NCAA Tournament Predictions 2017: Potential dark horses and Cinderella teams.
It happens every year during March Madness, someone unexpected gets hot at the right time and breaks the hearts of players, coaches and fans who were already looking past the match up.
One of the best parts of the NCAA Tournament are the unexpected runs by perceived underdogs who begin to regularly beat the odds.
Who could be some of the potential dark horses and Cinderella stories in 2017?
Let’s take a look.
Wichita State Shockers
Perhaps so widely regarded as a “dark horse,” it’s a stretch to put them in this list. The Shockers struggled early in the season, but were able to put together a number of wins and finish the season 30-4.
As a No. 10 seed, they’ll face Dayton in their first matchup, and the winner of Kentucky vs. North Kentucky if they happen to move on.
They’d have their handful in the second round assuming things play out as expected, but they’re a much better team than their seeding suggests. They’d have the horses to beat Kentucky, if necessary.
But first they’ll need to take care of a good and capable Dayton team.
The Badgers are a No. 8-seed in the tournament this year. They’re an experienced team that suffered a swoon from mid-February through the end of the season, going 2-5.
However, they were also able to put together streaks of eight and nine at different points during the season.
They could be poised for a deep run, possibly into the Final Four, if they are able to get hot and close out games late. It all starts against Virginia Tech.
This is actually something of a not selection. There will be a lot of talk about Michigan and it’s impressive performance throughout the conference tournament week.
From a runway accident involving the team on its way to the tournament to the offense looking as good as it has all season, it has many people saying that the Wolverines are “peaking at the right time.”
The Wolverines might have won the relatively weak Big Ten conference, but they also went 10-8 against Big Ten teams during the regular season. Publicity might have earned them a No. 7 seed in the tournament more than their play on the court did.
So while they may be a trendy pick, Michigan struggle to get past Oklahoma State in the first round, before losing to Louisville in the second.