There are, theoretically, lots of ways that a team can get upset. In practice, the formula for a big upset tends to have a few common recurring elements that appear with a sort of frequency that would make James Frazer proud. Upset-minded teams typically play at a slow tempo, make a lot of threes, rarely commit turnovers, and have a veteran coach and players. The good news for Pacific University is that it looks a lot like a team capable of an upset.
Pacific plays at the 285th fastest speed in Division I and as a team makes 39.1% of three-pointers (12th best nationally!). A turnover percentage of 17.7% ranks in the top 50 in the country and veteran Bob Thomason coaches a team loaded with juniors and seniors. Thomason has coached at Pacific since 1988 and has previously led his teams to NCAA Tournament wins over Pittsburgh and Providence. Even more important (at least for the narrative-minded), Thomason has announced that this will be his final year coaching, and that after 25 years, he will be hanging up his whistle after this tournament. It sounds like a perfect storm of circumstances for a team to overachieve and give their coach one last hurrah. So does Pacific have what it takes to beat Miami?