NCAA Tourney Sleepers
Every NCAA tournament has those teams that come out of nowhere to mess up everyone's bracket. This year get ahead of the curb and know a little bit more about some of those teams in order to help your bracket.
4 California, South Region:
California is a team that could easily ruin your bracket with a deep run. Reason why? Talent. This team has the most underrated talent that you've never heard of led by guard Tyrone Wallace who leads the team in scoring (15.2) and assists (4.4). Wallace is a future NBA player alongside teammates Jaylen Brown and Jordan Mathews.
This team has the talent and the depth to force an upset or two, but it's risk versus reward. They don't score very much and can go through scoring droughts that can lose them a game easily in a tournament style format.
5 Purdue, Midwest Region:
Purdue may have lost its conference tournament to Michigan State, but their position in the Midwest region gives hope for a possible run to the sweet 16 and beyond. One of our favorite coaches, Matt Painter, has formed a team that enjoys doing the dirty work in order to win. His team is one that focuses on rebounding the ball and making the extra pass to the open play; a formula that can be crucial in advancing throughout the tournament.
Purdue ranks 5th in the country is assists per game (17.8) and 10th in rebounds per game (41.2). Center/forward A.J. Hammons is a threat on both ends of the court. He leads the team in scoring, rebounds and blocks. On defense he can be a game changer. His presence in the paint, altering opponents shots shows why Purdue allows 64.5 points per game, 25th in the country. Their a team who likes to control the pace and focus on the little things. Could they make a run in the tournament? Yes. But a Final Four run? Maybe not.
6 Notre Dame, East Region:
Notre Dame isn't a team that is going to blow you away with their statistics. In fact they rank middle-of-the-pack or worse among most crucial team stats like scoring, assists, and field goal percentage.
Notre Dame is a team with experience and a hot player in Zach Auguste. In a win against Duke in the ACC tournament, Auguste had a stat-line of 19 points and 22 rebounds.
They play mostly juniors and seniors who have already played in the NCAA tourney before and had success. With Mike Brey at the helm, this team could come out of nowhere to ruin the East region of your bracket.
Double Digit Seeds:
11 Northern Iowa, West Region:
Northern Iowa is notorious for upsetting teams in the NCAA tournament. This year is one of those years that they could easily do so. They have the quality wins, although struggled down the stretch. This team is always primed for an upset.
Early in the season, the Panthers upset then #1 North Carolina, Notre Dame, and then #5 Iowa State. This team is poised for an upset and Texas is a great matchup for them.
12 Chattanooga, East Region:
The Chattanooga Mocs are an interesting team to keep an eye on. They may be in the toughest region (East), but there is no doubt they can become a Cinderella. Can they beat Indiana? Yes. Is it likely? No. Guard play in the tournament is vital. Indiana's Yogi Ferrell may be one of the top five guards in the country and has lifted this Indiana team to new heights. Should Ferrell have a poor game, Chattanooga will likely pounce on that opportunity.
Chattanooga has some good wins over Georgia, Illinois, and tournament team Dayton. It would likely be a shock should they upset Indiana, but it could happen. A #12 seed hasn't won in the past two seasons, but if it should happen this year, Chattanooga could be the team.
14 Stephen F. Austin, East Region:
Stephen F. Austin is a legitimate upset minded team. They are a team that can score at will and play lock-down defense when they need too. Their star player, Thomas Walkup can take over a game at any time.
The Lumberjacks are 2nd in the country in assists (18.1), 13th in points allowed (63.2), and 21st in points scored (80.7). They went a perfect 18-0 in conference play, but lack that big-time win most teams in the tournament have. They could have that first major win against West Virginia in the NCAA tournament.
What sleeper do you see ruining brackets?