March Madness Cinderella Teams: 5 Longshots To Pick in 2021

March Madness Cinderella Teams

It’s March, and that means that college basketball will take center stage in the United States.

The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins with the First Four on March 18th, with a huge slate of games that weekend. This is always one of the biggest and best sporting events of the year.

The tournament is called “March Madness” due to its unpredictable nature and shocking results.

Out of that madness come Cinderella teams each year, and they become fan favorites during their historic run.

Becoming a March Madness Cinderella

Even though the top college basketball teams usually find a way to rise to the top in the Final Four, the joy and excitement that these Cinderella teams bring in the early rounds are what make the tournament so unique. 

You don’t know who the Cinderella teams will be until the games begin, but there are always some potential contenders that emerge.

The 2020-21 college basketball season has been unlike any other, and that should add to the unpredictability in March.

Here is our look at five potential March Madness Cinderella teams that could be poised to shock the world. 

Possible March Madness Cinderellas: Betting Odds

Team MyBookie All-Star Game MVP
Drake Bulldogs +10000
Florida State +3100
Oklahoma State +6000
Winthrop Eagles +20000
Wisconsin Badgers +3900

March Madness Cinderella Teams 2021: Main Contenders

Drake Bulldogs +10000

The Drake Bulldogs hail from the Missouri Valley Conference, and this league has a history of producing some Cinderella teams.

Just a few years ago, Loyola-Chicago made it all the way to the Final Four, and Drake could be that team this season.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season with a 24-3 record, and they are loaded with talent.

They will play in the First Four game against Witchita State, but if they advance, we like them to make some noise in the tournament.

Winthrop Eagles +20000

The Winthrop Eagles went 21-1 during the regular season, and now they are representing the Big South Conference in the NCAA tournament.

Guard Chandler Vaudrin is a triple-double waiting to happen, and this Winthrop team can really shoot the basketball.

They have a first-round matchup against Villanova. Many are picking No. 12 seeded Eagles to upset the Wildcats.

We agree and if they manage to spring the upset, their path gets a lot easier

If the Eagles are able to get hot, it could be a great Cinderella run. 

Florida State +3100

FSU has been inconsistent all year, but they still have a strong core, including a ferocious trio of M.J. Walkr, RaiQuan Gray, and Scottie Barnes.

They’ve performed well in recent years, including an Elite 8 and Sweet 16 finish in the last three years.

The East region is weak compared to other regions, giving the Seminoles a shot to make a run.

They’re +3100 to win the tournament. That’s a price we like.

Oklahoma State +6000

Oklahoma State not only has one of the best players in the country in Cade Cunningham but is heading into the Big Dance playing some of their best basketball.

They took care of No. 2 Baylor in the Big 12 semifinals and have plenty of solid wins against tough competition throughout the year.

Cunningham continues to increases his production as the year has progressed and has elevated his teammates.

The Cowboys have seemingly played better each game as the season has played out.

That bodes well for March Madness. At +6000 or 60/1, we love their upside.

Wisconsin Badgers +3900

The Badgers come into the tournament playing some of their best basketball and are in one of the easier regions.

They’ve played excellent defense all year and have shot the ball better in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

They seem to have a knack for forcing other teams into bad shots. If Wisconsin can manage to knock off Baylor, their path to an Elite 8 or Final Four appearance is more accessible than most may think.

Once they get there, anything can happen. At +3900, I love the upside we are getting here with one of the most polished teams in the tournament, but one that has gotten a much easier draw than others.

Qualifications Of A College Basketball Cinderella Team

Becoming a Cinderella team is more than just being given that title before the tournament begins, and there is still some work to be done.

Teams don’t earn the “Cinderella” label until they have pulled off something special and appear to still have more left in the tank.

Here are some of the qualifications of a Cinderella team, although not every team on our list will meet all of the standards:

  • Not From Power Five Conference
  • Double-Digit Seed
  • Advance to Sweet 16
  • Knock off Power Conference School

The Biggest Cinderella Teams in March Madness

Biggest Cinderella Teams in March Madness

There is a long list of Cinderella teams that have made impressive runs during the NCAA Tournament, but few stand out.

The Gonzaga Bulldogs were one of the first popular Cinderella teams, and they have turned that into a perennial power.

The Davidson Wildcats made a shocking run to the Elite Eight in 2008, led by the sharp-shooting of Stephen Curry.

In 1985, the Villanova Wildcats were able to win the National Championship as a number eight seed, the lowest to ever cut down the nets.

There have been four number 11 seeds to reach the Final Four, with those teams being:

  • LSU Tigers (1986)
  • George Mason Patriots (2006)
  • VCU Rams (2011)
  • Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (2018)

In 2018, UMBC became the first number 16 seed to ever win an NCAA Tournament game, stunning the Virginia Cavaliers

How To Bet On March Madness 2021

Now that you already know the potential Cinderella teams, learn how to bet on the Big Dance following these simple steps:

  1. Select A Trustworthy Sportsbook

    Pick a trusted March Madness betting site from the legit sites we recommend.

    We already did all the homework for you.

  2. Create An Account

    Search for the “join now” button. It’s usually on the website’s top menu.

    Use your factual information when filling in all the blanks.

    If you use false info, you won’t be able to withdraw your winnings because every sportsbook asks for proof of ID.

  3. Make A Deposit

    Go to the banking section and select your preferred deposit method.

    When adding money on your first deposit, add as much as you can so you can take full advantage of the Welcome Bonus.

    Don’t forget to check out our list of college basketball bonuses and promos.

    Pick the amount of your deposit and select one bonus available in the banking section. Then hit submit.

  4. Start Betting

    Once the money hits your account, you can start betting on March Madness games.

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Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti - Editor-in-Chief / Sports Writer & Analyst

Joe is the author of the blog, most picks, and the majority of excellent sports and casino content on SafestBettingSites. He's been mentioned on as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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