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NCAA Tournament Results 2012: Biggest Takeaways from Top Seeds' Performances

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18:  Doug McDermott #3 of the Creighton Bluejays looks to shoot over Harrison Barnes #40, Tyler Zeller #44 and James Michael McAdoo #43 of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 18, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIDecember 21, 2016

Even though the 2012 NCAA tournament has been jam packed with upsets, somehow all of the No. 1 seeds—North Carolina, Syracuse, Michigan State and North Carolina—have found their way into the Sweet 16.

Each team has slowly weathered the storm, put the talks of upsets behind them and did what they were supposed to do—win.

Here's what we've learned from each No.1 seed through the round of 32.

 

Syracuse: They're Going to be OK

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 17:  Scoop Jardine #11 and Brandon Triche #20 of the Syracuse Orange celebrate a play with teammates against the Kansas State Wildcats during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Consol Energy Center on Ma
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The big knock against Syracuse coming into this tournament was that without Fab Melo, they were essentially not going to amount to anything.

They struggled against UNC-Asheville and almost lost in the second round, and many people felt their suspicions were correct.

Then came their third-round matchup with the Kansas State Wildcats, though, the Orange looked like their old selves in that game. They beat the No. 8 seed 75-59 and got 33 points off the bench from James Southerland and Dion Waiters. Moral of the story, they may not be national championship-caliber anymore, but they are still a great team.

 

Kentucky: Talent Wins Games

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 17: Anthony Davis #23 of the Kentucky Wildcats attempts a shot in the first half against the Iowa State Cyclones during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at KFC YUM! Center on March 17, 2012 in Louisville,
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

My biggest gripe with the Wildcats was that they didn't have enough depth or experience to make a legitimate national title run.

For a while, Iowa State looked like they may be able to test that theory, but then the Wildcats turned on the afterburners.

Anthony Davis became an unstoppable force down low on each end, finishing the game with 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. Guard Marquis Teague lit it up from the field, going 10-of-14 for 24 points, and Darius Miller came off the bench, went 3-of-6 from downtown and finished with 19.

The Cyclones were in the game at one point, and the next thing they knew they lost 87-71.

This team has way too much talent, and they get better as each round passes.

 

Michigan State: Heart of a Champion

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 18: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates after a basket against the St. Louis Billikens in the first half during the third round of the 2012 NCAA Men's basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 18, 201
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Michigan State proved to us that it doesn't matter how you win in the NCAA tournament, all you have to do is win and have heart. That's what separates this team from the rest of the No. 1 squads in the tournament.

They aren't the flashiest, they aren't the most exciting and they certainly aren't the most talented, but when the game is on the line, they just get the job done.

They are led by senior Draymond Green—who does a little bit of everything with his play, but he still can come up big when the moment asks for it—and one of the best coaches of all-time in Tom Izzo.

The Spartans don't need to look flashy—all they care about is moving up one round at a time.

 

North Carolina: Taking Care of Business

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 18:  (L-R) Kendall Marshall #5, John Henson #31, Reggie Bullock #35 and Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels celebrate in the second half while taking on the Creighton Bluejays during the third round of the 2012 NCAA
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Every single one of the No.1 seeds has had at least one scary moment during this tournament besides the Tar Heels.

They are just quietly going about their business and running through the Midwest region. They beat Vermont by 19 in Round 2 and just beat Creighton by 14 to advance to the Sweet 16.

The scary thing is, with USF, Ohio, NC State and Purdue all being upsets, Kansas is the only team that may have a realistic shot of stopping them, and that wouldn't be until the Elite Eight.

The Tar Heels may make it to the Final Four without even breaking a sweat.

 

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