If your NCAA Tournament bracket doesn’t have some 11, 12, 13, 14 or even 15 (dare I say 16?) seeds making it out of the opening weekend, you’re doing it all wrong. Double digit seeds are going to advance, it happens every single year.

If you’re lucky, those upsets will make your bracket instead of breaking it.

While there’s no formula, there are a few characteristics to look for in lower seeds when you’re filling out your bracket. For instance, the team that has a guy who can go off for 30+ against anyone, the underdogs that play stingy defense and forces turnovers, or simply the team that is playing against an overrated opponent. We (everyone who has ever filled out a March Madness bracket) know for sure that there will be upsets, and there are a few popular suggestions regarding where those upsets might come. 

REMINDER: The NCAA Tournament First Round tips off tomorrow, March 15th, and will continue throughout the weekend.

Scroll down to check out six potential cinderella teams that could make a run to the Sweet 16 and beyond.


Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

NCAA Basketball Tournament: 6 Cinderella Teams To Watch For

Record: 28-5

NCAA Tournament Seed: 11

First Round Opponent: University of Miami

 

The Ramblers are going to be a popular pick in a lot of brackets to take out The U in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, thanks to their efficient, balanced offense and stifling defense. Loyola-Chicago has five guys that average in double figures, led by junior guard Clayton Custer who posts 13.4 points per game.

Also, Miami’s Bruce Brown, a projected NBA Draft pick, won’t be playing due to injury which makes the Missouri Valley Conference champs an even more enticing upset special in the first round and beyond.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits

NCAA Basketball Tournament: 6 Cinderella Teams To Watch For

Record: 28-6

NCAA Tournament Seed: 12

First Round Opponent: Ohio State

 

Points don’t come easy against the Ohio State Buckeyes but the South Dakota State Jackrabbits have a couple guys that can fill it up, including Mike Daum, a 6’9 junior who led all scorers in the Summit League with 23.8 points per night. Not to mention, the Summit League Freshman of the Year, David Jenkins Jr., who averages 16.1 points per game. 

It’ll be the Jackrabbit’s offense, which averaged nearly 85 points per game, against the Buckeyes’ elite fundamental defense. If Daum gets going, SDSU has a real chance of advancing.

Charleston Cougars

NCAA Basketball Tournament: 6 Cinderella Teams To Watch For

Record26-7

NCAA Tournament Seed: 13

First Round Opponent: Auburn

 

The College of Charleston Cougars are the type of team that likes to slow the game down, but they also have multiple players who are capable of taking a game over. Grant Riller, Joe Chealey and Jarrell Brantley all average more than 17 points per game, and they’ll need to be all that and more to upset an Auburn team that scores nearly 84 points per game.

Additionally, the Cougars are one of the best teams in the country when it comes to protecting the rock. They’re 14-0 when committing eight turnovers or fewer, according to Bleacher Report.

Murray State Racers

NCAA Basketball Tournament: 6 Cinderella Teams To Watch For

Record26-5

NCAA Tournament Seed: 12

First Round Opponent: West Virginia 

 

Jonathan Stark. That’s the name you’re going to be hearing about if the Racers upset Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers. 

Stark, a senior guard, averages 21.8 points and 41% from three, which is significant especially when you consider he shoots more than eight per game. Murray State, winners of 13 straight games, also have a plethora of upperclassmen on the roster, most notably senior forward Terrell Miller who provides a solid inside presence opposite Stark’s perimeter play.

Buffalo Bulls

NCAA Basketball Tournament: 6 Cinderella Teams To Watch For

Record26-8

NCAA Tournament Seed: 13

First Round Opponent: Arizona

 

Buffalo clinched the MAC Championship for its third tournament title in the last four years and now they’re ready for their first tourney win in program history. Of course, they’ll have to go through Arizona and 7’1 center DeAndre Ayton, who could be the #1 pick in the NBA Draft after this season.

While the Bulls don’t have a guy that can go toe-to-toe with Ayton (nobody does), they do have a dangerous offense which includes four different players that averaged 14+ points per game. Junior guard C.J. Massinburg and junior forward Nick Perkins both averaged 16+ and were all-Mid-American Conference first team selections.

New Mexico State Aggies

NCAA Basketball Tournament: 6 Cinderella Teams To Watch For

Record28-5

NCAA Tournament Seed: 12

First Round Opponent: Clemson

 

The Aggies, boasting one of the best all-around defensive teams in the field, enter the NCAA Tournament winners of six straight games, including the WAC championship. They beat tournament teams Miami and Davidson earlier this season, and won’t be intimidated when they take on Clemson in the first round.

New Mexico State’s player to watch is shooting guard Zach Lofton who averaged nearly 20 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.