March Madness 2013: Dates, Predictions, TV Schedule and Bracket Analysis

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March Madness 2013: Dates, Predictions, TV Schedule and Bracket Analysis
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

It's been a wild college basketball season, with numerous top seeds falling to underdogs. 

And it's about to get crazier.

The 68 teams in the 2013 NCAA tournament have been decided on Selection Sunday. From top dogs to upstarts, there is plenty of buzz surrounding the tournament this year.

March Madness is known for its unpredictability. This year will be no different. Here's a look at the TV schedule, complete with a breakdown of some of the top teams in the nation.


Schedule

First Round (truTV)

March 19-20

UD Arena (Dayton, Ohio)

 

Second Round-Third Round (CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV)

March 21, 23

The Palace of Auburn Hills (Auburn Hills, Mich.)

Rupp Arena (Lexington, Ky.)

EnergySolutions Arena (Salt Lake City, Utah)

HP Pavilion (San Jose, Calif.)

 

March 22, 24

Frank Erwin Center (Austin, Texas)

UD Arena (Dayton, Ohio)

Sprint Center (Kansas City, Mo.)

Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, Pa.)

 

East Regional (CBS, TBS)

March 28, 30

Verizon Center (Washington D.C.)

 

West Regional (CBS, TBS)

March 28, 30

Staples Center (Los Angeles, Calif.)

 

Midwest Regional (CBS, TBS)

March 29, 31

Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, Ind.)

 

South Regional (CBS, TBS)

March 29, 31

Cowboys Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

 

National Semifinals (CBS) 

April 6

Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Ga.)

 

Championship Game (CBS)

April 8

Georgia Dome (Atlanta, Ga.)

David Becker/Getty Images

 

Midwest Regional

No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 16 NCAT/LIB

No. 8 Colorado State vs. No. 9 Missouri

No. 5 Oklahoma State vs. No. 12 Oregon

No. 4 SLU vs. No. 13 New Mexico State

No. 6 Memphis vs. No. 11 MTU/SMC

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Valparaiso

No. 7 Creighton vs. No. 10 Cincinnati

No. 2 Duke vs. No. 15 Albany

 

South Regional

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 16 Western Kentucky

No. 8 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Villanova

No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Akron

No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 South Dakota State

No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Minnesota

No. 3 Florida vs. No. 14 Northwestern State

No. 7 San Diego State vs. No. 10 Oklahoma 

No. 2 Georgetown vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast

 

East Regional

No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 16 LIU/JMU

No. 8 NC State vs. No. 9 Temple

No. 5 UNLV vs. No. 12 Cal

No. 4 Syracuse vs. No. 13 Montana

No. 6 Butler vs. No. 11 Bucknell

No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 Davidson

No. 7 Illinois vs. No. 10 Colorado

No. 2 Miami (FL) vs. No. 15 Pacific

 

West Regional

No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Southern

No. 8 Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Wichita State

No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Mississippi

No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 13 BSU/LAS

No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Belmont

No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 14 Harvard

No. 7 Notre Dame vs. No. 10 Iowa State

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Iona

 

Bracket Analysis

*All stats via ESPN.com and TeamRankings.com

East Regional

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

No. 1 seed Indiana (27-6, 14-4 Big Ten) has the scoring, defense and rebounding to go all the way this year, but the Hoosiers also rank 92nd in the country in turnover rate (18.6 percent of possessions) and they've been inconsistent.

In the Hoosiers' last four games, they've lost to Ohio State, beaten Michigan, made quick work of Illinois and fallen to Wisconsin. Indiana shot 38 percent against Wisconsin and allowed the Badgers to shoot 51 percent. You never know what team is going to show up.

The No. 2-seeded Miami Hurricanes (27-6, 15-3 ACC) have won their last four games, capped off by an impressive victory over a determined North Carolina team in the ACC championship game. The Hurricanes ranked 55th in the nation in field-goal percentage headed into their matchup against the Tar Heels, but their 87-point output in the ACC title game showed they have the ability to explode on opponents.

They shot 57 percent in the 90-63 victory over Duke and shot 49 percent in the 79-78 win over N.C. State. Sophomore point guard Shane Larkin is a joy to watch, and senior guard Durand Scott is incredibly dangerous when he gets into rhythm. 

 

West Regional

David Becker/Getty Images

No. 1 seed Gonzaga (31-2, 16-0 WCC) can flat-out score, shooting 50.4 percent for the season (third in the nation). The Bulldogs can also defend, allowing opponents to shoot just 38.3 percent this season (31.7 percent in their last three games). Add the fact that the Bulldogs rank 12th in the nation in rebounding rate and you have a triple threat.

The biggest issue surrounding Gonzaga is the team's strength of schedule this season (97th in the nation). The Bulldogs faced just three ranked teams during the season: Illinois, Oklahoma State and Butler. They lost to Illinois and Butler, and they beat Oklahoma State by one point.

 

Midwest Regional

USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 seed Louisville (29-5, 14-4 Big East) is on a roll headed into the NCAA tournament. Rick Pitino's Cardinals have won 10 straight games and 13 of their past 14 contests. In their last 14 games, the Cardinals have beaten Marquette, Syracuse (twice) and Notre Dame (twice) en route to the Big East title.

The squad is ranked 107th in the country in field-goal percentage, but has held opponents to 38.8 percent shooting (17th in the nation). The Cardinals also rank second in the country in opponents' turnover rate (27 percent of possessions). Russ Smith and Peyton Siva have each averaged two steals or more this season.

No. 2 seed Duke (27-5, 14-4 ACC) is one of the best scoring teams in the nation (averaging 78.3 points, 47.6 percent shooting), but the Blue Devils' defense can be beat. The Blue Devils rank 114th in the nation in opponents' field-goal percentage, and they allowed unranked Maryland to shoot 51 percent in the ACC tournament. Mike Krzyzewski is going to have to work his magic again.

 

South Region

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No. 1 seed Kansas (29-5, 14-4 Big 12) has won 10 of its last 11 contests, defeating Kansas State (twice) and Oklahoma State during that span, but the embarrassing 81-58 loss to unranked Baylor on March 9 still looms large.

The Jayhawks can shoot the basketball, they crash the glass and they rank first in the country in opponents' field-goal percentage. The loss to Baylor showed this team can be upset, but Kansas' overall body of work down the stretch is hard to ignore. The Jayhawks—led by freshman guard Ben McLemore and senior center Jeff Withey—can beat anybody when they are rolling.

 

Prediction: Kansas Wins the Championship

Kansas has the offense, defense and rebounding to win it all this year. The March 9 loss to Baylor was troubling, but the Jayhawks' work overall this season displays a team that can beat you in multiple areas. Barring a complete letdown (which is obviously a possibility), I see Kansas winning the national championship.

 

Be sure to download a printable NCAA bracket and check out Bleacher Report's live bracket.

Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA Tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game.

 

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