Some popular mid-major picks are looming large in the South Region of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. VCU is looking to make some noise again on the national scene, while Stephen F. Austin is looking to continue their monumental run through the Southland slate. Unfortunately, these two squad will play each other in the opening round.
Other mid-major teams includes the winners of the OVC, MAC, America East, and NEC in Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, Albany, and Mount St. Mary's respectively. Meanwhile, bubble buster Dayton is looming and dangerous as an eleven seed.
How far can some of these mid-major squads keep wearing the slipper?
Top Mid-Major Picks to Pull Upsets:
1. VCU to the Sweet 16- Seth Davis was all over Stephen F. Austin in the CBS Selection Show and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Seth hasn't seen the 'Jacks play more than three minutes this year. While Stephen F. Austin is quite a story at 31-2 they have not seen anything like HAVOC in the Southland. Although VCU is likely going to be without Melvin Johnson, look for the Rams to blow past SFA and then move on to the Sweet 16 past UCLA or Tulsa. I like the Rams' match ups all around.
2. Dayton over Ohio State- Not only did Dayton get into the tournament but they get a shot at an in-state opponent in Ohio State. Picking Archie Miller's Flyers over the Buckeyes will be trendy and rightfully so after their recent ten wins in their last twelve appearances. The Flyers will be fired up to play Ohio State and will give Aaron Craft's squad all they can handle.
3. Eastern Kentucky over Kansas- You read that right...Eastern Kentucky is as strong of a 15 seed that I can remember. Joel Embiid will not be suiting up for Kansas and if the Colonels are hitting their threes then their almost impossible to beat. What separates EKU a bit is their stellar halfcourt pressure defense that helps them to turn the ball over almost more than anyone in the country. If you're looking for the next 2 seed to go down then you might want to look hard here.
Mid-Major Players to Watch
1. Briante Weber, VCU: No player embodies HAVOC more than Briante Weber. The two-time Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year is a joy to watch and should be all over Stephen F. Austin this week. Shaka Smart might ask for a little more out of the Rams' star guard too with Melvin Johnson's recent injury.
2. David Brown, Western Michigan: Syracuse is reeling and the Western Michigan Broncos could certainly take advantage of that. If they do then David Brown will be at the forefront. The 6'3 senior lead the MAC in scoring this year at 19.4 points per game and also added 3.6 rebounds. Brown dropped 32 on Toledo in the MAC Championship and he can certainly go off again.
3. Glenn Cosey, Eastern Kentucky: Glenn Cosey does everything for the Colonels and can be a one man wrecking crew. Cosey averaged 18.8 points, 4.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.3 steals this year for Jeff Neubauer's squad. If the Colonels are going to pull off an epic upset over the Jayhawks then it will be because of a big night from Cosey.
Check out the full bracket and print one of your own.