Top Five: Potential NCAA bracket busters

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Elliot Smilowitz

Selection Sunday is less than four weeks away, and it's almost time to start thinking about upset picks in your bracket. Here are five teams from outside the six power conferences that could be nightmare matchups for high seeds:

5. Louisiana Tech (23-3) » Fearless gunner Raheem Appleby went 7-for-12 from beyond the arc in a win over Idaho on Saturday. If Appleby can repeat that in the Big Dance and the Bulldogs maintain their tough perimeter defense, they have the ability to keep up with nearly anyone.

4. Middle Tennessee (23-4) » The Blue Raiders are small but deep and possess a number of scorers, including guard Raymond Cintron, who is 43.3 percent on 3-pointers this season. Kermit Davis Jr.'s crew has won 12 straight in the Sun Belt Conference.

3. Stephen F. Austin (21-3) » The Lumberjacks have the best scoring defense in the nation, holding opponents to 49.9 points per game and just 27 percent on 3-pointers. Senior Taylor Smith shoots 71.2 percent from the floor, best in the nation.

2. Akron (21-4) » The Zips have won 17 straight and may go undefeated in the MAC. Seven-footer Zeke Marshall shoots 65.7 percent from the floor, and his 3.5 blocks per game are fifth in the nation.

1. Lehigh (18-7) » They may lose out on the Patriot League automatic bid to Bucknell, but if the Mountain Hawks get likely NBA lottery pick C.J. McCollum back from injury, they will return the entire lineup from last year's Cinderella team that upended Duke as a No. 15 seed.

- Elliot Smilowitz

esmilowitz@washingtonexaminer.com

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Elliot Smilowitz

Web Producer and Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner