The 2016 NCAA Tournament got underway last night with the start of the First Four, meaning the big dance is just a day away. March Madness is always packed with close games and even the occasional upset, making it one of the best times of year to be a sports fan. You've probably seen the bracket by now, but I want to take a moment to give you a few matchups that could result in an upset.
No. 14 Fresno State vs. No. 3 Utah
In the NCAA Tournament, it only takes one elite guard to make a run at a title.
Fresno State's Marvelle Harris might not be a name you've heard, but the senior guard is a player who can carry his team a long way. Harris comes in averaging 20.6 point per game with the ability to create any shot for himself, a huge quality to have this time of year.
Fresno State is undersized, and that could be an issue against Utah, but a successful double-team against their star center could cause problems for Utah and result in an upset.
No. 13 Iona vs. No. 4 Iowa State
This matchup will feature two teams that play very similar styles.
Iowa State uses a fast-paced, spread attack featuring some elite offensive talents like Georges Niang and Monte Morris. The defense isn't great, but it doesn't matter because they can outscore just about any opponent.
Iona plays almost the same way, with point guard A.J. English leading the team with an incredible season. The senior guard averages 22.4 points, 6.2 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, doing anything and everything well to help his team win.
Iowa State will have a tough time stopping an Iona team that has several potent offensive weapons, and that combined with a lack of depth for the Cyclone could provide an upset.
No. 14 Stephen F. Austin vs. No. 3 West Virginia
While I personally think West Virginia is a team that could make a run at the Final Four, a lot of people are picking an upset in round one. WVU runs an aggressive defensive press, so If you want to beat the Mountaineers, you need to know how to handle the defensive pressure. They rank second in the country in forced turnovers, which creates chances on the offensive end. The press is almost impossible to prepare for.
That is, unless you also run a similar pressure attack like Stephen F. Austin. The team forces the highest percentage of turnovers in the country while also doing a great job of taking care of the ball.
West Virginia is clearly more talented, but if Stephen F. Austin is able to take advantage of their knowledge of the press and nullify one of West Virginia's strength, they might just advance to the second round.
By Jacob Young