March is right around the corner with the end of February officially upon us. This means that the 2021-2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Season is winding down. This also means potential Cinderella teams! Teams will play in conference championships next weekend as they aim to secure their spot in the big dance. The bracket has yet to be released, of course. The time to begin analyzing potential double-digit teams that will go on a run is here.
One of the stories of the season last year, the Ohio Bobcats advanced to the round of 32 after knocking off the Virginia Cavaliers. Along with this, the Abilene Christian Wildcats knocked off the Texas Longhorns. Set to be one of the best tournaments in recent memory with no clear favorite to win the title, here are five potential cinderella teams for your March Madness odds.
Five Potential Cinderella Teams in March Madness
5. Toledo Rockets
The leaders of the MAC, the Rockets, have racked up a 23-6 record this season. This includes a 15-3 mark in conference play. They are fresh off an 88-73 victory over the Miami (OH) Redhawks. The group has now won three in a row and eight of their last ten. One of the nation’s best offensive clubs, Toledo is averaging over 70 points in each game while shooting 48 percent from the field.
Led by sophomore guard Ryan Rollins, the sophomore guard is currently leading the team with 19 points averaged per game. The Michigan native is also pacing Toledo with six assists per contest while playing 32 minutes a night. Strong on the glass and on the defensive end, Jeff Massey’s squad is as dangerous as they come.
4. North Texas Mean Green
Looking to advance to the tournament for the second year in a row, the Mean Green made history in 2021. After going to the big dance for the first time in 11 seasons, the program recorded their first victory in the event by defeating the Purdue Boilermakers. Returning most of their team from a year ago, the group sits atop the west division in Conference USA.
Amassing a 22-4 record this season, Grant McCasland and company head into the big dance red hot after rattling off ten straight victories. Possessing the ability to play spoiler to a higher seed early on, North Texas is shooting threes at a 37.1 percent clip. Furthermore, they have amassed a 91.1 rating on the defensive end of the floor.
3. Colgate Raiders
The Raiders are the favorites to capture the Patriot League title. The program will be looking to make its third appearance in the tournament in four seasons. Knocked off by the Arkansas Razorbacks a year ago, they project to be one of the most experienced clubs in the field with five upperclassmen in their starting lineup. As well balanced as they come on the offensive end, five players on the team score in double figures.
Maintaining the ability to go bucket for bucket with any club in the nation, Colgate is currently averaging nearly 10 three-pointers a game. Along with this, Matt Langel’s group has amassed a 57.5 percent true shooting percentage from the field while racking up a 111.3 offensive rating.
2. Longwood Lancers
The story of Division 1 basketball this season, the Lancers are looking to secure a spot in March Madness for the first time. Set to enter the Big South Tournament as the top overall seed, the group has guaranteed a place in either the NIT or the NCAA bracket. Racking up a 23-6 record this season, the team has lost just once in conference play.
Led by their outstanding backcourt of Justin Hill and Isaiah Wilkins, the duo averages more than 26 points per game combined while shooting over 40 percent from the field. Tough on the glass, Longwood is currently 102nd in the nation in rebounding and 33rd in the country on the offensive glass. A true Cinderella story, they check in as the fourth team on our five potential cinderella teams in March Madness.
1. Chattanooga Mocs
Chattanooga is sitting atop of the Southern Conference. The Mocs are well on their way to earning a spot in March Madness for the first time in five seasons. Currently a 13th seed on ESPN’s Bracketology list, the team enters championship weekend as the number one seed in their respective division. Winners over East Tennessee State on Wednesday, guard Malachi Smith put together one of his best performances of the year.
The Illinois native poured in 20 points while shooting 66 percent from the field. Along with this, he also added nine rebounds, three assists, and one steal. As well-coached a team as you will find in the nation, Lamont Paris’s group is deep and capable of going on a run. They check in as the final member of our Five Potential Cinderella Teams in March Madness.