March Madness Cinderella Teams: 5 Longshots To Pick In 2022

March Madness Cinderella Teams

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

The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins with the First Four on March 15th, with a massive slate of games that week. 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.

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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 in until the games begin, but there are always some potential contenders that emerge.

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

TeamBetUS logo
Saint Mary’s CA+10000
Murray State+20000

March Madness Cinderella Teams 2022: Main Contenders

Loyola-Chicago +10000

Since reaching the Final Four in 2018, Loyola-Chicago has become a household name in March.

The Ramblers have three appearances in the last four tournaments, and once again, they can make some noise in 2022.

Their biggest strength is the defense, allowing 61.7 points per game and fewer than 40% from the field.

Loyola-Chicago is the definition of a longshot. No one is expecting them to reach the final.

But along the way, they can become a headache for any opponent that might not be ready for a scrappy fight.

Saint Mary’s CA +10000

For Saint Mary’s, missing the 2021 March Madness tournament was devastating. An early exit in the NIT tournament didn’t help either.

In 2022, they want to earn some respect back. Wins over Notre Dame, Oregon, and their main rival, Gonzaga have put them back on the College Hoops map.

Everything in the tournament will have to go just right for Saint Mary’s to become a College Basketball champion. But that’s exactly why we are here, for the longshots.

The Gaels could be a dark horse in the tournament. Their regular-season resume suggests they can go toe to toe with anybody in 2022.

Murray State +20000

Murray State has lost only two games this season, and for some reason, they are not on any lists to be the Cinderella team of the tournament.

The Racers are the only team in College Hoops with 30 wins this season, posting a whopping .938 winning percentage. They deserve some respect, and I’m here to give it to them.

Murray State will enter the tournament with a 20-game winning streak. Their last loss was back on December 22nd. It’s been three months since they have recorded an L.

If I’m going to put my money on a small team to win it all, I might as well bet on the one who has a winning culture already established.

Davidson +25000

The Davidson Wildcats will be back in the tournament for the first time since 2018.

Ten years before their last March Madness appearance, the team reached the Elite Eight led by future Basketball Hall of Famer, Steph Curry.

The current version of the Wildcats lost only five games during the regular season while beating then 10th ranked Alabama early in the year.

Between guards Foster Loyer and Hyunjung Lee, who average over 16.0 points per game this season, Davidson’s offense can shine during March.

Chattanooga +30000

Chattanooga will take a tournament spot for the first time in five years. They ended the regular season on top of the Southern Conference, winning 79% of their games.

They didn’t play anybody ranked this season, but that’s not their fault. The team scored 74.8 points per game, and guard Malachi Smith leads the way with 20.1 points per game.

Chattanooga is one of those pleasant stories college basketball always gives us.

They already have a buzzer-beater during the Conference Championship, which means they are definitely March-ready.

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 2024

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.

Check Out Our Complete Guide To March Madness Betting

About the Author

Alonzo Solano

Alonzo Solano

Sports Analyst and Content Writer

Alonzo is a Sports Betting Analyst and casino games enthusiast who has covered Football extensively at SBS, but don’t be surprised if you read him on other sports. He's the host of the NFL Latino TV podcast.

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