Ja Morant Murray State
Ja Morant #12 of the Murray State Racers talks to a referee during the game against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at CFSB Center on February 16, 2019 in Murray, Kentucky. Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Early-round upsets might be the best part of March Madness, and there are sure to be a couple of Cinderella stories in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. It was just a year ago that we saw the first No.16 seed beat a No.1 seed as six double-digit seeds advanced to the second round.

Here are three potential upsets for the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament:

No.13 UC Irvine vs No.4 Kansas State

Potentially being without one of their best players leaves Kansas State vulnerable for an early upset. All-Big 12 first team selection Dean Wade missed the conference tournament with a foot injury, and his status is uncertain for the start of March Madness. Wade is second on the team with 12.9 points per game and first with 6.2 rebounds per game.

The Wildcats only picked up one win in the Big 12 Tournament without Wade after earning a share of the conference’s regular-season title. It certainly wouldn’t be a shock for them to fall to UC Irvine, who had one of the best regular seasons in the country. The Anteaters dominated the Big West with a 15-1 conference record and 30 wins overall. They’ve gone undefeated over the last two months with a 16-game winning streak.

No.12 Murray State vs. No.5 Marquette

Whenever you’ve got one of the top players in the country, you’ve got a chance in March Madness. Murray State is led by the dynamic Ja Morant, who could be headed toward being picked second overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. The guard is averaging 24.6 points per game and his 10.0 assists per game rank No.1 in the nation. He led the Racers to a 27-4 record with 11 straight wins heading into the tournament.

Marquette’s Markus Howard has been an even more prolific scorer than Murray, averaging 25.0 points per game. But the junior missed 14 of his 15 field-goal attempts in his last contest, preventing the Golden Eagles from reaching the Big East Championship Game. Howard was affected by a wrist injury, and Marquette could be in trouble if he has another off night against Morant and Co.

No.14 Yale vs. No.3 LSU

Coaching is always one of the biggest factors in March Madness, and LSU is currently without the head coach that led them to the best record in the SEC. Will Wade was suspended a little over a week ago after it sounded like he was discussing paying a recruit on an FBI wiretap. The Tigers were beaten in their first game of the SEC Tournament when Wade wasn’t with the team.

Yale is a very formidable first-round opponent. They’ve gone 22-7 this season, and it was just three years ago that the Bulldogs upset Baylor as a No.12 seed in the first round. Head coach James Jones still leads the team. Yale is an experienced group with their top four scorers comprised of two juniors and two seniors. Yale is 52nd in three-point percentage, and LSU ranks 288th.