NCAA Tournament 2013: Potential Top Seeds Poised for Early Exits

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NCAA Tournament 2013: Potential Top Seeds Poised for Early Exits
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With Selection Sunday less than 12 hours away, it's safe to say that March Madness is upon us.

The conference championship tournaments have provided us with some insight as to what teams are playing at high levels right now, but the big tests will come once the brackets are released.

One of the greatest aspects of college basketball and the NCAA Tournament are the upsets, and the 2013 tournament is sure to see its share of them.

While we're still not sure how these teams will be seeded for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, here are three teams that could be on their way to early exits from the big dance.

All projected seeds via ESPN's Joe Lunardi.

 

No. 2 Duke (27-5, RPI: 1)

Projected Seed: No. 1 in the East

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Blue Devils looked unstoppable with the return of senior forward Ryan Kelly, but the loss to Maryland in the quarterfinal of the ACC tournament on Friday highlighted Duke's flaws.

It's the second time this season that the Dukies lost to the unranked Terrapins, a team that is outside the top 50 in RPI.

The Blue Devils had no answer for Dez Wells, who dropped 30 points, while Duke shot just four-of-25 (16 percent) from beyond the arc.

Three-point shooting has proven to be a problem for Duke in its losses this season, as the Blue Devils shot just 17 percent from three in their loss to Miami (FL) on Jan. 23 and six-of-20 (30 percent) against N.C. State on Jan. 12. 

As a team that lives and dies by the three, the Blue Devils have to pack their three-point stroke with them to the tournament, or they could be set up for an early exit.

 

No. 5 Georgetown (25-6, RPI: 10)

Projected Seed: No. 2 in the Midwest

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The Hoyas lost an overtime thriller to No. 19 Syracuse in the Big East tournament semifinal on Friday, making it two losses in four games for Georgetown.

If you remember, the Hoyas took a 10-point loss on the chin from fellow Big East rival Villanova back on Mar. 6, as Georgetown attempted just eight free throws in the loss.

While the Hoyas have had their moments of glory this season, they're just 5-3 against RPI top 25 squads, and one of those three losses includes an ugly 28-point blowout against Pittsburgh on Jan. 8.

Georgetown had trouble scoring against Syracuse's 2-3 zone in Friday's semifinal, shooting a mere 22 percent from downtown.

If the Hoyas are going to make a deep run in the tournament this year, Otto Porter Jr. needs help, and I'm not so sure Markel Starks and Mikael Hopkins are up to the task.

 

No. 6 Michigan (25-7, RPI: 16)

Projected Seed: No. 3 in the West

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Following a nine-point loss to No. 22 Wisconsin in the quarterfinal of the Big Ten tournament, Michigan has now dropped two of its last three games, with the other loss coming at the hands of No. 3 Indiana on Mar. 10.

After leading 20-17 at half, the Wolverines were outscored 51-39 in the second half en route to a 68-59 loss on Friday.

Michigan is now just 3-4 against RPI top 25 teams and will enter the NCAA tournament reeling.

As we know, March Madness is all about what teams get hot at the right time, and the Wolverines are ice cold right now.

Given their 62nd-ranked strength of schedule and the fact that the Wolverines are really struggling right now, all signs point to an early exit for Michigan in the 2013 NCAA tournament.

 

Be sure to download a printable NCAA bracket and watch Selection Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

 

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