March Madness 2023 is here! The NCAA Tournament bracket is set, and we’re ready to fill out our brackets and pick some winners.
Making the bracket is a difficult process, but the NCAA committee made some choices, to put it mildly, with this bracket, and we took exception with a few of the teams seeded a lot lower than they should have been seeded.
Underrated teams that could pull off big upsets in March Madness
Below, we shared a ranking of the most underrated teams heading into March Madness. If you need help picking some upsets for your bracket, this is the list for you.
1. UConn Huskies
- Record: 25-8
- Seed: 4
The UConn Huskies ran through the non-conference schedule undefeated before losing to the Xavier Musketeers in Big East play. The Huskies are a Top 10 team in Kenpom, and they won their first 14 games before going through a few rough stretches in conference play.
The Huskies are in the West region with Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga, and St. Mary’s. Those five teams are all top 11 Kenpom teams. This is going to be the most competitive region, and whoever makes it out of the West has the best chance to win the NCAA Tournament. If the Huskies get by Iona and then the winners of St. Mary’s/VCU, the Huskies will likely face the Kansas Jayhawks in the Sweet 16. The winner of that guy has a great path to the National Championship.
2. TCU Horned Frogs
- Record: 21-12
- Seed: 6
The numbers might not exactly reflect this pick that the TCU Horned Frogs are underrated. They are ranked 27 in Kenpom, but TCU went 1-5 in games without their best player, Mike Miles Jr., from the end of January and into February. Since Miles Jr. has returned, TCU has looked like a much better team. In that stretch, they beat Texas and Kansas State (twice), and then just lost Texas in a close game in the Big 12 tournament.
TCU has a very tough road because of its low seeding. The Horned Frogs face the winner of Arizona State/Nevada. Historically, the 6-seed has struggled in these matchups. The 11-seed has a pressure-packed game under its belt and it’s coming in confident off a big win. If the Horned Frogs survive, they’re looking at some combination of Gonzaga, UCLA, Kansas, UConn, and St. Mary’s to advance to a Final Four. But, of all the low-ish seeds, TCU is the most talented and has played the best. At times, they’ve looked like one of the best teams in the country, and they could easily run off three or four wins in a row if they get hot and lock in on defense.
3. St. Mary’s Gaels
- Record: 26-7
- Seed: 5
The WCC co-champions enter the NCAA Tournament off a blowout loss to Gonzaga in the tournament championship game. The Gaels are the No. 11 team in Kenpom and have been a top 10 team all season before stumbling late. In reality, St. Mary’s is maybe a fraction worse than Gonzaga, a 3-seed, so St. Mary’s really should be a 4-seed. They also are getting a spot because, if the Gaels win their first game, they are likely facing the UConn Huskies, who is a top 5 Kenpom team. This is a bad matchup for both UConn and St. Mary’s, who each should be seeded a bit higher.
4. Creighton Bluejays
- Record: 27-6
- Seed: 5
The Creighton Bluejays are another team that should really be seeded a little bit higher. I’m not saying the Bluejays should be a 1 or 2-seed, but they could easily be a 3-seed. The Big East, in my opinion, is just a lot better than people think, and it was pretty even between Creighton, Marquette, Xavier, and UConn.
With this low seed, Creighton faces NC State in the first round. NC State struggled this season, but they have wins over pretty much all the good teams in the ACC, so it’s going to be a tough game for the Bluejays.
5. Memphis Tigers
- Record: 26-8
- Seed: 8
Of all the 8-seeds, The Memphis Tigers have the best chance to pull off the upset over Purdue in the second round, but it’s just a bummer a team this good is an 8-seed. Yes, they played some bad games earlier in the season, but they are as hot as anyone and gave Houston, who I believe is the best team in the country, all they could handle in the last regular season game and dominated the Cougars who were without Marcus Sasser, their best player, in the AAC Championship.
Realistically, the Memphis Tigers are probably a 5-seed, but they have one of the toughest matchups in the first round in Florida Atlantic that’s only lost three games this year.
6. Utah State Aggies
- Record: 26-8
- Seed: 10
Utah State is another hot team heading into the NCAA Tournament. They beat Boise State (10-seed) twice in the last two weeks and nearly upset San Diego State in the Mountain West tournament championship game. Utah State is really a No. 5 seed, based on Kenpom, and they look to be peaking at the right time.
The Aggies face the Missouri Tigers in the first round, and with a win, they’ll likely face Arizona in the second round. That’s a big game, but it will probably be closer than most people realize.