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March Madness Cinderella Odds Part 2

Looking at the auto-bids, who has the best chances to be a legitimate Cinderella in this year's March Madness? To see part 1, featuring Mercer, Coastal Carolina, Deleware, Milwaukee and Manhattan, check out Only College Sports. Follow on twitter @onlyNCAAsports

The rating is based on a 1-10 scale and takes the following in to account; Strength of Schedule, offensive production, senior leadership/experience, consistency in defensive production, recent success, and rebounding efficiency.
  • 1 would be basically no chance at a first round win, due to a combination of both their potential tournament opponent and also the reasons listed above
  • 5 would be a decent shot at getting through the first round, but likely no further than that 
  • 8 would be a team with upset odds to get to the Sweet 16, made dangerous by their production and size along with getting a favorable enough seed to do it 
  • 10 is a perfect score, very rare. A 10 would mean this team is a legitimate threat to any team they may get matched up against. Out of the auto-bids so far Wichita State would be a 10. But since they're going to be a one seed they won't be talked about

Harvard: 7

Harvard is 51 in RPI, with a few solid wins in their schedule. Beating Vermont and Green Bay. But they lost to UConn and Colorado in close games. The promise for the Crimson is there, even though their schedule doesn't prove that they are good, they can score, pass, and defend just as well or even better than a majority of the other tournament teams. Harvard will likely be a 12 seed, getting matched up against a 5 seed. I think the Crimson match up well against a lot of teams, but it's hard to see exactly how good they are when the best team they've played since UConn was  Yale, who they split against. I can see the talent in the Crimson, but I also wouldn't be surprised if they got bumped in the first round.

North Dakota State: 7

Maybe my favorite double-digit seed in this year's tournament. Their RPI is 37 and their FG % is the best in the country just above 50%. They beat Notre Dame in South Bend, and even beat Delaware, another tournament team with solid odds, (see part 1) by 19. One thing that could really kill them is their ability to rebound. They are above and beyond the best in their conference, the closest game against the second and third best teams in their conference (IPFW, South Dakota State) was 3 points. Then the next closest was 8.They lost to Ohio State by 17, giving up 79 points. They have a good shot at getting a 12 seed, and drawing a 5 seed. It's very possible to see them beat the 5 seed then the 4 seed and see the Bison in the Sweet 16.

American: 3

American played their way to a conference title with great defense and running that Princeton offense the way it was supposed to be run. I think they will have the best shot out of any 15 seed to pull the upset. But this strongly depends on the matchup. If they get matched up against a Duke, Kansas, Louisville type of team that can shoot the ball well light or dark then American will get blown out of the water like most 15 seeds do. But if they get an offensively challenged team they have a shot. They played Ohio State to a 9 point game early in the year and proved all year that their defense and slow paced offense can keep points off the board for the other team.

Eastern Kentucky: 2

The Colonels aren't a bad team in the slightest. Their seeding in the tournament won't help them in the slightest, it'll probably be a 15 seed. But they have a decent amount of wins and a potent offense. Their top scorer is a junior and their next best two are both juniors. They lost to VCU in OT @ VCU. If they had been able to pull that win out then they would be a 13 seed in all likeliness and they might have a better shot at advancing through and pulling off an upset. Their two wins against Belmont look good right now, with Belmont being the pre-season favorite. Especially their win in the conference championship. Overall, their likely seeding is what will keep their probability low, and I give them a 5% chance of advancing.

Mount St. Mary's: 1

I'm going to start with a positive. Their two leading scorers are seniors and both have over 17 ppg. They score 76.3 ppg as a team, good enough for 55th in the nation. Now on to the negative... they got blown out by every good team they played. a 31 point loss to Nova, 32 to BYU, 33 to Michigan State. They've also lost to the two worse teams in their conference in Sacred Heart and LIU. They average giving up more points than they score. They finished the season .500, then won three in a row to win the conference tournament. All of this adds up to a tremendous feat for Mount St. Mary's, but with a probable 16 seed the road ends here. is offering a $100 promo code to the winner of our March Madness pool. Sign up for free and share the link! We want to get a LARGE pool going. Share it on your blog, twitter, facebook, whatever!