As the No. 15 seed in the East region of the 2018 NCAA tournament, CSUF men’s basketball hardly looks like the favorite to win the Big Dance as it heads into its matchup with No. 2 seed Purdue University in Detroit on Friday.
Surveying the internet does very little to dispute that notion. None of CBS Sports’ experts picked the Titans to beat Purdue, and neither did any of Sports Illustrated’s.
Sportsline — a betting service that has used computer simulations to predict “nine out of 12 double-digit NCAA Tournament upsets in the first round” over the last two years of the tournament — also did not pick CSUF to win. BetDSI, another gambling service, set CSUF’s line at +20.5, meaning that the Titans would have to lose by less than 20 points for a gambler to win money.
BetDSI also did not even set a moneyline for the Titans, effectively meaning their experts give the team no chance to win.
They aren’t the only ones. Former U.S. President Barack Obama was among the notable figures to pick against the Titans:
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 14, 2018
It’s not exactly surprising that the Titans are such heavy underdogs. They just barely made it across to join March Madness, making the cut only by virtue of winning the Big West Tournament over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Purdue is one of the best teams in the country, ranked No. 11 in the final national rankings with a 28-6 record. The Boilermakers boast a dominant seven-footer in Isaac Haas, while CSUF doesn’t have any regular rotation players over 6’9.
Still, the Titans are rightfully confident they can shock the world. The world just doesn’t expect it, and neither do any computer simulations, experts, or the country’s former president.