The first day of the 2015 NCAA Tournament started off with a flurry of major upsets, with 14-seeds Georgia State and UAB providing the tourney with two potential Cinderella darlings right off the bat. However, the tournament went chalk after some fireworks, with the higher seeds dominating from Friday afternoon on.
Saturday, thought, could reverse that trend, with these next three games providing ample opportunity for upsets.
3. (14) Georgia St. vs. (6) Xavier, tip at 6:10pm EST
Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter has become the de facto Internet celebrity of March Madness, injuring his Achilles during the on-court celebration of Georgia State's Sun Belt Championship win over Georgia Southern and falling out of his chair at the apex of the Panthers' historically epic 13-0 game-thieving run against Baylor. The streaky Panthers have more than a puncher's chance of shooting their way past an Xavier squad sporting a suspect on-the-ball defense.
2. (14) UAB vs. (11) UCLA, tip at 12:10pm EST
Two #14 seeds in the Sweet Sixteen? It could very well happen. The UAB Blazers found a true defensive groove against 3rd-seeded Iowa State, holding the Cyclones to 36.9% shooting from the field and 26.1% shooting from beyond the arc. UCLA's offense did just enough to survice SMU, and their on-again, off-again accuracy from mid-range out makes them a prime contender to be knocked out in this battle of double-digit seed Cinderella candidates.
1. (6) Butler vs. (3) Notre Dame, tip at 9:40pm EST
Butler is built to beat teams like the Irish with their solid size in the frontcourt and ability to rotate onto and lockdown teams' top offensive targets. Notre Dame survived against (14) Northeastern by the skin of their teeth, and their lack of presence on the boards (17 rebounds to 33 for Northeastern) was a big reason for that. Expect Butler to bully Notre Dame on the glass early and often. If they can do that and somehow zero in on either Jerian Grant or Zach Venditte deensively, the Bulldogs will have all the pieces in place to take down the Irish in this battle of Indiana.
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