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March Madness Upsets ad Dark Horse Predictions

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Phoenix, AZ March 2, 2024 : Grand Canyon Antelopes guard Tyon Grant-Foster (7) during their 80-58 win over Stephen F. Austin at Global Credit Union Arena. With the win, the Lopes went 16-0 at home this season for the first time in 32 years.. David Kadlubowski/GCU

 

With the NCAA Tournament being right around the corner, this is the time of the year when many mock brackets start showing up. While a lot of people are aware of the best teams in the country, they may not be aware of some of the sleepers in the tournament. So let’s take a look at a men’s team that has the potential for not just first-round upset but that can also make a major run in the tournament. Then we will do the same with the women’s side. 

 

Starting with the men, Grand Canyon has been one of the great stories in college basketball this season. Coming off their second appearance in three seasons under head coach Bryce Drew, the 26-4 Antelopes look poised to not only make the tournament once again but also potentially make a deep run as well. Grand Canyon is led by senior guard Tyon Grant-Foster, who is first on the team with an average of 19.4 points per game. His 19.4 points per game also leads the Western Athletic Conference. The Antelopes also have two other double-figure scorers in Gabe McGlothan and Ray Harrison. Grand Canyon is also a well-rounded team, ranking in the top 40 nationally in both offensive and defensive rating, and also leads the WAC in blocks. Assuming they win the conference tournament, Andy Katz and other bracketeers have projected them as high as a 12 seed. Wherever they end up, this is a team you won’t want to end up playing in March. 

 

On the women’s side, the team we are taking a look at is South Dakota State, one of the consistently solid mid-majors in the women’s game that does not get talked about much. The Jackrabbits are 25-4 on the season and a perfect 16-0 in Summit League Conference play. Sophomore forward Brooklyn Meyer leads SDSU with 17.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. While Meyer hasn’t taken a 3-pointer all season, she is surrounded by a team that shoots 38% from three. They are also very talented on the defensive end, leading the Summit League only giving up 60.2 points per game. While South Dakota State has had real tournament success in recent years, this feels like the year where the team can make its first-ever elite eight.

 

There are a lot of other teams that have the potential to cause havoc in the tournament and we are looking forward to seeing what March Madness will look like in 2024.