March Madness Sleeper Picks 2019: NCAA Cinderella Teams Upset Predictions

march madness cinderella

Getty Wofford is one sleeper team to watch during March Madness.

Everyone wants to predict the March Madness sleeper team that will be the 2019 version of Loyola-Chicago. For the purposes of a winning bracket strategy, we are going to focus on the Cinderella candidates that can make a deep NCAA tournament run. Our other March Madness upset picks focus on the first round matchups.

You will notice some of the teams on our list are from major conferences. We are classifying the term Cinderella more by seeding than conference classification. These teams also won’t be shocked by the bright lights of the NCAA tournament given they have played a solid conference schedule.

The teams listed below all have the makings of squads that can go on a Sweet 16 run. This does not mean you should pick all five teams, but identifying a couple teams to advance in your bracket is not a bad move. Just keep in mind the Final Four is typically made up of higher seeds and predicting the surprise team can be difficult.

Here’s a look at five sleeper teams capable of a deep March Madness run.

March Madness Sleepers: 5 NCAA Tournament Teams Capable of Pulling Off Multiple Upsets

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GettyBuffalo and Syracuse are two teams to watch during the NCAA tournament.

The Huskies laid an egg in the Pac-12 tournament title game, but have the potential to win a few games once March Madness tips off. Much has been made about the Pac-12 having a down year, and it is hard to deny that fact. However, the Huskies are likely going to be under-seeded because of this factor despite being the best team in the conference throughout the regular season.

Washington runs a 2-3 zone that has the potential to stifle offenses in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies are led by Jaylen Nowell who is averaging 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting 43.8 percent from three-point range.

The Terriers are one of the most difficult teams to predict. Wofford ranks in the top 20 in the KenPom ratings and is likely to be under-seeded because of their conference. Wofford is the best-shooting team in the tournament with a 42 percent three-point percentage.

Wofford has won 20 straight games and featured a strong non-conference schedule with games against North Carolina, Kansas, South Carolina, Mississippi State and Oklahoma. Wofford defeated the Gamecocks by 20 points proving they have what it takes to beat teams in higher-profile conferences.

The Terriers have the makings of a team that could surprise with a Final Four run. Their reliance on the three-ball is a little bit concerning as it also puts them at risk for an early exit if their shots are not falling.

Buffalo plays at a pace unrivaled in the NCAA this season. Buffalo has wins over West Virginia and Syracuse in their non-conference schedule. The Bulls rank No. 22 in KenPom ahead of several of the seeds ranked above them. If Buffalo can pull their opponents into a track meet, they could be playing during the second weekend of the NCAA tournament

This feels like the same story every year. Syracuse underperforms during the regular season but has a chance to make noise during March Madness. Syracuse’s length combined with their zone is hard to prepare for and gives them a chance to knock off a No. 1 or No. 2 seed to advance far in the tournament. The Orange played in one of the most challenging conferences in the country and performed well in the ACC tournament.

Syracuse was one of the few teams to beat Duke this season but finished the season on a downward turn. We have seen Syracuse treat the NCAA tournament like a new season in the past and a Sweet 16 run would not be shocking.

The Knights looked like they were going to play themselves into a higher seed then ended the season with a loss against Temple followed by a first-round exit in the AAC tournament. When Tacko Fall is playing at his best, the 7’6″ big man is unguardable and a matchup nightmare on offense. He is also a big reason why UCF is one of the better defensive teams in the country thanks to his mere presence altering opponent’s shots.

UCF notched upsets against Houston and Cincinnati to solidify their March Madness status. They also have veteran guard play thanks to B.J. Taylor and Aubrey Dawkins. The range of outcomes for UCF is wide as their offense can struggle at times and Fall has been known to get in early foul trouble. When things are clicking offensively, it combines with a defense that allows UCF to compete with any team in the country.