Selection Sunday 2013: Shocking Teams That Will Make NCAA Tournament

Alex KayCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2013

Dec 21, 2012; Murfreesboro, TN, USA; Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders guard Marcos Knight (14) reacts after pulling down a rebound against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the second half at Bridgestone Arena. Middle Tennessee defeated Vanderbilt 56-52. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Selection Sunday’s big announcement of the 68-team field for the 2013 NCAA tournament takes place Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on CBS (you can live stream it here), and we’re sure it’s going to be an event you won’t want to miss.

Because there are so many great teams that are right on the bubble, there are certainly going to be surprises and snubs from the bracket.

Speaking of brackets, you can get a printable one right here on Bleacher Report, which will be updated after the announcement is made.

Let’s take a look at three teams that should be dancing on Sunday evening.


Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

The Blue Raiders were a shoo-in to make this event before faltering during the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

Unfortunately, the Sun Belt decides to automatically send their tourney winner to the NCAA tournament over a team that went 19-1 against in-conference opponents during the 2012-13 campaign.

At 28-5, we still think that Middle Tennessee has the resume to play the role of a Cinderella this March.

These Blue Raiders hold an RPI of 28, the sixth-toughest strength of schedule outside the conference and sport a 7-4 record against Top-150 RPI opponents.

If that’s not enough of a resume to punch a ticket to the NCAA tournament, we’ll be downright ashamed with the committee’s decision.


Minnesota Golden Gophers

After narrowly falling to the Illinois Fighting Illini in the opening round of the 2013 Big Ten tournament, Minnesota found itself squarely on the bubble.

Fortunately for this team that was once in the Top 10, it should still hear its named called on Sunday evening.

The Golden Gophers have the No. 33 RPI in the nation, the third-toughest strength of schedule and the No. 11-ranked nonconference SOS. They wound up going 12-10 against teams with a Top-100 RPI—highlighted by wins over then-No. 1 Indiana, No. 19 Memphis, No. 18 Michigan State, No. 12 Illinois and No. 20 Wisconsin.

Coach Tubby Smith’s boys have proved that they are inconsistent, but have the chops to beat anyone at anytime at any location in the country.

For that reason alone, we think they get to dance.


Maryland Terrapins

Speaking of inconsistent squads, the Maryland Terps have been downright frustrating during the 2012-13 season.

They finished with a mediocre 22-12 record, a poor No. 69 RPI and a terrible SOS ranked No. 103 in the nation.

However, the Terps did manage to beat then-No. 14 NC State and No. 2 Duke twice, and have a plethora of exciting wins in ACC play.

The fact that it played UNC close after dispatching the Blue Devils in the conference tournament also helped Maryland’s chances of making the field.

This may be the last team in the tournament, but we think the committee gives the Terps the nod by the smallest possible of margins.