NCAA Basketball Picks: Sweet 16 Upset Games

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 8:25 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2013 8:25 PM UTC

With only 15 games left in the Big Dance, are we due for any more upset victories? Let's examine which upset-minded teams have the best chance.

NCAA Basketball: Sweet 16 Possible Upsets

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles (#15) vs. Florida (#3)

26-10 SU, 6-0 ATS (limited public line offerings)

Key Player: Sherwood Brown

The story of the tournament has been the Eagles, and that's really not debatable. They've taken over the world of college basketball with their impressive performances and undeniable swagger.

Brown has been great, but Bernard Thompson has been even more efficient in the scoring column, scoring 23 points in wins over Georgetown (#2) and San Diego State (#7). Then you've got Brett Comer, who's double-doubled in the two victories while dishing out a total of 24 assists.

Now that FGCU is on the map, it's going to be interesting to see which way the public sways with their college basketball picks. The Eagles have beaten two big-time programs, both by double digits, yet they're still getting 13 points from oddsmakers against Florida.

Thing is, the Gators have been a little hit or miss over the last few weeks, losing to Kentucky on the road and then choking away a sizable lead in the SEC championship against Ole Miss. They've looked very strong in the tournament so far, but they surely know FGCU isn't going to be walked over.


La Salle Explorers (#13) vs. Wichita State (#9)

24-9 SU, 15-12-2 ATS

Key Player: Ramon Galloway

After earning their spot with a win over Boise State in the play-in game, the Explorers have continued to battle hard. They upset Kansas State (#4) in the first round and then beat a hot Ole Miss squad on a last-second layup.

La Salle is loaded with talented guards, with Galloway (17.4 PPG), Tyreek Duren (14.5 PPG) and Tyrone Garland (12.8 PPG) all able to score the rock. Galloway went for 19 points in the Wildcats and was even better (24/4/3) against the Rebels.

The Explorers may have the advantage on the perimeter, but they're going to be tested in a major way down inside. Wichita State has a formidable interior presence with Cleanthony Early and Carl Hall.

Still, La Salle has had to deal with tough challenges all year long in what was a stacked season for the Atlantic 10. Current NCAA basketball odds have the Explorers as four-point underdogs, but a straight up win for the higher seed isn't out of the question whatsoever.


Arizona Wildcats (#6) vs. Ohio State (#2)

27-7 SU, 16-16 ATS

Key Player: Mark Lyons

The Wildcats closed out their regular season by losing two of three, before falling short in the Pac-12 tournament semi-finals.

That slow finish has seemingly been a wake-up call for Arizona, as they've been performing extremely well so far in the NCAA tournament. Big wins over Belmont (81-64) and Harvard (74-51) have showcased their abilities on both ends of the floor.

One thing going for Arizona is their senior leadership. Three of their top four scorers are seniors, including Lyons, who has been feeling it through the first two rounds. He's scored a combined 50 points in the two wins, victories in which the Wildcats also covered easily as favorites on both occasions.

Arizona has come together when it's mattered most and has the necessary pieces to give Ohio State, surging in their own right, a good battle in the Sweet 16.

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