Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Meridian High School Student Newspaper - The Lasso

The Lasso

Best upset picks for your Men’s March Madness bracket

The March Madness logo with information about the tournament. (Photo credit Roku)

March Madness, the largest college basketball tournament, starts on Thursday, March 21.Typically over 1 million people fill out brackets for the tournament, and in 2023, only 1000 brackets were left after the first weekend. The Lasso has rated the best picks for your March Madness bracket as of Sunday, March 17. 


12 JMU over 5 Wisconsin

James Madison was one of three teams to win 30+ games in the country. They are led by elite guard play with Terrence Edwards and Noah Freidel. James Madison led the Sun Belt in scoring averaging 84.4 points per game and Edwards led scoring avergin 17.4 points per game. Wisconsin also has elite guard play with AJ Storr however they had some regular season woes. To close out the year they lost eight of their last 11. When Wisconsin gets cold they play poorly. The first night of the season when JMU went to Michigan State and beat them, the country knew this team would be special.

11 New Mexico over 6 Clemson

New Mexico comes out of the Mountain West, the most underrated conference in America. The Lobos are coming off a Mountain West Conference title which led to them getting an auto bid. Richard Pitino, the son of legendary coach Rick Pitino, led the Lobos to a 26-9 record. Clemson however lost to Boston College in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament. Clemson has the better offense, with the 27th best offense, but New Mexico has the better defense with the 23rd best defense according to Ken Pom. Many believe that defense is what wins championships and the Lobos are hot heading into the tournament.

13 Samford over 4 Kansas

Samford won the Southern Conference, winning 29 games this year. They are led by their point guard Achor Achor who shoots 44.6% from beyond the arch. Samford has older guys who won’t break under pressure. The Kansas Jayhawks went without their 2 most important players this past week. They missed Kevin Mccular and Hunter Dickinson due to injury. This led to them getting blown out by Cincinnati in the Big 12 tournament. Kansas has lost 4 of their last 5 games heading into the tournament leading for many to believe they could be an early round exit.


Best Final Four picks


UCONN, who won last year, has a cake walk in the east region. They will have a home crowd advantage in Boston if they make it to the sweet 16. They are led by Tristen Newton and Cam Spencer who’s played fantastic since he’s transferred. They also can play big in the pain with Donavan Clingan. UCONN is one of the 3 teams to reach 30 wins and has powered themselves through the year. They will be looking to win back to back titles.


Purdue looks for revenge as they were the second team in history to lose to a 16 seed. The last time this happened Virginia won the tournament a year after they lost to a 16 seed. Zach Edey is the tallest basketball player in the country with some lethal three point shooting from Braden Smith and Fletcher Loyer. This team looks a lot better from when they lost last year and will be looking to get to Phoenix.


Tennessee is one of the teams who always plays poorly during March. The Vols have the SEC Player of the Year in Dalton Knecht. With the third best adjusted defense according to KenPom, they limit teams to 67.90 points per game. Tennessee is coming off a poor performance in Nashville losing in the quarter finals. With Zakair Zigler and Dalton Knecht the Vols will be a team that can score points while also playing phenomenal.

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About the Contributor
Monroe Duff
Monroe Duff, Staff Writer
Monroe is a freshman on his first year writing for the Lasso. He likes baseball, football, and all college sports. He also likes 80's rock.