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Upset Alert: Teams to Fade from Midwest Region (2022 March Madness)

by March 16, 2022
Walker Kessler

March Madness is finally upon us as the NCAA Tournament is set to get underway Thursday. If you are reading this, you are probably in an office, family, or betting pool for this year’s festivities and are looking for a few teams to set you apart.

Below, I walk through two teams to fade in the Midwest region to help you gain an edge in your pool.

Check out all of our 2022 March Madness Coverage >>

Auburn (2 seed)

I believe Auburn is a little over-seeded in the two spot as they come into this tournament in pretty rough shape. Over their last six games, Auburn is just 3-3 with losses to non-tournament teams such as Florida and Texas A&M (even though A&M should have probably squeaked in).

While Auburn should easily dispose of Jacksonville State, they will be tested immediately in a probable second round matchup against USC. USC is my dark horse pick of the tournament, and not only do I have them upsetting Auburn in the second round, but I have them advancing all the way to the Final Four.

USC is red-hot as they are 8-0 in their last eight games when not facing UCLA or Arizona, two of the tournament’s best teams. Another reason USC could give Auburn issues is that they play well both ways as they rank inside the top 50 in the country in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency.

Overlooked last year, USC made noise during their Elite Eight run. This season, USC brings back three starters from that team and will look to take care of unfinished business.

Providence (4 seed)

My biggest upset of the first round will be Providence going down to 13-seed South Dakota State. I understand this is a trendy underdog pick so it is important to be cautious, however these teams are trending in opposite directions.

Providence enters this contest following a thirty-point blowout by the hands of the Creighton Blue Jays, this region’s nine seed. That loss was Providence’s third loss over their last seven games, though to be fair the first two losses were both to Villanova.

However, I still am not sold on this Providence team, primarily due to their inconsistent defensive effort. This season, Providence ranks just 80th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency.

The Jackrabbits of South Dakota State on the other hand enter this contest on a 21 game winning streak. While the majority of those wins are against teams who would never even sniff this tournament, that long of a winning streak instills supreme confidence in a group that has not tasted defeat since December 15th.

This matchup favors South Dakota State as they can shoot the lights out, an obvious but important factor in this tournament. South Dakota State ranks first in the country in 3PT FG% at an astounding 44.9% clip.

I do not think that Providence’s defense will be able to handle the nation’s 12th best offense in terms of adjusted offensive efficiency.

Check out all of our 2022 March Madness Coverage >>

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Tony Sartori is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Tony, check out his archive and follow him @tony_sartori.

College Basketball, March Madness, Midwest Region