Loyola University Chicago Wins

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A Look At Favorites, Possible Cinderellas As March Madness Begins In Earnest

March 15, 2018 - 6:04 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Productivity likely dropped dramatically on this day in offices all across America, as March Madness began in earnest Thursday afternoon.

Washington Post sports writer Neil Greenberg joined Steve Scott and Michael Wallace Thursday. He talked about a probability chart he has come up with at the newspaper, and he had a breakdown of some of the favorites and possible Cinderallas.

“The favorites right now to win it all are the University of Virginia, Villanova. Duke is a No. 2 seed; they also have a pretty good chance. If I’m looking at a Cinderella, it’s probably the No. 2 seed, Cincinnati. They’re not being picked on a lot of brackets – less than 3 percent of all brackets have Cincinnati winning, but I do think that they could do fairly well,” he said.

Also from a Cinderella standpoint, Greenberg noted that many are looking for Loyola University Chicago to make a Sweet 16 appearance. Also in many brackets for the Sweet 16 are No. 10 Butler, and also No. 10 Texas.

“I think the 10 seeds are pretty strong this year, so it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw one of those in the Sweet 16,” Greenberg said.

Loyola topped Miami, Florida 64-62 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed, but some had thought that could change this year.

“Penn, No. 16, plays Kansas, No. 1 seed. They have the best chance, historically, of any 16-seed; roughly about 7 to 9 percent depending on where you look,” Greenberg said.

But Greenberg said he didn’t see it happening this year, and it did not. Penn lost to Kansas 76-60 on Thursday.

Also in the action Thursday afternoon, Rhode Island beat Oklahoma 83-78, Tennessee beat Wright State 73-47, Gonzaga beat UNCG 68-64, and Duke beat Iona 89-67. More games are in progress and scheduled throughout the evening.