were hit with a few COVID-19 positives and were forced to pause their season for a little bit. They were still very talented and winning games, but it seemed like they took a small step backwards after the whole situation.

Baylor also has a tough road through the tournament, having to face either North Carolina or Wisconsin in the second round if they happen to win their first matchup.

[su_panel color=”#131518″ border=”7px solid #3151a2″]Each of those teams have the talent to pull off an upset on one of the most talented teams in this whole event. While I wouldn’t bet on that upset actually happening, Baylor could definitely be the first top seed to fall down.[/su_panel]

#2 Michigan

Another top seed that can likely drop out early on is Michigan.

To be honest the choice to put Michigan on this list was far easier than Baylor. They still do have the possibility of advancing to the finals and possibly even winning this whole tournament, but the odds are definitely stacked against them at the moment.

Michigan is still a heavy favorite in their first-round matchup and will more than likely be a favorite heading into the second round against either LSU and St. Bonaventure but their downfall is their injuries.

Isaiah Livers will be missing at least the first two games and possibly the entire NCAA tournament with an injury that has surprisingly been kept under the radar. Livers is by far one of the most important players on the team and they get worse without him, their chances drop a small bit even though they are still talented.

While both them and Baylor should be able to get the job done and pick up two wins each this weekend, they are the two top seeds that are the most susceptible for a loss early on than the other top seeds like Houston and Gonzaga.

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