Every year there are some teams in the tournament that surprise everyone and go on an amazing run. Last year we saw Loyola-Chicago dominate bigger more established programs and get to the final four. This year, there will most certainly be another team that captivates everyone and takes over the “Cinderella” role. These are the teams to watch out for.
Oregon (12 seed):
This team is red hot right now and will be coming into the tournament with a lot of confidence. On top of that, they may be in one of the easier parts of the bracket. They will first see Wisconsin who they certainly have the talent to beat. Then, they could see Kansas State who will be without their best player, Dean Wade.
The team is led by Peyton Pritchard and is rounded out by a front court that has a lot of bite. Louis King is a freshman from New Jersey who has NBA level potential. On top of that, they have veteran leadership from top to bottom and a great coach in Dana Altman. I expect this team to surprise a lot of people this weekend.
Iowa State (6 seed):
Another team that is coming into the tournament with a lot of confidence is Iowa State. They just ran a train on the Big 12 and won the championship game against Kansas with ease. They play a tournament friendly brand of basketball with multiple scorers. They like to play small-ball and have a lot of options.
Marial Shayok will get a lot of the headlines for this team, but the guy to watch out for is Lindell Wigginton. He was nearly unstoppable in the Big 12 championship game and can take over any game. Then you have Nick Weiler-Babb, Michael Jacobson, Talen Horton-Tucker, and Tyrese Haliburton who are all extremely talented. This team could do damage in the second weekend.