5 March Madness Sleeper Teams to Pick in Your 2023 NCAA Tournament Bracket Pool
Filling out your 2023 March Madness bracket is always a balancing act. You're never going to win your pool by going all-in on the chalk and simply picking favorites. Of course, we have also all seen what happens when someone gets too cute and loads their bracket full of a ton of unlikely upsets.
The key to success in your March Madness bracket pool is to nail the sure-thing picks while also sprinkling in the right sleeper picks.
The Duel is here to help, with our top five sleeper picks for the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
2023 March Madness Sleepers
1. Creighton Bluejays (No. 6 South)
A six-game losing streak early in the season likely kept Creighton from being a top-five seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays did everything they could to bounce back from that stretch, earning impressive wins over Xavier and UConn down the stretch. This is a scary No. 6 seed given Creighton ranks above teams like Kansas State (No. 3 seed), Baylor (No. 3 seed) and Duke (No. 5 seed) in KenPom rankings. Sneaking by an NC State team that has lost five of its last nine games shouldn't be too hard, which creates a potential matchup with Baylor in Round 2. As mentioned above, the metrics favor the Bluejays in that one. A Sweet 16 appearance is the floor for Creighton.
2. Memphis Tigers (No. 8 East)
It's important to point out that Memphis picked apart a No. 1 seed in Houston its last time out in the AAC Championship. The Tigers led by as much as 15 points in the 75-65 title win. Florida Atlantic is not an easy Round 1 matchup by any means, but the Owls did not beat a single top-25 team during the regular season. The Tigers should cruise in that game, setting up potential matchups against Purdue, Tennessee, or Duke in the next two rounds. The simple fact is that Memphis has the size to take on studs like Zach Edey and Kyle Filipowski. Senior DeAndre Williams (6-foot-9) is averaging 17.8 points per game and Malcolm Danbridge (6-foot-9) is shooting 57.1% from the floor.
3. Charleston Cougars (No. 12 South)
One double-digit seed sticks out as a sleeper team in this tournament and that is the Charleston Cougars. Charleston boasts a ridiculous 31-3 record on the season and ranks among the top 20 teams in offensive efficiency as well as defensive efficiency. The Cougars shine on both ends of the court and roster six players averaging at least 9.0 points per game. That is as balanced as it gets. All head coach Pat Kelsey's team needs to do here is get hot on the offensive end as San Diego State and Virginia rely solely on defense to win games. Charleston could create havoc by matching up with No. 1-seeded Alabama in the Sweet 16.
4. Saint Mary's Gaels (No. 5 West)
A No. 5 seed may not be considered a sleeper team to most people, but Saint Mary's is stuck in a region with a loaded top four. The Gaels are getting overlooked as people opt to put Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga or UConn in their Final Four. That's exactly what shouldn't be happening as the WCC runner-ups rank 11th in KenPom rankings. Saint Mary's defense has the talent to keep those top offenses in check considering it ranks fourth in points allowed per game (60.0) and 26th in opponent effective field goal percentage (46.7%). Taking down VCU on Friday is the first obstacle in what could be a deep tournament run for the Gaels.
5. West Virginia Mountaineers (No. 9 South)
It it isn't clear by now, Alabama is not going to have an easy path to the Final Four. Creighton and Charleston present as tough matchups, but West Virginia is the team that the Crimson Tide may have to worry about first. The Mountaineers should be able to sneak past a Maryland team that has lost 10 straight games as underdogs, setting up a Round 2 matchup against the No. 1 overall seed. Head coach Bob Huggins' team ranks 17th in KenPom rankings and checks in 41st in turnovers forced per game (14.6). West Virginia has also beaten Kansas State, Iowa State and TCU within the last two months. The Mountaineers could give any team in the South region a run for its money.
Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.