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Upset Alert: Teams to Fade From the East Region (March Madness)

by March 16, 2021

You know we got you covered here at BettingPros with all the up-to-date information and statistical data for this upcoming tournament. Make sure to check out my Cinderella Guide, along with the bracket optimizer.

Now I’m back to write about different teams to be on high alert for an upset. There is an art to picking an upset, and it really goes beyond just who is going to be beaten in the first round. For these rounds of articles, I will be covering teams to fade in all four regions. I will include three teams for each region: a chalky upset pick, a common choice, and a potential shocker.

Here are teams to be wary of in the East region.

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Chalky Upset Pick – Colorado

After losing to one bid-stealer in their conference tournament, they get to face off against another one. A lot of advice you will see is to pick teams playing well, and therefore momentum is on their side. While I am not exactly a proponent of this advice in a vacuum, I am of the notion to avoid teams who are struggling to find their identity. Colorado only holds three wins over KenPom’s top-50 teams, and they all came in the conference.

McKinley Wright is a solid player, but he is most of their offense, and Georgetown can stop their other two big bodies. While Colorado has a solid interior defense, the Hoyas do most of their scoring from beyond-the-arc. Even if Colorado wins round one, they most likely will face off against Florida State, who should have their number. I don’t see Colorado’s ceiling as anything past the Sweet 16, so picking them to be upset in round one is a safe bet and unlikely to come back to bite later down the road.

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Common Choice – Michigan

Despite garnering the one-seed, this team is not the same without Isaiah Livers. Over the past two seasons, when Livers has missed time, the Wolverines are 6-7. A vast difference compared to how they play when he’s on the court. Their conference tournament loss to Ohio State came in Livers’ first game out, and if you watched, they really seemed off.

While their stud wing has a chance of returning if they reach the Final Four, I simply don’t see the Wolverines making it that far. LSU or St. Bonaventure represent a deadly second-round matchup, and I simply think Florida State, Texas, and Alabama are all better than the Wolverines are right now. I am quite confident in Michigan being the first one-seed to fall, so if you really want to be contrarian, putting them into your Final Four or championship game with the hope that Livers returns sooner or later would be a different way to build your lineup.

The Potential Shocker – Texas

If you have read my previous articles, you will know I am all in on this Abilene Christian team. They play aggressively, force turnovers, and can throw anyone off their game. 

But the East Region is not only one of the toughest regions, it’s one of the hardest to predict for me. A plethora of teams could make it to the Final Four, and I expect the East to have the most upsets. Having a team like Texas lose early and being right will give you a serious leg up on your competition. 

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Ryan Coleman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Ryan, check out his archive.

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