With the College Basketball regular season nearing a dramatic and incredibly entertaining finish, the time has come for March Madness fanatics to come out in full force and get hyped for one of the most exciting and exhilarating postseason sporting events of the year. When it comes to filling out a winning bracket, the first rule of thumb is to NEVER pick a 16th seed to upset a 1st seed in the tournament. Considering this type of upset has never occurred, it would seem logical and fruitful to avoid being bold with regards to making this type of an ill-advised selection. Still, every team that makes the tournament should garner their fair share of respect and recognition, even if they pose little to no threat to the opponent that they will inevitably face. They may be mostly unknown and frankly irrelevant once tournament play commences, but these determined underdogs deserve a place in the limelight, however brief.
1. Winthrop Eagles
Although they started off wildly inconsistent in non-conference play, the Eagles have since become one of the best teams in the Big South Conference. Scoring 80.9 points per game, the Eagles are a prolific offense that is adept at taking high percentage shots from the field (48.1 FG%). While they probably need to win their conference tournament to be apart of March Madness, the Eagles have the scoring capabilities to make an impressive run down the stretch.
2. Nicholls Colonels
Similar to the Winthrop Eagles, the Southland Conference Leading Colonels have been highly successful when their offense is firing on all cylinders. Although they are inconsistent at shooting from long range (36.1 3P%), they are a solid free throw shooting team (71.5 FT%), which will be vital to them winning tight games towards the end of the season where every game will be a must win for this program to make the NCAA Tournament.
1. Pennsylvania Quakers
While it appears that there will not be a sleeper Ivy League program that has a strong chance of getting past their opponent in the first round, the Quakers arguably have the best chance of making some noise in the NCAA Tournament. Averaging 38.4 rebounds per game while garnering six steals per game, the Quakers have the length and vigilance to frustrate an overconfident opponent that plays too loosely with the basketball.
1. Southern Jaguars
Shamelessly one-dimensional as an elite rebounding program (39.4 RPG), the Jaguars have the sizeable athletes that are extremely physical when playing the glass. Averaging less than 70 points scored per game, the Jaguars will need to rely on their relentless playmakers in the SWAC tournament if they hope to sneak their way into the NCAA Tournament.
2. Lipscomb Bisons
Arguably the most intriguing potential sixteenth seeds, the Bisons are competitively dynamic when it comes to scoring (81.7 PPG) and rebounding the basketball (39.6 RPG). Although their turnover rate is a bit alarming (15 TPG), the Bisons have enough notable scorers to make up for this weakness if they can consistently hit their shots from the field.
1. Wagner Seahawks
Proficient when it comes to rebounding the basketball (38.8 RPG) and solid defensively (68.1 PAPG), the Seahawks are versatile albeit unintimidating from a competitive dominance standpoint. However, the Seahawks are opportunistic when forcing turnovers (seven SPG), which will be vital in keeping their upcoming contests interesting assuming they can make it to the NCAA Tournament.