Giant Killers: East upset picks

Could the Dores go down early again?

Updated: March 13, 2012, 2:56 PM ET
By Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner | ESPN Insider
Kevin StallingsChris Graythen/Getty ImagesKevin Stallings and Vandy have a lot to worry about from potential Giant Killers.

As we promised in the Giant Killers blog, on Monday we begin detailed breakdowns of all the first-round games with GK implications.

Now that we all have brackets in hand, it's time for a detailed look at how our Giant Killers statistical model sees NCAA tournament matchups. We'll go region by region, and, as we did in 2011, we will sort potential upsets into four categories: Best Bets, Worth a Long Look, Not Completely Crazy and Stay Away. These names should be pretty self-explanatory: Best Bets have a decent chance to win outright, and Stay Aways are likely to lose no matter what. But we can't tell you exactly how to fill out your brackets, because that depends on how heavily your particular pool rewards upsets. The more points you score when underdogs win, the more you should be willing to pick high-risk teams.

In case you've forgotten, a Giant Killer is a team that beats an opponent seeded at least five spots better and doesn't come from a BCS conference. Other teams -- Gonzaga, Butler, BYU, Temple and Xavier -- are excluded because of their historical success. (Check out our methodology for a full explanation.) Our model generates statistical ratings that compare potential Giant Killers to past Davids, as well as all Giants to the Goliaths that were slain. Those ratings enable us to predict the chances of an upset in each matchup.

We continue with the East Region, where a traditional Giant Killers victim may have lucked out with its draw.

Upset picks in the South | East | West | Midwest


Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.

Jordan Brenner | email

ESPN The Magazine contributing writer
Brenner writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. He covers the NBA and college basketball.