March Madness- Upset Specials


Stephen Young

March Madness: the best time of the year. It is widely considered the most exciting time in sports as millions of fans across America keep their eyes glued to their screens throughout the tournament. Games are simultaneously streamed on televisions, computers, tablets, and phones as viewers prohibit themselves from missing a second of a game. During this time, people across the country, whether they are a die hard fan or don’t even know who Zion Williamson is, fill out a bracket in hopes to be the first person ever to fill out the perfect bracket. While it may seem like a simple task, just pick the better seed with a few upsets, one’s chances of filling out the perfect bracket are 1 in 9.2 quintillion. What is it that makes picking the perfect bracket so hard? It’s the crazy amount of unexpected first round upsets that throw people off. Now, let’s dive in to the biggest key upsets to pick that will help make the perfect bracket.

Oregon vs. Wisconsin

It is an upset that has been predicted by analysts across the country since Selection Sunday. Coming off a conference championship victory, the Oregon Ducks are red hot and hungry. They punched their ticket with the conference win and received a 12 seed and a date with No. 5 Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s season had its highs and lows, beating a highly ranked Michigan team, but also losing to an unranked Indiana team. With Oregon’s momentum, it will be this year’s key 12v5 upset.

Ohio State vs. Iowa State

11 seeds have a recent winning record over 6 seeds (12-8) and Ohio State is highly overlooked. This combination sets up a great opportunity for a Cyclone upset. Despite a rough patch in the middle of the season for the Buckeyes, they started off the season strong, being ranked in the top 25 for almost the entire first half of the season, and had a strong stretch of games in February. With star center Kaleb Wesson, Ohio State looks to overpower the Cyclones.

Murray State vs. Marquette

When looking for upsets to include and a bracket, one can’t go wrong with a 5-12 upset, and Murray State is no exception. Although Marquette had a strong season, they showed weaknesses throughout. In sports, a team wants to be playing its best basketball at the end of the season, and Marquette did quite the opposite by losing four out of their last five games. Although Marquette proved their skill over the course of January and February, they had a brutal March to say the least, and they showed just how vulnerable they are. Murray State is expected to take full advantage of Marquette’s lack of confidence and pull off the upset to advance to the round of 32.

Virginia out in the Sweet Sixteen

Virginia is known for having an impressive season, but doing absolutely nothing with it. Last year was no exception being widely considered the best team in basketball, then being the first team in March Madness history to lose to a 16 seed. Throughout the season this year, Virginia has proven themselves to be yet another strong Cavalier team. However, picking them to lose early on will likely be a successful pick. In the Cavalier’s strong basketball history, they have only made the Final Four twice, 1981 and 1984. Year after year the Cavaliers choke, busting thousands of brackets. Their Sweet Sixteen match up could likely be a tough one, facing a variety of strong teams including Kansas State, Wisconsin, or even Oregon.

While making a perfect bracket is basically impossible, it is likely that picking these upsets could help one lead his or her pool. In a tournament where anything can happen, every single upset is possible. Although some upsets are more likely than others, it is important to take note that especially in the first round, anyone can win.