Cinderella candidates for 2012-13

Updated: October 30, 2012, 5:21 PM ET
By Jordan Brenner

Your eyes aren't deceiving you. It's only October and college basketball hasn't even started. Regardless, we're already writing about potential NCAA tournament Giant Killers.

Over the years, we've learned plenty of lessons about how a Giant Killer is built. For example, a team that plays a high-risk, high-reward style -- which maximizes its possessions through areas such as 3-point shooting, turnovers and offensive rebounds -- tends to have a better chance of pulling off a March shocker. It figures, then, that teams that had a high Giant Killer rating last season should again put themselves in position to knock off the big boys this season, assuming they feature the same scheme and similar personnel.

And though you are probably familiar with our definitions and methodology, chances are that you haven't met this year's top underdogs. So allow us to introduce five candidates that may become this season's Cinderella teams and cause upsets in the 2013 NCAA tournament.

Be sure to study up on these teams and keep an eye on them early this season when they challenge power teams outside of their conferences. Chances are that you'll learn a few other lessons that could matter in March.

Belmont Bruins

When last we saw the Bruins, they were still searching for a stop in a 15-point tourney loss to Georgetown. In the process, they made our model look foolish for the second straight year, after it assigned them a 29.6 percent chance of pulling off the upset.

So why are we still high on coach Rick Byrd's squad?