Half the battle of March Madness is figuring out which team is going to beat all the odds and stage a surprising run to the NCAA's highest rungs.
And most years, once the games begin, it's plain to see. In 2008, it was Steph Curry's Davidson squad. Two years ago, it was Florida Gulf Coast's dunk city that upset No. 2 seed Georgetown in their first postseason berth ever.
And who could forget the tricked out moves made by Mercer as they defeated Duke in last year's Round of 64? But this season is unique in that it's hard to pick just one team. So here are the likely contenders, after just a few rounds, to compete for Cinderella's crown, and, potentially, much more.
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The Panthers already have this tournament's shining moment wrapped up; R.J. Hunter, the coach's son, lining up from deep - way, way deep - to toss a waning moment three and defeat third-seeded Baylor by a single point.
"Thank God for that 50-footer I threw in," Hunter said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the game.
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What made the upset even more extraordinary? Well, the Panthers had been down 12 points with just a little over two minutes to ago in the game.Now that's threading a needle. Does Georgia State have what it takes to make a deeper run?
The Panthers' first test will be 6th-seeded Xavier, who emerged from a difficult Big East with 22 wins. Giving the Atlanta squad some hope though is the fact that, while they come from a mid-major conference, their roster boasts some championship-caliber players.
R.J. Hunter is a surefire NBA prospect and could be selected late in the first round of this summer's NBA Draft. Leading regular-season scorer Ryan Harrow (18.7 ppg) is an accurate sniper from three-point range and a former Kentucky starter.
And former Louisville Cardinal Kevin Ware, who has had his own share of heroics in March, is also on the roster.
Don't look now, but the 7th-seeded Shockers could now be out to sting their in-state rival with the much bigger name.
Kansas might be the namesake school of the state, but Wichita State has the underdog advantage. The Jayhawks have nothing to gain from this round of 32 matchup; If they win, people will shrug it off as another victory for a big-time team, but if they lose, it will mark an upset that will ring across the flat plains.
Wichita State did its job, dispatching of No. 10 Indiana with a five-point victory in Omaha. Now it will need to ride its stars if it wants to pull the much more surprising take down of the Jayhawks.
The Flyers are at it again!
After Dayton strung its way from a bubble team to the NCAA's Elite Eight in 2014, coach Archie Miller has the squad back to the tournament's second round. The 27-win team has only six scholarship players but still upset six-seed Providence.
Now the Flyers face third-ranked Oklahoma in their third round matchup. A lowly 11th-seed, they do have one thing going for them; They have as much NCAA tournament experience as any other school in the nation.
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