Scouting out first-round upsets in the NCAA Tournament is a tradition unlike any other.
Admit it: when you nail a first-round upset in your bracket, you get pumped up. It makes you feel like an expert, and it also gives you fun bragging rights.
Every year, there are a handful of double-digit seeds that win first-round games, with some advancing beyond that. Bracket busters are one of March Madness’ most fun traditions.
Sports Illustrated ranked the most likely first-round upsets in this year’s tournament. Their criteria included any team seeded No. 11 or lower.
The most likely upset? It comes in the South Region, with No. 11 Loyola Chicago topping No. 6 seed Miami (Fla.)
Miami finished the regular season in promising fashion, winning four consecutive games heading into the ACC tournament. That stretch didn’t result in the Hurricanes getting a favorable first-round draw in the NCAAs. Loyola Chicago is one of the top defensive teams outside of the high-major conferences, checking in at No. 24 in Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted defensive efficiency. The Ramblers are capable of stifling a Hurricanes squad that has neither shot the ball particularly well from the field or excelled at generating easy points at the free-throw line this season. Sunday’s news that projected NBA draft pick Bruce Brown—who underwent surgery to address a foot injury in February—isn’t suiting up for this contest won’t help.
Miami was the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament but lost its conference tourney opener. The news that Brown is officially out doesn’t help either.
You can read all of SI’s analysis here.
Miami and Loyola Chicago will tip off at approximately 3:10 p.m. ET from American Airlines Arena in Dallas. The game will be broadcast on truTV.