2012 NCAA Tournament Predictions: Contenders That Will Advance with Ease

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2012 NCAA Tournament Predictions: Contenders That Will Advance with Ease
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

With all the hoopla we will hear over the next four days, it is nice to know there are a handful of teams we can pick in the NCAA tournament and not have to sweat profusely thinking about.

Aside from the top-three seeds of the tournament, some contenders will have no problem making their way past the second round and into the weekend.  It could be because they have an opponent that simply does not match up well with them, or it could be because the team is that good and underrated in the Big Dance.

Here are three teams that you can pick in your bracket and not think twice about.

 

Wichita State

They do have some questionable losses this season, but not many can disagree that Wichita State can compete with any team in the NCAA tournament, no matter what conference they play in.

They have a very nice mix of height inside and sharp shooting from beyond the arc that will pay dividends come the third or fourth rounds.  The Shockers also have great experience from past tournaments played in.

Their matchup with VCU in the round of 64 teams should be an easy win for the team.  VCU would not have been in the NCAA tournament had they not beaten Drexel in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.  Drexel was snubbed from the Big Dance, despite finishing first in their conference in the regular season.

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VCU is hot, winning 17 of their last 18 games, but the Shockers are built for a tournament run this year and should roll over VCU by double-digits in the second round.

 

Vanderbilt

In the past, Vanderbilt was the easy team to pick against in the second round of the NCAA tournament because they always seemed to be matched up with teams with upsets on their mind.

This year, their game is a little different, as we witnessed with their defeat of Kentucky and their first SEC tournament title on Sunday.  Things are clicking for that team, and they were rewarded with a No. 5 seed, although they seem to be playing like a third or fourth seed this last month.

They have a good mix of height inside and guard play, with the ability to hit shots from beyond the arc when needed.  

Jeffery Taylor, John Jenkins and Festus Ezeli are three players who can lead a team to the Elite 8 and beyond, and they should have no problem holding off a team like Harvard who will not have played a basketball game in almost two weeks by the time they play against Vanderbilt.

 

Creighton

The Blue Jays, despite their No. 8 status, will be moving right along past Alabama on Friday because they are simply that good and underrated of a team right now.

Creighton is the NCAA's No. 1 team in terms of field goal percentage, making them lethal every time they shoot the basketball.  Led by everything player Doug McDermott, who is averaging over 23 points per game , Creighton ran the table in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, narrowly defeating Illinois State in the championship.

There is not much of a supporting cast with this team, but McDermott should be enough to get the Blue Jays past the Crimson Tide on Friday and propel them forward in the NCAA tournament.

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