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3 Basketball Underdogs Who Surprised Us All

March Madness epitomizes everything sports. It is about the dramatic upsets and the rise of unsung heroes. The unpredictability of this college basketball tournament has captured the hearts of many and has become one of the most entertaining events in all of sports. 

One of the most exciting aspects of March Madness is how it puts the spotlight on small schools and players who were not highly recruited out of high school. Every year there is a “Cinderella” team who defies all odds and embraces the underdog status. 

In this article, we will give the leaders of these underdog teams their overdue credit. They are the leaders who have achieved success in college basketball and asserted themselves as high-level talents despite the lack of recognition they received coming out of high school.

Kyle Lofton
Kyle Lofton is a shooting guard for St. Bonaventure University. He led the team in points, assists, and steals in the 2020-2021 season. In high school, Lofton had a mediocre statline, which yielded no DI offers. The biggest criticism against his game was that he was not able to shoot at the DI level, so he spent hours locked in the gym working on his shot. 

After not receiving any offers, Lofton played for Putnam Science Academy, led the team to a national championship, and got noticed by St. Bonaventure University. After years of criticism and doubt, Lofton has defied all odds and developed into a leader for a DI team who secured a number 9 seed in the March Madness tournament in the 2020-2021 season. 

Related school rating: St. Bonaventure University

Max Abmas
Max Abmas is the starting point guard for the Oral Roberts University Eagles. Abmas went from being a two star recruit with only five offers coming out of Jesuit Dallas high school to being the top scorer in the nation, averaging 24.5 points per game. 

In addition to his impressive statline, he also led bottom 8 team, Oral Roberts, to a Sweet 16 appearance in the 2021 March Madness tournament. Abmas is returning to Oral Roberts for the 2021-2022 season and is now revered as one of the top players in all of college basketball after being overlooked his entire career leading up to this point.

Related school rating: Oral Roberts University

Julian Champagnie
Julian Champagnie is a guard for St. John’s University and averaged 19.8 points for the Red Storm in the 2020-2021 season. Coming out of high school in Brooklyn, Champagnie received little attention and didn’t receive any DI offers. As a result, he was planning to attend a prep school before St. John’s University finally offered him a spot on the team. The coach for the Red Storm was infatuated with the idea of building his program around local New York talent, and Champagnie was a perfect building block for what his coach envisioned, considering that he was born and raised in Brooklyn. 

Since making the team, Champagnie has become a leader for an up-and-coming St. John’s University team and is amongst the leaders in scoring in the nation. Julian has become a hometown hero and is returning back to the Red Storm for the 2021-2022 season in hopes of leading the team to the March Madness tournament.

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