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Potential NCAA Cinderella Teams

Every year it seems there is at least one Cinderella Team, a team that is a lower seed that makes a run beating higher seeds along the way. This year I have a handful of picks of who that could be and I break down the case for each below.

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No. 10 Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado was one of the last four teams to get into the tournament. They also find themselves in one of the play-in games so we may not actually even see them in the first round. The main reason why I like this team to potentially make a run is due to the immense talent on this roster.

Colorado likely has three players who will get drafted in the 2024 NBA Draft and possibly all in the first round. Cody Williams is expected to be a top 5 pick. He is just coming back from an injury and is getting ramped up. If he can play to his full potential, Colorado can beat anybody.

Colorado ended their regular season winning six games in a row. Then, in the PAC 12 Tournament, Colorado made it all the way to the finals before losing to Oregon. This team is hot and talented.

Colorado Buffaloes

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No. 11 New Mexico

New Mexico gets the benefit of playing in what many people think is the weakest division, the West. As an 11 seed even a first round win would be huge over No. 6 Clemson. New Mexico is actually the betting favorite in that matchup. The Mountain West is an underrated conference and New Mexico was able to win the conference tournament.

This team has 26 wins this year. They have gotten those wins through experience as their two leading scorers are both seniors. If they can beat Clemson then they will have to navigate through the three-seeded Baylor Bears who are one of the weaker three seeds.

New Mexico

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No. 9 Texas A&M

As a nine seed this team should be feared by No. 1 Houston in the South region. Texas A&M had some huge wins earlier this year and is also hot right now.

Earlier in the season Texas A&M upset Tennessee, Iowa State, and Kentucky; two No. 2 seeds and a No. 3 in the tournament. Also, they played Houston this year and lost by just four points and were tied with a minute left.

Texas A&M would give Houston a great game in the second round with the potential to go on a run if they can beat them.

Texas A&M

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No. 12 Grand Canyon

True Cinderella teams don’t come from a Power 5 conference, even if they are lower-seeded teams. Grand Canyon could be that school this year.

In the first round Grand Canyon gets to face another non-Power-5 school in St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s has been great this year but ultimately St. Mary’s biggest win this year was against Gonzaga who is having one of their worst seasons in years.

If Grand Canyon can get past St. Mary’s, they will be in the second round of one of the weaker regions in the West.

Grand Canyon lost just four games this year and easily won their conference tournament. Their schedule was extremely easy but they did beat a ranked San Diego State team and have former Kansas player Tyon Grant-Foster who is an NBA talent.

Grand Canyon

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