First-Round NCAA Tournament Upsets That May Stun College Basketball Bettors

First-Round NCAA Tournament Upsets That May Stun College Basketball Bettors

No. 15 seeds have beaten No. 2 seeds just 10 times in the history of the NCAA Tournament — Saint Peter’s became the 10th last year when it shocked Kentucky, 85-79, in overtime. Here are two No. 2 seeds who might be on upset alert in Round 1 this year and that you can take advantage of in your college basketball betting.


March Madness Betting Picks for 2 Great Games to Win in Round 1


No. 15 Colgate vs. No. 2 Texas (-13.5)

When: Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 7:25 pm ET
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA
TV / Streaming: TBS, March Madness Live

Colgate is no joke as a three-time Patriot League Tournament champion. In the 79-61 title game win over Lafayette, star Tucker Richardson recorded the program’s first triple-double, and the first triple-double in the championship game since Adonal Foyle in February 1997, with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Richardson is a finalist for the Lou Henson National Mid-Major Player of the Year. Richardson, the league’s Rookie of the Year in 2018-19, is the first player in Patriot League history to earn all four major awards. One of the most decorated players in the league’s history, Richardson is the only Patriot League men’s basketball player to record 1,700 points, 700 rebounds, and 600 assists.

The Raiders have set a program record for the most single-season wins in program history (26), besting the 2019-20 team’s 25. Colgate enters the NCAA tournament on a nine-game winning streak, tied for the 10th longest winning streak in the country.

It ranks first nationally in three-point field goal percentage (40.8), second in field goal percentage (51.4) and effective field goal percentage (58.3), and third in assists per game (18.6). The Raiders are making their sixth overall appearance in the tournament and fourth under coach Matt Langel. Colgate last played as a 15 seed against Tennessee in the 2019 tournament.

“We knew we’d draw one of the best teams in the country,” said Langel. “Texas is playing really well having gotten through what’s generally considered the most competitive conference in the country and they just won their conference tournament. They will be the best team that we’ve seen all season and we know going in that we have to play really well.”

Texas was the Big 12 Tournament champion, knocking off Kansas 76-56 in the final. Dylan Disu, who averaged a team-best 14.7 points and 8.3 rebounds while converting 17-of-23 (.739) field goals during the three postseason league tourney contests in Kansas City, was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. Texas set a school single-season record with its ninth victory against an AP Top 25 opponent, as the Longhorns improved to 9-6 against AP Top 25 teams this year.

Texas was ranked No. 5 in the final Associated Press Top 25. It marks a tie for the highest ranking in the final AP poll in program history, matching the No. 5 ranking set in the 2002-03 Final Four season. The No. 2 seed marks UT’s highest NCAA Tournament seed since the Longhorns were the No. 2 seed in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The 2008 tourney marks the last time Texas advanced to at least the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The status of big man Timmy Allen is in question after he missed the Big 12 Tournament.

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No. 15 Vermont vs. No. 2 Marquette (-11)

When: Friday, March 17, 2023 at 2:25 pm ET
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
TV / Streaming: CBS, Paramount+

Vermont brings a 23-10 record into the Big Dance, the Catamounts haven’t dropped a game since January 11 and have won 15 straight games entering March Madness, which is the second longest active streak in the NCAA. The Catamounts defeated No. 2 UMass Lowell 72-59 in the conference title game on Saturday.

Dylan Penn, a 6-3 guard who transferred to Vermont from Bellarmine last summer, averaged 13.2 PPG this season and helped John Becker’s team capture its seventh consecutive America East championship and its fourth NCAA tournament appearance in seven years. Penn was named a finalist for the Lou Henson Award, going to the top mid-major player in the nation. Penn is the second Catamount in as many seasons to be named a finalist. Ben Shungu received the honor in the 2021-22 season.

Finn Sullivan (11.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.3 APG), formerly from San Diego, became the seventh consecutive Vermont player to win America East Player of the Year. The Catamounts did return seven players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team that pushed Arkansas to the wire in a 75-71, first-round loss in Buffalo. Robin Duncan, Aaron Deloney, Sullivan and Nick Fiorillo have game experience in March Madness.

Marquette (28-6) is on a nine-game winning streak and 14-1 in its last 15 games. Star Tyler Kolek and the Golden Eagles beat Xavier 65-51 for the Big East Tournament crown on Saturday. Kolek paced the Golden Eagles with 20 points, eight boards and three assists. Kolek was named the Big East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, averaging 18.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in three tournament games. He became the 13th athlete in the history of the Big East to earn Player of the Year and Tournament MVP honors in the season year.

Marquette has made 59% of its shots inside the arc with Kolek on the floor running an offense ranked top-five in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Eagles also forced more turnovers per possession than any team in Big East action.

This is Marquette’s highest seed since the NCAA began full tournament positioning in 1979. MU is looking for its first NCAA tournament win since the 2012-13 campaign when the squad advanced to the Elite Eight. The Golden Eagles were the No. 3 seed that year and eventually fell to Syracuse, 55-39, in the regional final. The Golden Eagles lost to North Carolina, which would advance to play in the national title game, in the first round of the 2022 tournament.

These two programs first met in Milwaukee in 1995-96 and the Catamounts’ most-recent visit came on Dec. 5, 2017 and resulted in a 91-81 Marquette win.

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