2022 March Madness Cinderellas: Which Teams May Bust Your Bracket?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 16, 2022 - Last Updated on March 21, 2022
March Madness Cinderellas

From George Mason in 2006 to Oral Roberts in the 2021 NCAA tournament, we’ve seen plenty of March Madness Cinderellas pop up this century. Below, I dove into which double-digit seeds can make the most noise this time around.

Ironically, they’re all No. 10 seeds. Click on the odds below to make a Final Four bet, and continue the chatter in our Discord betting community, as we dig into all of the games in the big dance.

You can even keep up-to-date on the top-68 teams in the tournament with my college basketball power rankings.

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Potential March Madness Cinderellas

Miami Hurricanes ():

The Hurricanes’ five-out unit doesn’t rely on ball screens as much as Jim Larrañaga’s previous teams, but their prowess for attacking the rim in transition with Kameron McGusty (17.6 ppg) & Co. sets up their perimeter shooting. Hence, Miami’s spacing generates plenty of defensive concerns.

Although I’m down on the ACC as a whole this season, the Hurricanes’ path to an Elite Eight isn’t absurd, which would create a potential hedge opportunity. Not only does Larrañaga’s ball pressure present a mismatch versus USC’s turnover-prone offense in the Round of 64, but his isolation defense also sets up well in a potential second-round contest against Auburn.

The Midwest Region has the most potential for chaos and March Madness Cinderellas.

Loyola-Chicago Ramblers ():

The Ramblers are coming off an Arch Madness title in which they surrendered a mere 0.76 points per possession (PPP). With guard Marquise Kennedy back after dealing with a knee injury for much of conference play, Loyola’s hybrid defense, which mixes in pack-line concepts, looks like itself again.

Drew Valentine, who replaced now-Oklahoma coach Porter Moser, operates his bunch at a slightly quicker average possession length. Nevertheless, it still ranks No. 308 in adjusted tempo, increasing the likelihood for an upset in a low-possession game.

Plus, Ramblers wing Lucas Williamson (14.0 ppg) is a nightmare for opponents because of his strength, quickness off the dribble and perimeter touch. Williamson played a role in Loyola’s 2017-18 Final Four run, and he and his teammates have the pieces to knock out Villanova and Tennessee en route to accomplishing the same feat.

San Francisco Dons ():

Unlike the Ramblers, the Dons manufacture an uptempo attack with one of college basketball’s premier mid-major backcourts in Jamaree Bouyea and Khalil Shabazz. Their proficient isolation scoring sets up well versus Murray State in the first round, too. The uncertainty comes with how they’ll handle the Racers’ ball pressure.

If the Todd Golden’s crew advances, its transition defense could give Kentucky fits. While the Wildcats are my pick to come out of the East Region, San Francisco’s offense can keep pace against an opponent that struggles to contain fast-break buckets.

Limiting Oscar Tshiebwe on the boards is another story, but we’ve seen crazier March Madness Cinderellas before.

  • Update: Dons forward Yauhen Massalski (knee) will miss their matchup against the Racers. Keep that in consideration if you plan on adding San Fran futures.

Davidson Wildcats ():

The Wildcats may be my favorite long-shot stab of this quartet because of the way they match up over the first three rounds. I already broke down why Bob McKillop’s motion scheme produces an obvious mismatch versus Michigan State. The same goes for Duke’s horrific ball-screen defense and Texas Tech’s no-middle concoction, which forces opponents to score from behind the arc.

Well, Davidson has accrued the 55th-highest open 3-point rate while owning the eighth-highest shooting clip (38.5%). Shooting variance can be positive or negative, but it’s the type of variable a higher seed needs to make a deep tournament run. Look out for ex-Spartans guard Foster Loyer (46.8% on 3s).

TheLines’ Interactive Bracket

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich