Although seeds 16-14 have a slim to none chance of pulling off a crazy upset in the NCAA Tournament, the following programs actually have a far better chance of going the distance in March Madness from a historical perspective. Normally, the 13th seeds are still from lesser conferences but are almost always at the top of their respective standings, which is indicative of teams that know what it takes to be the best and is unafraid of being in the competitive limelight. While the odds of these gritty and fearless programs moving on past the first round is still relatively unlikely, they do have the advantage of being somewhat unknown despite their competitive zeal. For any power five programs that are matched up with any of the following teams, they would do themselves a severe disservice if they give into their cocky natures and overlook one of these reputable albeit lesser known teams.
1. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
A highly prolific program that does everything and more when it comes to playing offense (84.8 PPG), the Ragin’ Cajuns are a multi-dimensional scoring unit that is adept at moving the ball (17.7 APG) and attacking the glass fearlessly (39.7 RPG). Although they may not be particularly intimidating on the defensive end of the court (70.8 PAPG), their exceptional abilities on offense should allow them to cover up this weakness for the most part in tournament play.
1. Buffalo Bulls
Similar to the Ragin’ Cajuns, the Bulls are equally adept at scoring (84.7 RPG), rebounding (38.6 RPG) and moving the basketball around to their open shooters (17.1 APG). Unfortunately, the Bulls struggle mightily on defense (76.9 PAPG), a glaring weakness that has been to their detriment on more than one occasion. However, if the Bulls superstar shooters can remain hot from the field (four of their five starters average double-digit points per game), they could very well overwhelm their opponent offensively before their defense becomes a problem.
1. Vermont Catamounts
Although they may not have the size or elite athletes to overwhelm their respective opponents from a scoring perspective, they do have some of the most disciplined players in college basketball, particularly when it comes to playing defense (64.8 PAPG). If the Catamounts can maintain their efficiency when it comes to hitting high percentage shots from the field (49.4 FG%, 40.7 3P%), they have a decent chance of grinding out a couple of wins in the tournament.
1. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
As long as the Jackrabbits can garner their fair share of rebounds (38.7 RPG), they have a great chance of being an upset-minded team thanks to their exceptional offense (85.3 PPG). Extremely accurate from anywhere on the court and at the free throw line (47.4 FG%, 40.7 3P%, 76.4 FT%), the Jackrabbits have the potential to score early and often to eventually move on to the next round assuming their poor defense does not do them in before then (74.6 PAPG).