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2012 NCAA Tournament Bracket: Hot Teams That Will Make a Run in March Madness

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 10:  Peyton Siva #3 of the Louisville Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Bearcats during the finals of the Big East Men's Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Scott SemmlerAnalyst IIMarch 11, 2012

Every year we see a streaking team win their conference tournament and go on to have a tremendous NCAA tournament. Last season, Connecticut played that role and won the entire thing, which is why we are even talking about it.

The Big East usually puts out the most red-hot teams, since their level competition is so much higher than other conferences. It would not be strange to see Marquette, West Virginia, Connecticut or Cincinnati make a run of their own in the NCAA tournament.

However, we are talking about hot teams as of right this moment. Louisville had a great run in the Big East Tournament, which makes them one streaky team right now.

Here are some others that could make a run.

 

New Mexico

The Lobos are riding a five-game win streak heading into the NCAA tournament, with the last two coming against ranked opponents like UNLV and San Diego State on their way to a Mountain West Conference Tournament championship.

New Mexico is led by UCLA transfer Drew Gordon, who has put up huge numbers, including 12 points and 12 rebounds in the championship game.

He is sure to attract some NBA Draft attention in the NCAA tournament this year.

Knowing they have a big man like Gordon underneath the basket and a recent knack for beating teams ranked higher than they are, this could be a team that can make a run come tournament time.

 

Creighton

The Bluejays are not going to jump out of your tournament bracket or anything, but understand that they are ranked No. 1 in field-goal percentage. That means they hit a lot of shots—50.9 percent, to be exact.

They are led by Doug McDermott, a 6'7" forward with skills from beyond the arc. The team is coming off seven straight wins after losing the previous three in a row before that.

They took home the Missouri Valley Conference title last week.

Creighton does lack that signature win over a big-name opponent, but wins over San Diego State, Wichita State and Long Beach State may just be enough to pick this team to go on a little run and surprise in the NCAA tournament.

 

Louisville

Louisville is not your quintessential hot team right now, considering they lost to Syracuse and South Florida in the final games of the regular season, but they put on quite a show in the Big East Tournament this past week.

Peyton Siva has led this team since the beginning and is sure to fuel them late in March. Look out for Kyle Kuric, as well. He can start lighting up the stat box and has the ability to rally a team behind him at any moment.

Judging by the competition this team faced and took down in the Big East, Louisville can be one dangerous team come tournament time.

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