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Giant Killers: Midwest Region

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Look for Rhode Island's defense to stop Creighton (0:45)

The Rams' defense has ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi on upset alert as Rhode Island takes on Creighton in the first round of the NCAA tournament. (0:45)

Giant Killers is back for our 12th annual metrics-based forecast of big upsets in the NCAA tournament. As always, we have analyzed all six Giant vs. Killer matchups in each of the four regions of the bracket. (Remember: A Giant Killer is any team that defeats an NCAA tournament opponent seeded at least five spots higher in any round.) And we have sorted them into our longtime categories of Best Bets, Worth a Long Look, Not Completely Crazy and Stay Away, which you can use according to how your pool rewards long shots.

Our statistical model generates upset odds for each game based on three factors: the basic strength of the teams involved, their statistical similarities to past Giants and Killers and the interaction between their playing styles. For each matchup, we also provide info on how the most similar Giant vs. Killer games since 2007 turned out; that's not part of the model, but it often turns out to be interesting.

Other regions: South | West | East