An upset, at its core, is composed of three parts. First, there are the underdog's weapons -- the things they do well enough to put them in position to win. There are the favorite's flaws -- the areas that can be exploited in a one-and-done format. Finally, there is the intersection between those qualities. We won't be able to examine that final issue until we're staring at a bracket. But Giant Killers focuses heavily on the first two, anyway.
Essentially, we are searching for the genetic markers that are inherent in teams involved on either side of a March upset. Although this season's formula is far from complete -- and certain categories aren't weighted more than another -- we know the key components. And with that in mind, it's time for an early look at 10 highly ranked teams that have at least one major cause for concern. You won't see Louisville or Indiana on this list, as they are doing all the right things to ward off GKs. But most other top teams have at least one weakness to correct.
Here is a look at where top teams are vulnerable, plus a couple of games on the remaining schedule of each that could result in upsets.
Arizona Wildcats (No. 7 AP, No. 7 BPI)Area of concern: 3-point defense
Guarding the arc was a problem for Arizona long before the average-shooting Oregon Ducks made 7 of 11 treys Thursday night. Not only do the Wildcats allow opponents to shoot 37.4 percent from deep, they do little to limit foes' attempts, either. Against Arizona, teams score 33.5 percent of their points from 3-point range. According to KenPom.com, that's 28th in the country -- well above the average mark of 27.4 percent. If you're looking for the fastest way to give a low seed a chance come tourney time, this is it.
Upset alert: Washington (36 percent 3-point shooting) and Colorado (36.8 percent) will be salivating over the prospect of facing Arizona's perimeter D.
Creighton Bluejays (No. 12 AP, No. 10 BPI)Area of concern: Pressure D; offensive rebounding
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