The national media would like to make you believe that everything will be chalk and the best teams will always win in the NCAA Tournament. I'm here to tell you that there are double-digit land mines in every region in the bracket. Somebody this year could become the newest VCU or George Mason.
The best candidates have stars, a good coach, a good system and are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now. They also have a path conducive to some upsets and games that benefit them.
11 St. Bonaventure/UCLA (East Region)
Records: St. Bonaventure 25-7, UCLA 21-11
First Round Opponent: No. 6 Florida (Thursday, March 15)
This one is cheating because I get two teams potentially, but I really like what each squad brings to the table. If St. Bonaventure's injuries during the Atlantic 10 Tournament aren't that bad and the Bonnies get past UCLA in the First Four in Dayton, then they should be able to beat Florida. Matt Mobley and Jaylen Adams are one of the best backcourts in the country and they are hard to guard as well. Courtney Stockard was one of the key players who went down in the conference tournament so his status is important. For the Bruins, Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh lead the way for a team that has the athleticism to give certain opponents fits. The Bruins have some good wins this season and won't be intimidated by Florida after taking down St. Bonaventure on Tuesday night. Should either of these teams get by the Gators, they could get Texas Tech, who has lost five of its last seven games.
12 Davidson Wildcats (South Region)
Record: 21-11, Atlantic 10 Tournament champions
Notable Non-Conference Games: L vs. North Carolina (85-75), L at Virginia (80-60), L vs. New Mexico State 69-68
First Round Opponent: No. 5 Kentucky (Thursday, March 15)
The Wildcats have won eight of their last nine with the loss being in triple overtime at St. Bonaventure. Bob McKillop has what it takes to coach these guys up and can show them the tapes of the run Davidson made with Steph Curry. Kellan Grady is like Curry in that he's got shooting range and can drive in the lane easily. Peyton Aldridge represents some of the size who also can spot up from three-point land as well. Kentucky can be vulnerable with such a young roster playing in such a big spotlight. The Wildcats out of the SEC are playing well right now, but how will they handle adversity should it arrive. The status of Jarred Vanderbilt will be important here as well.
11 San Diego State Aztecs (West Region)
Record: 22-10, Mountain West Tournament champions
Notable Non-Conference Games: W vs. Gonzaga (72-70), L vs. Arizona State (90-68)
First Round Opponent: No. 6 Houston (Thursday, March 15)
My theme continues here with another surprising conference champion. The Aztecs have won nine in a row and are feeling good as a team. Confidence is hard to get and they've got loads of it. Trey Kell missed a couple of games, but now he's back and healthy. They've got five double-digit scorers and loads of athletes. There are some decent shooters on the team. I like SDSU over Houston mostly because of the confidence and because I'm just not as much of a fan of the Cougars. Should the Aztecs win this one, we'll see how those athletes play against Michigan, one of the hottest teams in the country.
13 College of Charleston Cougars (Midwest Region)
Record: 26-7, CAA regular season and tournament champions
Notable Non-Conference Games: L vs. Wichita State (81-63), L vs. Rhode Island (68-62)
First Round Opponent: No. 4 Auburn Tigers (Friday, March 16)
The Cougars finished out with wins in 14 of their last 15 and are playing their best basketball of the season. They've got a big three in Grant Riller, Jarrell Brantley and Joe Chealey that will be hard to slow down. My worry is about their defense which has been an issue at times. Still, Auburn isn't the same team without Anfernee McLemore. The Tigers have some great guards, but have lost four of their last six. If Charleston gets past them, then the Cougars get a vulnerable Clemson team or another higher seed in New Mexico State.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.
(Top photo courtesy of @UCLAMBB)