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NCAA Tournament lower seeds with best chance to advance

Millions across the country fill out their NCAA Tournament brackets this week, all looking for an edge by targeting potential Round of 64 upsets. It's a crapshoot even for the pundits, oddsmakers and most-attuned college hoops fans, but it's also what makes the days leading up to Thursday's second-round games so enjoyable.

For anyone having trouble pinpointing matchups that could produce wins for lower-seeded schools, here are amNewYork's suggestions for one team each from seeds 9-16 that could win. Bear in mind that for the most part the lower the seed, the less likely the upset.

No. 9: Oklahoma State

It's hardly an upset when a ninth-seed tops a No. 8. While the Sooners stumbled into the tournament field by losing six of their last seven, Le'Bryan Nash and company hold impressive wins over Baylor (twice) and Kansas. They can beat Oregon, too.

No. 10: Ohio State

While No. 7 VCU is riding high after winning the Atlantic 10 tournament at Barclays Center, the Buckeyes boast a likly NBA lottery pick in D'Angelo Russell who can carry this team far on his own.

No. 11: Texas

A pair of damning four-game losing streaks in January and February killed the Longhorns' momentum. But remember, this team was ranked sixth in the nation early in the season. Texas' physical style could overpower No. 6 Butler.

No. 12: Stephen F. Austin

The 5-12 upset has become a tradition. If it continues, the Lumberjacks are the most likely to make it happen. Their high-octane offense should be strong enough to push a Utah squad that alternated wins and losses over the past four weeks.

No. 13: Valparaiso

A trendy pick to oust No. 4 Maryland, the Crusaders have little experience against the tournament field. But they can hit shots from outside and crash the boards, which is a great 1-2 punch for any upset-minded school.

No. 14: Georgia State

Panthers star R.J. Hunter is the type of smaller-school player who could become a national darling if his team can knock off No. 3 Baylor. The junior already has NBA potential.

No. 15: New Mexico State

The Aggies are in the Big Dance for the fourth year in a row. Experience counts for something, even if taking down No. 2 Kansas is a tall order. Speaking of tall, three of the top four Aggies scorers are between 6-8 and 6-10.

No. 16: Lafayette

The second-best 3-point shooting team in the nation, the Leopards could get hot against Villanova and be the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1. They probably won't though.


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