It’s March, and that means that college basketball will take center stage in the United States.
The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will begin just days after St. Patrick’s Day, and this is always one of the biggest and best sporting events of the year.
The tournament is called “March Madness” due to its unpredictable nature and shocking results.
Out of that madness come Cinderella teams each year, and they become fan favorites during their historic run.
Becoming a March Madness Cinderella
Even though the top NCAAB teams usually find a way to rise to the top in the Final Four, the joy and excitement that these Cinderella teams bring in the early rounds are what make the tournament so unique.
You don’t know who the Cinderella teams will be until the games begin, but there are always some potential contenders that emerge.
The 2020-21 college basketball season has been unlike any other, and that should add to the unpredictability in March.
Here is our look at five potential March Madness Cinderella teams that could be poised to shock the world.
Qualifications Of A Cinderella Team
Becoming a Cinderella team is more than just being given that title before the tournament begins, and there is still some work to be done.
Teams don’t earn the “Cinderella” label until they have pulled off something special and appear to still have more left in the tank.
Here are some of the qualifications of a Cinderella team, although not every team on our list will meet all of the standards:
- Not From Power Five Conference
- Double-Digit Seed
- Advance to Sweet 16
- Knock off Power Conference School
Memorable March Madness Cinderella Teams
There is a long list of Cinderella teams that have made impressive runs during the NCAA Tournament, but few stand out.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were one of the first popular Cinderella teams, and they have turned that into a perennial power.
The Davidson Wildcats made a shocking run to the Elite Eight in 2008, led by the sharp-shooting of Stephen Curry.
In 1985, the Villanova Wildcats were able to win the National Championship as a number eight seed, the lowest to ever cut down the nets.
There have been four number 11 seeds to reach the Final Four, with those teams being:
- LSU Tigers (1986)
- George Mason Patriots (2006)
- VCU Rams (2011)
- Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (2018)
In 2018, UMBC became the first number 16 seed to ever win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning the Virginia Cavaliers.
March Madness Cinderella Teams 2021: Main Contenders
Wichita State Shockers
The Wichita State Shockers have played the Cinderella role well in recent seasons, but they are back on the list again in 2021.
Even though the Shockers have been a Cinderella team in the past, this year’s version is much different.
Gregg Marshall is no longer leading the team, and this Shockers squad does not have any NBA Lottery picks on the roster.
Wichita State is sitting squarely on the bubble, which would allow them to pull off plenty of upsets along their run.
The Drake Bulldogs hail from the Missouri Valley Conference, and this league has a history of producing some Cinderella teams.
Just a few years ago, Loyola-Chicago made it all the way to the Final Four, and Drake could be that team this season.
Drake actually earned the number two seed in the MVC Conference Tournament, but they have done enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 24-3 record, and they are loaded with talent.
The Belmont Bruins were 24-1 at one point before finishing the regular season with two straight losses.
Belmont comes from the Ohio Valley Conference and should receive an at-large bid if they fail to win the conference championship.
Belmont averages over 82 points per game this season, and that explosive offense can be tough to stop in the NCAA Tournament.
The Bruins don’t have a superstar that usually guides these Cinderella teams, but they do have six players averaging at least nine points per game.
The Winthrop Eagles went 21-1 during the regular season, and they are expected to represent the Big South Conference in the NCAA Tournament.
Winthrop will likely need to win the AQ to earn an NCAA Tournament berth, but they could make noise if they do so.
Guard Chandler Vaudrin is a triple-double waiting to happen, and this Winthrop team can really shoot the basketball.
If the Eagles are able to get hot over the next few weeks, it could be a great Cinderella run.
The biggest potential Cinderella team on this list is the Siena Saints, as they have gone just 11-3 this season to lead the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
The Saints get the job done on defense, allowing only 62 points per game.
They will likely be a 13-14 seed if they can make it into the NCAA Tournament, and picking up one win could get the Cinderella talk started.
How To Bet On March Madness 2021
Now that you already know the potential Cinderella teams, learn how to bet on the Big Dance following these simple steps:
Select A Trustworthy Sportsbook
Pick a trusted March Madness betting site from the legit sites we recommend.
We already did all the homework for you.
Create An Account
Search for the “join now” button. It’s usually on the website’s top menu.
Use your factual information when filling in all the blanks.
If you use false info, you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings because every sportsbook asks for proof of ID.
Make A Deposit
Go to the banking section and select your preferred deposit method.
When adding money on your first deposit, add as much as you can so you can take full advantage of the Welcome Bonus.
Don’t forget to check out our list of college basketball bonuses and promos.
Pick the amount of your deposit and select one bonus available in the banking section. Then hit submit.
Once the money hits your account, you can start betting on March Madness games.
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