I don't think you can call a No. 10 seed beating a No. 7 that much of an upset -- oddsmakers actually favor two No. 10s in their opening-round games in the 2024 NCAA Tournament. These are usually very evenly matched games, yet the No. 10 seeds are only 59-92 straight up against No. 7 seeds since the NCAA Tournament field expanded in 1985, a winning percentage of 38.8%. 

There was one "walkover" by No. 7 Oregon over No. 10 VCU in the 2021 tournament due to a COVID issue within the Rams' program, and that was ruled a no-contest. The lone NCAA Tournament where all four No. 10 seeds won was in 1999, with Purdue over Texas in the East, Miami (Ohio) over Washington in the Midwest, Creighton over Louisville in the South, and Gonzaga over Minnesota in the West. Meanwhile, just two NCAA Tournaments have seen all four No. 7 seeds go through: 1993 and 2007. 

Last year, the lone No. 7 to lose in Round 1 was Texas A&M by 17 against Penn State. The biggest margin of victory by a No. 10 over a No. 7 is 30 points by West Virginia against Temple in 1998. 

A total of 24 No. 10 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 and nine made the Elite Eight. The lone No. 10 to reach the Final Four was Syracuse in 2016. Just one No. 7 seed has won the national title: UConn in 2011 after it won five games in five days to capture the Big East title. No school had won five games in five days since then -- until NC State accomplished the feat this year in the ACC Tournament.

Let's dive into each No. 10 vs. No. 7 matchup and isolate the best chance for an upset.

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10 vs. 7 upset rankings

Ordered from least likely to most likely.

4. Virginia/Colorado State over Texas (TBA)

The First Four debuted in 2011, and at least one school has advanced from it to the Round of 32 in every year but one. We do have projected spreads on this matchup via DrafKings, with the Longhorns at -5 over Virginia and -3.5 over Colorado State, with the Rams and Cavaliers facing off in the First Four on Tuesday night and CSU a short favorite. It will be less than a 48-hour turnaround for the winner, which also will have to travel from Dayton to Charlotte

One could argue that Texas underachieved this season at 20-12 considering the talent on hand in the likes of first-team All-Big 12 Dylan Disu and one of the top scorers in Division I history in Max Abmas, among a few others. Abmas has a history in the Big Dance for his former Oral Roberts team. He is up to No. 8 on the NCAA Division I men's all-time scoring list (3,110 points) and is tied for the No. 3 spot on the all-time career 3-point field goals made chart (509). On paper, the experienced Longhorns are built for a March run. They have never played Virginia and are 2-0 vs. Colorado State. Texas has won its first-round game in each of the past two seasons.

3. Colorado/Boise State over Florida (TBA)

In Monday's SportsLine premium newsletter, I mentioned that Florida suffered a significant injury (7-foot-1 center Micah Handlogten, who gruesomely broke his leg) in the SEC title game loss to Auburn that had me downgrade the Gators a fair amount for the Dance. Handlogten averaged only 5.3 points, but pulled down 6.9 rebounds per game following a transfer from Marshall and was one of the better offensive rebounders in the country. Florida led the nation in rebounds per game this season and grabbed nearly 40% of its offensive rebounds, one of the highest rates in the country. It's a major loss.  

DraftKings lists Florida as a 1-point favorite over Colorado and -3 vs. Boise State with those two playing in the First Four on Wednesday. The Gators have never faced either team. The Buffaloes could be a particularly bad matchup because they have a fair amount of size and UF suddenly doesn't. Colorado enters the First Four on an 8-1 run and five-star freshman Cody Williams is finally healthy after missing four games with an ankle injury. Led by Tyson Degenhart (17.0 PPG, 6.2 RPG), Boise State had the Mountain West's most efficient offense and is one of six Division I teams to have three players score at least 400 points and pull down 50 rebounds this season. 

2. Nevada over Dayton (+1.5)

One could certainly argue that Nevada has the draw advantage with this West Region game being played not too far from campus in Salt Lake City. The NCAA Tournament selection committee seemed to seriously undervalue the Mountain West. Yes, six teams got in, but none got a great seed. Nevada coach Steve Alford has plenty of NCAA Tournament experience himself and has one of the West's top backcourts in Jarod Lucas (17.8 PPG) and Kenan Blackshear (15.1 PPG), both second-team All-Mountain West. The Wolfpack also get to the free throw line at a higher rate than any other school in the field. Nevada had six wins over Quad 1 opponents and was 8-3 in true road games and 3-2 in neutral site contests. 

Dayton forward DaRon Holmes II (20.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.1 BPG) was named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year, A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Atlantic 10 and to the All-Defensive Team. One concern has been the Flyers blowing second-half leads in their recent losses. Dayton was ranked as high as No. 16 in the AP Top 25 this season but went 5-4 in its final nine games.

1. Drake over Washington State (+2)

Already, a handful of experts at SportsLine have picked Drake, the Missouri Valley Tournament champion, to beat Washington State, an at-large from the Pac-12. You can never go wrong in an evenly matched game like this to choose the side with the best player. That's probably Drake with two-time MVC Player of the Year Tucker DeVries (21.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG), son of Bulldogs coach Darian DeVries. Drake has regular-season wins over fellow NCAA Tournament teams Oakland, Akron and Nevada and just one loss in its past 11 games. The Bulldogs are one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the country despite not having a ton of size.

Washington State was picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 this season in the final year of the conference as we know it, but the Cougars finished second in the standings and swept regular-season champion Arizona. Wazzu may now lose coach Kyle Smith because the program has no long-term home. There is no NCAA Tournament experience on the squad with the program in the Dance for the first time since 2008. Drake is here for the third time in the past four seasons and really pushed an eventual Final Four team, No. 5 Miami, in Round 1 last year.  

Wazzu will have a mammoth size advantage. But this is a team that plays very slow, so a bad shooting night would leave the Cougars quite vulnerable. The Cougars lost two of their final three games and averaged only 60 PPG in the losses.