One way to fill out your NCAA Tournament bracket is to take the selection committee's seeding at face value and make upset picks based on favorable matchups. But it's also important to consider teams that are at their most vulnerable as March Madness begins.
While every men's college basketball team aims to peak in March, some teams are not so fortunate — whether due to injuries or shaken team chemistry that once was flourishing. And this season amid the pandemic, some teams such as Kansas and Virginia will be regrouping after COVID-19 positive tests forced them to withdraw from their conference tournaments.
Remember, the committee hands out seeds based on games from December and January, too. Teams that were great then might have hit some bumps later in their season.
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THE UPSETS: The full list of our experts' first-round upset picks
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Five teams you don't want to pick on your NCAA Tournament bracket based on their downward trajectory:
The loss of senior point guard Collin Gillespie, co-Big East player of the year alongside teammate Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Seton Hall's Sandro Mamukelashvili, makes the preseason No. 3 Wildcats (16-6) hard to gauge at their seeding line because their season-long identity has changed right in the thick of March Madness. That was clear in an upset loss to Georgetown in the quarterfinal of the Big East tournament. Coach Jay Wright still has enough ammunition to keep this team at a contending level but ‘Nova could be ripe for an upset based on the timing of Gillespie’s season-ending MCL injury.
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