What are the Most-Likely Upsets on the First day of the 2024 NCAA Tournament?

First Round action in the 2024 NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday. What are the most-likely upsets we might see?

Samford v Purdue
Samford v Purdue / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

On Thursday, the First Round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament gets underway. The day's action begins with 8-seed Mississippi State taking on 9-seed Michigan State in Charlotte at 11:15 am CT on CBS.

That's sure to be a competitive game, and either team could easily come out on top. But what about games where there's potential for a major upset?

Wild upsets are what sets March Madness apart from any other championship event. Lower-seeded teams regularly advance. Unheralded mid-major programs pull off stunners and go on Cinderella runs.

It's practically a guarantee we see upsets in the First Round. So which games are most-likely to produce upsets?

Here are the three most-likely upsets we might see on the first day of the 2024 NCAA Tournament...

10-seed Colorado State over 7-seed Texas

Colorado State has already picked up a tournament win. The Rams beat Virginia 67-42 Tuesday night in the First Four play-in game. And now they'll look to continue that momentum in the First Round.

The Rams play strong defense and are efficient scoring on the offensive end. The Longhorns boast a strong offense, led by Max Abmas at 17 PPG, but their own defense has been lacking. If things get into a true shootout, it's unlikely CSU has the horses to keep up. But if their defense can continue to play at a strong clip, they can muddy things up enough to spring an upset.

Nearly every year we see a team from the First Four advance to the Round of 32. Colorado State has a good chance of being that team in 2024.

12-seed McNeese State over 5-seed Gonzaga

Everyone knows to watch for the infamous "12/5 upset", and this game is one of the most popular choices in 2024. Former LSU HC Will Wade took over McNeese State this season and has immediately led the Cowboys to one of the best seasons in school history with 30 wins.

The Cowboys has a strong offense led by Shahada Wells with 17.8 PPG. They shoot nearly 39% from three. And they're one of the nation's best teams at forcing turnovers. Those are prime factors for creating upsets.

Gonzaga is obviously a strong team across the board in their own right, but if McNeese State can drain threes and force the Zags into mistakes, the Cowboys can be yet another 12-seed to win in the First Round.

13-seed Samford over 4-seed Kansas

If getting hot from deep and forcing turnovers are key ingredients for tournament upsets, then Samford taking down Kansas is an obvious candidate. HC Bucky McMillan's offense is one of the most wide-open in the nation. They play at a break-neck pace and rain three pointers at a 39% clip. And they force 16.6 turnovers per game.

Kansas has had one of the more lackluster years under Bill Self (a crazy thing to say when they're a 4-seed), largely because of injuries. Kevin McCullar Jr. will remain out for the Jayhawks after some thought he may return for the tournament. Hunter Dickenson is good to go, but is he truly 100%?

KU's offense had struggles down the stretch of the season, and though their defense is still strong, stopping Samford is easier said than done. Can the Jayhawks keep pace with "Bucky Ball"?