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March Madness picks are nearly here, as we are just a couple of weeks away from the start of the big dance. Here at Cappers Info, we’re narrowing down some of the biggest teams that you might not be thinking about that can be the next Butler Bulldogs or George Mason Patriots to bust your bracket and to get into the Final Four.
Old Dominion Monarchs (200 to 1 @ Hollywood Sportsbook): The Monarchs were good enough to take down the Xavier Musketeers, Clemson Tigers, Richmond Spiders, Dayton Flyers, Cleveland State Vikings, and a ton of big time teams from the CAA, so there’s no reason that this team can’t do a heck of a lot of damage come the dance. The problem with the Monarchs is that they really don’t have that outrageous shooter that can just nail three pointer after three pointer against anyone in the land. However, this defense is as good as it gets in the nation, averaging 58.0 points per game allowed, No. 4 in the country.
Butler Bulldogs (200 to 1 Hollywood Sportsbook): We know that Butler has had a hellacious, rough season, probably due to the fact that they not only are the bosses in the Horizon League, but the national runner up from last season as well. Nine losses shows just that. However, there’s nothing that says that this year’s Bulldogs can’t be… well… the Bulldogs! Sure, it would’ve helped immensely had Gordon Hayward come back to school for his senior season, but there are still some great names hanging around on this roster like Shelvin Matt and Matt Howard that now have a ton of experience at this level. There really aren’t many of those “Wow Factor” wins on the slate, but when push really comes to shove, we know that this team can ball with the best. The Horizon League was significantly better this season than it has been in years past, and it might show come Selection Sunday. It’s not a slam dunk for Butler to be in the field, but if it gets there, look out!
Missouri State Bears (200 to 1 at Hollywood Sportsbook): The Bears are going to be hanging around the bubble for the rest of the season, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t believe in them. First off, there is probably about a 40% chance or so that they win the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, which would earn them an automatic bid to the dance, and as we saw last year with the Northern Iowa Panthers, just getting to the dance is good enough to do some real damage. Just like that UNI team that had a ton of sharpshooters from long range, so do these Bears. Kyle Weems, Jermaine Mallett, and Nafis Ricks can all shoot better than 40 percent from beyond the arc, and if that is what these guys are going to do in the dance, SMS is going to be a very, very difficult team to knock out.
Philadelphia Eagles 20 to 1 at Hollywood Sportsbook: The Eagles really had a coming of power this year, winning the rough and tumble NFC East and coming together with QB Michael Vick. RB LeSean McCoy had a great season to bust out as one of the best backs in the game, and we already know that WR DeSean Jackson and WR Jeremy Maclin are amongst the best in the fold in the division, the conference, and the game. There are still definitely some holes on this defense, but we know that Head Coach Andy Reid and company can get that shored up, both through the NFL Draft and just the general nature that this young unit is going to only get better and better. We have to think that there is better than a 20 to 1 chance that the Eagles are going to fly high and capture that elusive Super Bowl triumph.
BYU Cougars (30 to 1 at Hollywood Sportsbook): Sure, the Cougars aren’t exactly this surprise team to deal with, but if they can get past the San Diego State Aztecs either on Saturday on the road or in the MWC Tournament over the course of the next two weeks, there’s a pretty darn good chance that they are going to be a No. 1 seed in the tournament. Jimmer Fredette is the best scorer in America, and though he isn’t going to be sneaking up on anyone this season like he might have in years past, he is still going to put up his points and will be a crowd favorite wherever he goes. This BYU team is for real, and there is just no doubting that fact. Don’t be shocked if this is a Final Four team that legitimately can win the whole enchilada with ease.