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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Top 10 upsets


The brackets are filled out, the anticipation is over, and March Madness is finally here. Every year someone in your pool will manage to get all the first-round upsets correct. Whether he does this by sheer basketball knowledge or simply picking teams based on their colors, we may never know. What we do know is that picking those upsets correctly is often the difference between a big chunk of change in your pocket and heartbreak. So in an attempt to help decipher the madness that is the NCAA Men's basketball bracket, here is The Eagle's top 10 first-round upsets for this year's tournament.

10. No. 10 Louisville over No. 7 Xavier Louisville started off the season 16-1 before losing coach Rick Pitino and forward Francisco Garcia to injury. With Pitino and Garcia healthy, look for Louisville to win easily over Xavier, a team that only got into the tournament by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament.

9. No. 11 Western Michigan over No. 6 Vanderbilt Vanderbilt's quarterfinal victory in the South Eastern Conference tournament against Mississippi State guaranteed them a tournament bid. But the Mid-American Conference champion Broncos went 26-4 overall, and senior Mike Williams' 18.8 points per game will prove too much for the Commodores to handle.

8. No. 9 Southern Illinois over No. 8 Alabama Even though the Crimson Tide played the hardest schedule in the nation, the Salukis have been the best mid-major school in America for two years, and despite losing in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, they still remain a threat after last year's tournament run.

7. No. 10 Dayton over No. 7 DePaul The overlooked team in the Atlantic 10, Dayton finished the season with a 24-8 record that included tough losses to No. 1 St. Joseph's. The Flyers will dominate DePaul, which put up a measly 50 points in the Conference USA title game.

6. No. 12 Brigham Young over No. 5 Syracuse The biggest upset so far look for BYU to beat an Orangemen team that has only played well when Gerry McNamara is able to hit outside shots. The Cougars should beat last year's champions in a nail biter.

5. No. 9 Charlotte over No. 8 Texas Tech When Andre Emmett struggles, the Red Raiders struggle, and against a team like Charlotte, this could happen. Hopefully no chair-throwing incidents will occur when Bobby Knight's team falls to the hot 49ers in the first round.

4. No. 12 Pacific over No. 5 Providence The Big West Champion Tigers went 24-8 overall and knocked off Cal State-Northridge to advance to the tournament. They face Ryan Gomes and a Providence team that struggled down the stretch. Look for the Tigers in a big upset.

3. No. 12 Manhattan over No. 5 Florida An early-season No. 1 team, the Gators plummeted off the national rankings and lost star Christian Drejer, who left to play in Europe. The Jaspers ran the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and finished 24-5 overall. Louis Flores and his 24.1 points per game will guide the Jaspers to an early-round upset, and possibly establish them as this year's tournament dark horse.

2. No. 14 Louisiana-Lafayette over No. 3 North Carolina State The Sun Belt Champion Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette are returning all five starters from last year's tournament team and will face an N.C. State team that is coming off a tough Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. The Ragin' Cajuns will beat the Wolfpack, who struggle when Julius Hodge doesn't play well.

1. No. 14 Princeton over No. 3 Texas The No. 1 upset is always hard to choose, but this year Princeton made it easy. Always a dangerous tournament team, the Ivy League champion Tigers should defeat a Texas team that won't fare as well as last year without star player T.J. Ford who bolted for the NBA. The Tiger's offense will be too much for Brandon Mouton and the Longhorns to handle, and it will be a long road back to the Lone Star State for Texas.

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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