Sweet 16 Sleepers
March 25, 2014
By Mike Rose
We're down to just 16 teams in the NCAA Tournament, and there are a few out there that we think you should consider to pull off some upsets along the way. The four teams we highlighted last week combined to go 4-2 ATS in the first week of the tourney, including a near upset with New Mexico State.
Connecticut Huskies (28-8, 19-15 ATS) – We're talking about the Huskies once again this week, as we still think they can win the National Championship. Shabazz Napier's shin injury is a bit of a concern, but in the end, he still has proven time and time again that he is the best player on the court in virtually every situation he runs into. The Huskies are scoring the ball at will, and Napier has 49 points to show for his work through two games. Granted, this matchup on Friday against Iowa State isn't going to be an easy one (nor will a prospective Elite Eight matchup against either Michigan State or Virginia), but the Huskies have that ultimate X-Factor in Napier who can change games in a hurry.
Stanford Cardinal (23-12, 19-12-2 ATS) – You can't teach height, and you can't teach speed, and the Cardinal have a ton of both in each department. The "trees" for Stanford have really given teams problems here to start off the tourney, and the upsets of New Mexico and Kansas could both be attributed to the size of the team. We have yet to see Chasson Randle go off for a massive game yet, but that could be coming. The draw against Dayton couldn't possibly be any friendlier, and though in all likelihood, Stanford has little to no chance against Florida in the Elite Eight, it could still be a fantastic team in regards to covering.
Baylor Bears (26-11, 15-14-2 ATS) – Every year it feels like we watch as Baylor makes the Elite Eight, and we wonder every year how in the heck none of us saw this coming. Plain and simple though, this team can play, and it's built for the dance. The grind of the regular season is hard on this team, as it is really never all that deep of a club, and the Big XII season is as tough as any task in the country. However, between the size of Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin as well as the athleticism and shooting of Kenny Chery and Brady Heslip, the Bears are definitely a club to be reckoned with. Wisconsin had all sorts of problems with a very talented and athletic Oregon team, and for our money, Baylor is a more athletic, yet a slightly slower version of the same team. The Bears might be the shocking team in this bracket. Don't be surprised if they upset the Badgers and perhaps make a run at the Final Four, where they will be the de facto home team in Arlington.
Odds to Win 2014 NCAA Men's Tournament (4/7/14)
Michigan State 9/2
Iowa State 25/1
San Diego State 38/1
Odds provided by Sportsbook.ag
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