NCAA Upsets 2013: High Seeds in Danger of Exits in Round of 64
This has already been a wild year in college basketball. With the NCAA tournament about to get underway, things are only going to get stranger.
There are a number of teams that rightfully earned high seeds after great performances in the regular season and conference tournaments. However, March Madness always features plenty of major upsets, and this year will be no different.
Every top team should be at high alert, but these squads are the most in danger of losing in their first game of the tournament.
No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 South Dakota State
There will not be a better point guard matchup in the entire tournament than this second-round battle.
Trey Burke has been outstanding for Michigan and is a National Player of the Year candidate after averaging 19.2 points and 6.7 assists per game this season. However, Nate Wolters has been almost as impressive with an average of 22.7 points, 5.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game.
South Dakota State has not made a lot of noise this season while playing in the Summit League, but the Jackrabbits do have one very good win at New Mexico, plus some tournament experience with a narrow loss to Baylor last season.
Considering Michigan's struggles away from home (5-5 road record), things could get rough early for the Wolverines.
No. 3 Florida vs. No. 14 Northwestern State
Close games have not gone well for Florida this season. Despite the 26-7 overall record, the Gators are now 0-6 in games decided by single-digits.
While this shows their ability to blow out teams with regularity, games are never easy in the NCAA tournament. Without the confidence to close out a tough battle, things could go poorly.
This is especially true against Northwestern State, the highest scoring team in the country. The Demons run a very fast-paced game, but are not reliant on the three like other mid-majors. Instead, they simply play very fundamentally sound to get themselves easy shots.
Florida has the ability to play a stronger form of defense than Northwestern State is used to seeing, but there have still been some weaknesses in the frontcourt. In addition, long scoring droughts have been a problem offensively.
If no one steps up as a leader for Florida, Northwestern State will beat a No. 3 seed like it did in 2006.
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 15 Iona
A red-hot team that won its conference tournament has not lost to a No. 15 seed since...last year. Missouri won the Big 12, but had some flaws and fell to Norfolk State in the Round of 64.
The same thing could happen to Ohio State if the Buckeyes are not careful.
Iona is the No. 2 scoring team in the nation at an average of 80.7 points per game. The Gaels are led by Lamont Jones, who is the No. 3 scorer in the country at 23 points per game.
While Aaron Craft can do a good job defending the quick guard, the team also has an elite shooter in Sean Armand and a double-double machine in David Laury.
If Deshaun Thomas does not get help from his teammates on the offensive end, Ohio State could struggle to keep up on the scoreboard.
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