March Madness 2012: 3 Under-the-Radar Contenders Every Team Should Fear

Justin KeithCorrespondent IMarch 23, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Chane Behanan #24 of the Louisville Cardinals reacts after the Cardinals defeat the Michigan State Spartans 57-44 during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

March Madness is unpredictable.

More often than not, fans shred their bracket within a few days after Cinderella teams emerge and take out a powerhouse.

This year, we saw it when Duke fell to Lehigh and Missouri were ousted by Norfolk State.

The point is that no matter how confident you may be in your team, upsets are bound to occur. However, as we get closer to the Elite Eight, the quality of competition goes up and the games tend to come down to who can execute in the pressure situations.

Although Kentucky, Syracuse and North Carolina all remain No. 1 seeds, there are also lower seeds poised to make a run into the Final Four and beyond.

Let's take a look at some dangerous teams: 



Talk about confidence.

Louisville is flying high as it awaits a matchup with Florida in the Elite Eight after ousting No. 1 seed Michigan State last night in the Sweet 16.

Guard Peyton Siva has stepped his game up during the tournament and coach Rick Pitino knows how to get it down in March.

They now face an equally hot team in Florida. However, if Louisville can make it past the Gators and advance to the Final Four, it could prove to be a tough out for Kentucky (should the Wildcats advance that far). 



Just like Louisville, Florida comes off a huge confidence-boosting win over Marquette in the Sweet 16.

The Gators passed their toughest test last night against Marquette and showed the nation that they are ready to take the next step into the Final Four.

The matchup between Louisville and Florida is epic.

Both teams are hot and confident and could prove to be a tough out in the next two rounds. This matchup could go either way and that is what makes the NCAA tournament the best playoff system in the world. 


NC State

NC State have been the kings of the upset early on in the NCAA tournament. They got past No. 6 San Diego State and No. 3 Georgetown in consecutive rounds, and now face a matchup with No. 2 Kansas in tonight's Sweet 16 matchup.

After being on the bubble for most of February and March, NC State turned on the jets down the stretch and are now one of the hottest teams left in the tournament.

C.J. Leslie has played consistently on the offensive end for the Wolfpack and they will look to him to provide timely scoring against Kansas.

If NC State can get past KU and into the Elite Eight, anything is possible for this underdog team.