Does Nebraska have what it takes to pull the first round upset against the sixth seeded Baylor Bears? Peter Keating at ESPN, who has predicted big upsets in the past, says that a Cornhuskers’s upset has the second best odds of happening in the West region.

Keating’s detailed prediction model has the likeliest upset being No. 12 North Dakota State against No. 5 Oklahoma. ESPN’s model gives that a 34.1 percent chance of happening. Next up is Baylor falling in the first round with a 22.4 percent chance.

The following is from Keating’s article, which can be found in its entirety here.

What it finds is a Baylor squad that, as its results suggest, is a team of extremes. With Rico Gathers, Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin, the Bears maul foes on the offensive glass (41.1 percent of misses, third in the country). Yet they give up way too many second shots at the other end (32.9 percent, 245th). They hardly ever force turnovers, but launch a heavy volume of 3-pointers, despite their size. They sport the nation’s seventh-most-efficient offense, but just the No. 114 defense.

Through that haze, though, the model spots a solid team that is enhanced by the fact that it plays like a typically safe Giant. Baylor isn’t impervious, but it’s not ripe to be knocked off by just anyone, either. And Nebraska is far from a stalwart Killer. The Cornhuskers rank 318th in offensive rebound percentage (26.1) and don’t use the arc to generate extra possessions, either, taking only an average number of 3-pointers.

They do force steals on 10.5 percent of opponent’s possessions and take care of the ball well on offense. That, along with a strong defense that limits opponents to a 47.7 percent effective field goal rate, gives the Cornhuskers a fighting chance against Baylor. Make this an upset worth considering. But it’s not nearly enticing enough to earn coveted “Best Bet” status.