March Insanity 2021: Meet 5 potential Cinderella stars who might bust your bracket


Basketball individuals knew about Stephen Curry earlier than he carried Davidson to the brink of the Remaining 4 in 2008. However that’s the place the long run NBA MVP — and eventual Corridor of Famer — was launched to the remainder of the nation.

And that’s one of many issues that’s so nice in regards to the NCAA Event, the remainder of the nation meets the excellent gamers who’ve been enjoying at a celebrity degree exterior of the highlight. The record of these gamers is prolonged, and it’s spectacular. Take a stroll down reminiscence lane.

And now, listed here are 5 gamers who might be part of that record of well-known Cinderellas in 2021. 

UPSET ALERT: The sleeper picks most probably to bust your bracket

Max Abmas, Oral Roberts

Let’s begin with this: Abmas led all Division I scorers at 24.2 factors per sport. That’s a superb place to start out an inventory of gamers from double-digit seeds that would carry their groups to an upset victory, wouldn’t you say? Abmas, a 6-1 sophomore, had a four-game stretch in February when he scored 37.3 factors per sport, and he knocked down not less than 4 3-pointers in a sport 13 instances this yr. He’s taking pictures 43.3 % past the arc. And he’s not intimidated by “greater” competitors; Abmas scored 33 in opposition to Oklahoma State, 28 in opposition to Wichita State and 20 in opposition to Oklahoma — three NCAA Event at-large groups — early this season. The No. 2 seed Ohio State Buckeyes will current a big problem for the 15-seeded Golden Eagles, however just a little Abmas magic might make that one fascinating. 

(Getty Pictures)

Isaiah Miller, UNCG

I watched Miller in individual a pair instances throughout his freshman season, and it was instantly apparent this child was particular. He was the most effective participant on the courtroom at instances, regardless that that was an excellent UNCG crew — the Spartans went 27-8, gained the SoCon Event and pushed 4-seed Gonzaga to the brink earlier than dropping, 68-64, within the first spherical of the NCAA Event — with quite a lot of juniors and seniors filling key roles. This yr, his senior season, Miller is averaging 19.3 factors, 6.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists and a couple of.6 steals per sport. He’s solely 6-foot, however he makes his dwelling contained in the arc; he’s solely made 10 3-pointers all season. He’s high 10 in three classes on the KenPom leaderboards: sixth in steal proportion, fourth in possession proportion and sixth in shot proportion. Make no mistake, as Miller goes, so goes UNCG. And he’s on a roll now, averaging 25.4 factors in his previous 5 contests. 

REGION BREAKDOWNS:
WEST | EAST | SOUTH | MIDWEST

Chandler Vaudrin, Winthrop

Vaudrin isn’t the identical kind of scorer because the others on this record, however his affect is simple. Very first thing, he’s a 6-7 level guard. Oh, and he’s left-handed. Yet one more: He transferred to Winthrop from a Division II college, Walsh College. Yep. He’s recorded eight profession triple-doubles (most of any energetic D-I participant) and averaged 12.2 factors, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per sport. His help price of 38.5 is ninth within the nation — and better of any participant within the NCAA Event — as seen on KenPom.com. There’s a cause the Eagles — who’re 23-1 this yr — are a stylish upset choose of their 12-vs.-5 sport with Villanova, and it begins with Vaudrin. 

(Getty Pictures)

Jason Preston, Ohio

You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a higher story within the match. Preston didn’t play a lot on a really proficient highschool crew, and wanted a spotlight tape simply to draw the eye of any faculties. Ohio preferred Preston’s expertise, and the remaining, as they are saying, is historical past. Properly, he’s nonetheless making historical past as a junior. Preston caught the nation’s consideration in November, when Ohio went to Illinois and gave the host crew — and eventual No. 1 seed — every thing it might deal with. Preston was phenomenal, scoring 31 factors on 13-of-23 taking pictures, handing out eight assists and grabbing six rebounds, whereas committing zero turnovers in 37 minutes. An enormous NCAA Event efficiency from the 6-4 junior level guard might additional increase his NBA Draft inventory, which is already on the rise. 

HISTORY OF UPSETS BY SEED:
15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

Torrey Patton, Cleveland State

Look, this wouldn’t be the primary time a crew from Cleveland State despatched shock waves by way of the NCAA Event. In 1986, the 14-seed Vikings beat Indiana within the opening spherical after which Saint Joseph’s within the second spherical to achieve the Candy 16. Patton is the sort of participant who could lead on Cleveland State to a different miracle. He scored 23 factors within the Horizon League championship, after pouring in 30 within the opener and 14 within the semifinal. He’s a 6-5 guard who likes to get inside and blend it up; he’s grabbed double-digit rebounds in 4 consecutive video games. And, yeah, possibly it’s a protracted shot to suppose Cleveland State might upend No. 2 seed Houston within the opener, however manner again in November, the Vikings performed one other crew that wound up on the 2-seed line (Ohio State) and solely misplaced by six factors.  



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