Identifying Upstart Teams for March Madness Betting – Ten That Could Win!

Written by on March 10, 2016

If the annual NCAA March Madness championship tournament has taught us anything, it’s that upstart teams often have a way of both, pulling off the most unlikely upsets in the college basketball odds, while often putting up legitimate tourney runs that challenge even the mightiest teams in the nation.With that said – and thoughts of bankroll-boosting upsets in mind – let’s take a look at my top 10 ‘upstart’ teams that will lay it all on the line in the hopes of winning the 2016 national championship.

Identifying Upstart Teams for March Madness Betting – Ten That Could Win!

Wisconsin (20-11 SU, 16-15 ATS)

Beloved head coach Bo Ryan may be gone, but the Badgers are playing defense like he never left, ranking 23rd in the nation in points allowed (64.4). Wisconsin has won eight of its last 10 games to likely reach the NCAA tourney despite sitting in sixth place in the Big Ten.

Dayton (24-6 SU, 12-16-1 ATS)

The Flyers have surged to the top of the A-10 standings by winning seven of their last 10 games and have an excellent, if underrated head coach in Archie Miller.

Saint Mary’s (27-5 SU, 17-11 ATS)

The Gaels are on top in the West Coast Conference and have the nation’s fifth-best defense (61.0 ppg), which leads me to believe they’ll at least hang around in every game they play no matter who it’s against.

Gonzaga (26-7 SU, 15-15-1 ATS)

The Bulldogs are second in the WCC to St. Mary’s but they just beat their conference rivals by 10 this week and have one of college basketball best shooters in Kyle Wiltjer (20.7 ppg) and one of it best coaches in Mark Few.

Seton Hall (22-8 SU, 20-9 ATS)

The Pirates are in third place in the Big East behind No.3 Villanova and No. 5 Xavier, but they also beat the Musketeers once this season and lost to Nova by one point in another matchup.

Temple (20-10 SU, 16-12 ATS)

The Owls are on top in the AAC and have an elite defense and an even more widely- respected head coach in Fran Dunphy. Temple often struggles to score the ball, but in a one-game situation, anything can happen.

Notre Dame (20-10 SU, 13-14-1 ATS)

The Irish may be in sixth place in the ACC, but every team in front of them is nationally ranked and a legitimate national championship except Louisville and that’s only because the Cardinals are sitting out of this year’s NCAA tournament. The Irish have recorded quality wins over teams like North Carolina and Louisville, so clearly, they can beat anyone on any given day.

San Diego State (23-8 SU, 13-11-3 ATS)

I’ve been a huge Aztecs fan ever since Steve Fisher took the job there and put his program on the national map, thanks to Kawhi Leonard a few years back. The Aztecs are on top in the Mountain West Conference and still play the kind of defense that can beat any team in the nation (60.0 ppg, fourth).

South Carolina (24-7 SU, 19-9 ATS)

The Gamecocks are right behind Kentucky and Texas A&M in the Southeast conference, but I feel like this is a team that hasn’t gotten the credit they’ve deserved all season long.

Wichita State (24-8 SU, 18-12 ATS)

The Shockers have a great head coach in Gregg Marshall and a battle-tested program that features two players I think will make it at the next level in forward Ron Baker and point guard Fred VanVleet, making the Shockers one of the best upstart picks in this year’s NCAA Tournament.