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James Madison, Drake Top Cinderella Teams in March Madness

Looking for a few Cinderella candidates for your March Madness predictions? Let’s take a look at the top March Madness sleepers for your bracket.

Here’s a few Cinderellas to watch when predicting March Madness.

James Madison, Drake Top Cinderella Teams in March Madness
Christian Shumate #24 of the McNeese State Cowboys | Eakin Howard/Getty Images/AFP

James Madison Can Upset Wisconsin

Many of us know JMU following their statement season in college football, nearly going undefeated. Apparently, the Dukes can hoop as well.

James Madison’s 31-3 record is enough to intimidate opponents even if it wasn’t in a power conference. JMU already has wins over Michigan State and Fresno State. Could the Dukes add a few more giants to their list of victims?

JMU has not lost since January, rattling off 13 straight wins. Wisconsin and potentially Duke should both be nervous as James Madison is a sleeper to make a Sweet 16 run.

Grand Canyon is More Than an Amazing Name

There is a lot to like here starting with one of the best team names in the tournament. Grand Canyon may not be playing in front of their epic home-court environment, but this team is still a threat to win a couple games in the March Madness betting.

This team beat No. 5 seed San Diego State and hung with No. 6 seed South Carolina this season. Saint Mary’s has been the top team in the West Coast Conference this season, but this is an unfortunate draw for Gaels.

Drake Working on the Weekend Like Usual

That Gen Z intern might just win the bracket pool this year because she loves Drake’s music. It might be for the wrong reasons, but she may be on to something as the Bulldogs are a legitimate Cinderella threat.

Tucker DeVries has a chance to be one of the faces of March Madness. This is another father-son combo that we love in the NCAA tournament as Tucker’s dad, Darian DeVries, is the Drake coach.

This team handled a strong Indiana State team this season that many expected to make the tourney before being upset by Drake. The Bulldogs have wins over tournament teams like Nevada and Oakland.

Washington State has been an amazing story but there is a reason that Drake is now favored over the Cougs in the NCAA basketball odds.

Cinderella Looks Different This Year Thanks to NC State and Oregon

Normally, we try to avoid labeling power conference teams as Cinderellas. This year we have two dangerous double-digit seeds who won their conference tournaments.

Watch out for Oregon and NC State as 11 seeds. Both teams have a much stronger strength of schedule than the other Cinderellas. The power squads both largely underachieved but have gotten hot at the right time.

Oregon has wins over Arizona and Colorado, so I don’t think they are going to be intimidated by South Carolina. NC State just ran off wins over Duke, Virginia and North Carolina. Texas Tech and Kentucky better be very careful in this part of the bracket.

McNeese State Can Pull Off Its Best Gonzaga Impression

The Zags got their start as Cinderella before becoming one of the college basketball powers. This season has not been kind to Gonzaga, but the Bulldogs played their way back into the tournament with strong play over the last two months.

There’s one problem as former LSU coach Will Wade has McNeese State as a real candidate to play spoiler. Gonzaga is a 6-point favorite over McNeese State in the college basketball odds.

McNeese State is an impressive 30-3 this season. The team has wins over VCU, UAB and Michigan. McNeese State has not lost since the beginning of February.

Keep an Eye on Nevada

Nevada is favored in the NCAA basketball odds against Dayton despite being a No. 10 versus a No. 7 seed. Nevada is a team to watch thanks to a perfect March Madness combo: strong 3-point shooting and solid defense.

According to ESPN, Nevada has had a top-15 defense and made 42% of their threes over the last 11 games. The Wolf Pack went 10-1 during this stretch. Nevada has also been tested in a strong Mountain West Conference this season.



Questions Of The Day

Who are among the top Cinderella teams in the NCAA Tournament?

Keep an eye out for James Madison and McNeese State, which each won 30 games.

Who is the favorite to win the NCAA Tournament?

Defending national champion UConn has +400 odds to win March Madness

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