Players’ Lounge March Madness 2023-2024 Preview

George Amadeo

Mar 21, 2024

Most Wide Open March Madness is Years

This March Madness is highlighted by the lack of dominant teams. While the defending favorite champion Uconn Huskies open as the prohibitive betting favorite, they are still anything but a sure thing with the oddsmakers in Vegas giving Uconn +370 odds (a $100 bet on this would win you $370) to repeat as NCAA tournament champions! This March Madness expects to truly live up to its name, with the potential to be one of the wildest years of March Madness that we’ve ever had.

March Madness logo

Mcneese is no ordinary 12-seed

Arguably the best part of March Madness is the team that comes out of nowhere, often a Mid Major College that shocks the world. Last year Fairleigh Dickinson University became just the second 16 seed in the history of March Madness to defeat a 1 seed, taking out Purdue in a shocking upset 63-58 in the first round. While we don’t anticipate a 16 seed doing what Fairleigh Dickinson did last year, we do have some schools that might be the perfect fit for Cinderella's Slipper, and there may be none better than Mcneese. The 12-seeded Mcneese won the Southland conference in rather dominant fashion, with a 30-3 record in the regular season before steamrolling through the conference tournament in a similar fashion. Mcneese gets Gonzaga round 1, who has had a shaky season by Gonzaga standards, while still dangerous. Mcneese’s main criticism is their lack of competition that they’ve played this season, a valid criticism given they’ve only faced one other team in the tournament. However, a team with a 30-3 record that boosts 4 players shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range is not to be ignored, and after the news out of Kansas, the team Mcneese will most likely play if they get past Gonzaga that they lost top scorer Kevin Mccullar Jr, gives Mcneese an even better chance of making it to the Sweet 16 as a 12 seed. 

Mcneese Plays Gonzaga in Round 1 Thursday at 7:25 PM ET

Other Bracket Busters

While we already highlighted the 12-seed Mcneese, they are not the only team that can bust your bracket if you’re not careful. Similar to how Mcneese is not your ordinary 12 seed, the 11-seeded New Mexico Lobos are far from your ordinary 11 seed, with the Lobos actually favored betting-wise to beat the 6-seeded Clemson Tigers in the first round. New Mexico comes in equipped with one of the highest scoring offenses in the nations, and with the last time a 6 seed went 4-0 vs the 11 seeds being 20 years ago in 2004, the betting favored Lobos have a great chance to take out the struggling Clemson Tigers, who have lost 3 of their last 4 games and play the winner of Baylor and Colgate for a spot in the sweet 16. Another potential bracket buster is a team that’s appearing in their third straight March Madness, Grand Canyon University. The 12-seeded Grand Canyon is led by nearly 20-point-per-game scorer Tyon Grant-Foster, who has a real chance to put the world on notice as one of the premier scorers in College Basketball. They go up against Saint Marys who are no slouch and have only lost one game since Christmas. This game will be fair from easy for either team and has the potential to be the best first-round game in the whole tournament, but if Grand Canyon can get by Saint Marys, do not underestimate Grand Canyon’s chance to make a deep run, into the second week of the tournament and perhaps beyond.

Grand Canyon plays Gonzaga in the first round Friday, at 10:05 PM ET

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