Info you need to pick upsets in your March Madness brackets


There's a snowball's chance in hell that something called Stony Brook is going to dance its way through March all the way to the Final Four, but you do need to be aware of the possible March Madness upsets.

Once again, FiveThirtyEight has an interactive bracket with round-by-round probabilities of victory for every game.

The best chances to pull upsets in the first round (technically it's the second round) per that interactive bracket are:

  • Virginia Commonwealth - 73%
  • Butler - 67 %
  • UCONN - 64%
  • Providence - 62%
  • Cincinnati - 61%
  • Gonzaga - 60%
  • Syracuse - 48%
  • Yale - 39%
  • Pittsburgh - 37%
  • Northern Iowa - 30%

A cheat sheet from the Washington Post says the most likely cinderella slippers belong to Virginia Commonwealth, Stephen F. Austin, Hawaii and Arkansas-Little Rock.

SB Nation's Roger Sherman called 12-seed Arkansas-Little Rock over 5-seed Purdue the one upset he would pick over any others. Arkansas-Little Rock can shoot threes and they have the slowest pace of play in the field of 68 teams. In fact, they ranked 345th out of 351 Division I teams in pace of play. says there are seven teams capable of the big bracket buster

  • 11-seed Gonzaga
  • 11-seed Northern Iowa
  • 13-seed Iona
  • 11-seed Wichita State
  • 9-seed Cincinnati
  • 10-seed Virginia Commonwealth
  • 14-seed Stehen F. Austin

Northern Iowa did beat North Carolina, Iowa State and Stephen F. Austin during the regular season.

Iona connects on ten 3-pointers per game, and they're led by senior A.J. English - one of the best scorers in the country.

Wichita State is led by senior guards Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, who both are a combined 7-3 in the NCAA Tournament including a trip to the Final Four as freshmen.


ESPN's Myron Medcalf (formerly of the Star Tribune) has three Big 12 teams in his Final Four: Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma.

USA Today has low seeds Gonzaga, Wichita State and Northern Iowa reaching the Sweet 16.

Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post did a ton of analytical research and found that Oregon is a very weak No. 1 seed. He says pick against the Ducks – just don't do it in the first round.

Now it's time for you to go out and make some informed selections. Good luck!

Next Up

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.


What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

christopher and banks

Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 8.56.43 AM

Tributes, donations after death of popular South High School teacher

The fundraiser had raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 as of Tuesday.

Target headquarters

2 men plead guilty to arson at Target headquarters in Minneapolis

The two men were charged in the Aug. 26, 2020, arson that happened following false rumors about a police shooting.

State Capitol.

MN House votes to condemn insurrection and false election claims, 8 GOPers vote against

The resolution condemned violence at the U.S. and state capitols and declared support for 2020 election results.

Michelle Young

Teacher from Edina steals Matt James' heart on 'The Bachelor'

She's also a former high school and college basketball star.

Screen Shot 2021-01-21 at 1.57.10 PM

Missing woman found dead in north Minneapolis

The 63-year-old's body was found three days after she was reported missing.

Mike Lindell, My Pillow CEO.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has Twitter account 'permanently suspended'

The move was taken by Twitter due to apparent violations of its Civic Integrity Policy.


March Madness: The brackets are set

The field of 68 is set for the NCAA basketball tournament. The play-in games begin Wednesday, with the rest of the field competing in rounds one and two Thursday through Sunday. For the record, the Gophers didn't get invited.