What are Sleepers? Sleeper are teams that aren’t #1-#4 seeds, but at the same time, aren’t the Cinderellas, either. These are good teams that are going to beat better teams. So, let’s look at some of the higher seeds that are going to make a run in the NCAA Tournament.
# 7 Seed Wichita State
The Kansas Jayhawks have been avoiding having to face Kansas ever since the Wichta State Shockers rose to prominence under Coach Greg Marshall. That could end in the Round of 32 if both teams advance. While Wichita State lacks signature wins, the Shockers have been in the last 4 NCAA Tournaments. I see the Shockers making it to the Sweet 16, where I have them facing Notre Dame.
#6 Seed Xavier
The Xavier Musketeers had wins over Creighton, Butler, and Georgetown before falling to #1 seed Villanova in the conference tournament. The Musketeers play a brutal Big East Conference schedule, so they are used to competing at a very high level. I have Xavier making it to the Sweet 16, where I see them facing another Sleeper team, the VCU Rams.
#7 Seed VCU
The VCU Rams are a team that has gotten hot at the right time! The Rams come into the Ohio State game with a 5 game winning streak, having defeated George Mason, Fordham, Richmond, Davidson, and Dayton. I predict that VCU will go the furthest of the non-top seeded schools, making it to the Elite 8.
#6 Seed Providence
The Providence Friars are another team that is playing its best basketball now. The Friars beat Marquette and Seton Hall, lost to Butler by just 4 points, crushed St. John’s by 17 points, and then finally lost to #1 seed Villanova by a single basket in the Big East Conference Tournament. I have Providence also making it to at least the Sweet 16.
One other team that almost qualifies as a sleeper is #1 seed Villanova. Even though they are 32-2 this season, no one seems to talk about them in the same way as Kentucky, Arizona, Wisconsin, Virginia, or even Gonzaga. I look for Villanova to be in the title game with Kentucky at the end of March Madness.
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