March Madness will tip off Tuesday, and by now, everyone has dissected their brackets one hundred times over.
Everyone wants to find the diamond in the rough to prove they are a college basketball Einstein.
While you finish up your fifth bracket in less than 24 hours, we’ve decided to do the hard work for you and search for that precious diamond.
Let’s take a closer look at each region and find the perfect Cinderella to put your chips on.
West Region – Vermont
Never gets old – Buffalo, here come the 😼 pic.twitter.com/CRRy8s1x91
— UVM Men's Basketball (@UVMmbb) March 14, 2022
The Catamounts of Vermont are no stranger to playing spoiler in the NCAA Tournament.
Realizing the Catamounts conquered Syracuse and became the tournament’s darlings 17 years ago in 2005, I suffered a major mid-life crisis at that moment. After overcoming that, I realized that the stars are aligning for the 2022 American East Champions to potentially be a Cinderella story once again.
The Catamounts sit as a 13-seed, the same seed they were back in ’05. Vermont is ready for the challenge as they play a strong Arkansas squad in the first round.
East – Virginia Tech
𝘽𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 '𝘽𝙪𝙧𝙜 𝙗𝙖𝙗𝙮 🦃🏆🔥 pic.twitter.com/bVSJPoO4ba
— Virginia Tech Men's Basketball (@HokiesMBB) March 14, 2022
It’s a rarity to see the winner of the ACC tournament come into the big dance as a double-digit seed. The Virginia Tech Hokies are that team!
The Hokies have already played Cinderella, getting to this point in March after defeating Duke in the ACC Tournament championship game and becoming a favorite for the whole nation as the Coach K retirement tour continues with no hardware for the long time Blue Devil head coach.
The Hokies aren’t the usual Cinderella, but they still fit the bill.
South – UAB
— UAB Men's Basketball (@UAB_MBB) March 13, 2022
The champions of the C-USA look to be the ultimate underdog in the South region as they open with a tough matchup against Houston.
How could anyone not root for a team led by Andy Kennedy and a player named Jelly Walker?
Walker joins a list of great names in the UAB basketball program, including Darth Vaden and Squeaky Johnson. Yes, I’m a salty Kentucky fan who remembers watching his team lose to both of those men.
Nevertheless, UAB is my Cinderella of the South Region. Go Jelly!
Midwest – South Dakota St.
🏆 𝟐𝟏-𝟎 ⏩ 𝐇𝐈𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐑𝐘 🏆
— Jackrabbit Basketball (@GoJacksMBB) March 11, 2022
Has anyone ever told you to fear the Jackrabbits? If they haven’t, I’m warning you now. The South Dakota State Jackrabbits finished the season with 30 wins and were champions of the Summit League.
The Jackrabbits are currently on a 21-game winning streak. Providence has to be wondering what they have done to the selection committee to receive a first-round date with the South Dakota State.
Keep your eyes on the Jackrabbits potentially playing in the second weekend of the madness.