Four mid-majors with double-digit seeds and Cinderella potential

Play Tourney Pick'em | Fill out your bracket | Print it | Celebrity Challenge

Whether it's Florida Gulf Coast's improbable run to the Sweet 16 two years ago, Davidson coming within a shot of the Final Four in 2008 or George Mason actually getting there in 2006, the NCAA tournament has delivered some memorable Cinderella stories. 

Here's a look at four mid-majors with double-digit seeds and a chance to do some damage this year. Note that Wichita State and Northern Iowa were not considered here since they're favored in their opening games, nor were double-digit seeds from power conferences like Texas or UCLA.

Stephen F. Austin (29-4, 17-1)
League: Southland (First place)
Seed: 12th seed, South Region
Round of 64 opponent: No. 5 Utah
Potential round of 32 opponent: No. 4 Georgetown or No. 13 Eastern Washington
RPI/KenPom: 33/35
Why the Lumberjacks are dangerous: Guard Thomas Walkup and forward Jacob Parker are among the returning standouts from the Stephen F. Austin team that stunned fifth-seeded VCU in the opening round last year in San Diego. The Lumberjacks are no one-hit wonder either, having won at Memphis, gone to overtime with Northern Iowa and run away with their conference for the second straight year. The formula for success for Stephen F. Austin is an efficient, unselfish motion offense and a trapping defense that speeds up the tempo and forces turnovers on 23 percent of opposing possessions. The Lumberjacks are the highest rated No. 12 seed in the KenPom rankings and are actually above every single No. 9 seed as well. Their opponent round opponent is a Utah team that has lost four of its last seven games after a 21-4 start and has struggled most against long, athletic teams who rebound and defend. That's not Stephen F. Austin, which doesn't have a single player taller than 6-foot-9, but the Lumberjacks are still a threat to pull an upset.

BYU (25-9, 13-5)
League: WCC (second place)
Seed: 11th seed, West Region
First Four opponent: Ole Miss
Potential round of 64 opponent: No. 6 Xavier
Potential round of 32 opponent: No. 3 Baylor or No. 14 Georgia State
RPI/KenPom: 36/31
Why the Cougars are dangerous: In its four years of existence, the First Four has produced a Final Four team, three Sweet 16 teams and at least one round of 32 team each time. The First Four team with the best chance to duplicate that success this year is BYU. The Cougars boast a free-flowing, multifaceted offense powered by high-scoring Tyler Haws, triple-double machine Kyle Collinsworth and an array of capable outside shooters. While BYU doesn't have much interior scoring, Corbin Kafusi has developed into a strong rebounder and defender and there are plenty of disposable big men behind him if he gets into foul trouble. BYU finished the season winning eight of its last nine games and also benefits from a favorable draw. First Four opponent Ole Miss stumbled into the NCAA tournament losing four of its last five and doesn't have the interior scoring to hurt the Cougars. Xavier's Matt Stainbrook could be a challenge for BYU, but given the other No. 6 seeds the Cougars could have drawn, the Musketeers aren't a terrible option.

Eastern Washington (26-8, 14-4)
League: Big Sky (tie for first)
Seed: 13th seed, South Region
Round of 64 opponent: No. 4 Georgetown
Potential round of 32 opponent: No. 5 Utah or No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
RPI/KenPom: 75/136
Why the Eagles are dangerous: Even though the computer metrics don't like Eastern Washington nearly as much as some of the other mid-majors on this list, don't disregard the Eagles just yet. They shoot over 40 percent from behind the arc as a team, they boast the nation's eighth-best points per possession offense and they have the nation's leading scorer in guard Tyler Harvey. Three-point shooting is often the recipe for a March upset, and Eastern Washington drew a program that has been on the wrong end of several in recent years. Georgetown has crashed out of the NCAA tournament in its first or second game all five times it has made the field since its 2007 Final Four appearance, four of those five as a No. 2 or 3 seed. The Hoyas could get tight if Eastern Washington can stay in striking distance into the second half. Georgetown's size in the paint is definitely a concern for an Eastern Washington team that doesn't rebound well. The Eagles' lone victory against a power-conference foe this season came against an Indiana team that lacks big men.

Buffalo (23-9, 12-6)
League: MAC (tied for first)
Seed: 12th seed, Midwest Region
Round of 64 opponent: No. 5 West Virginia
Potential round of 32 opponent: No. 4 Maryland or No. 13 Valparaiso
RPI/KenPom: 28/54
Why the Bulls are dangerous: One of the few teams to have any success against Kentucky this season is Buffalo, which actually led the top-ranked Wildcats 38-33 at halftime back on Nov. 16. The Bulls also put up a fight at Wisconsin in a 68-56 loss. Buffalo is a top 50 team nationally in points per possession because it offsets mediocre outside shooting by attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line. Junior forward Justin Moss averages 17.7 points and 9.2 rebounds and got to the foul line 226 times this season. The key for any team against West Virginia is protecting the ball against the press and keeping the Mountaineers out of transition and off the offensive glass. Buffalo does not turn the ball over much, but rebounding is a big concern. If the Bulls allow the Mountaineers to play volleyball on the glass, they'll lose this game. If the Bulls can force West Virginia to score against a set defense and only surrender one shot, they have a great shot at pulling an upset.

- - - - - - -

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!