NCAA Tournament 2013: Best Matchups in Second Round

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 18, 2013

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 14:  Shabazz Muhammad #15 of the UCLA Bruins shoots the ball over Jonathan Gilling #31 of the Arizona State Sun Devils in the second half during the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 14, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With so many games happening on Thursday and Friday, there are a few games that will be a lot of fun to watch. 

Seeding doesn’t mean much when you get past the first and second seeds, and plenty of upsets will take place over the course of this tournament.  It doesn’t matter what your seed is, it just matters how far you advance.

Let’s take a look at some interesting games coming up.


UCLA vs. Minnesota

Even though the Bruins will be without Jordan Adams, this game will still be a great one to watch.  The Golden Gophers average 14.9 offensive rebounds per game, the best in the country.  Meanwhile, the Bruins feature an impressive scorer in Shabazz Muhammad, who is averaging 17.8 points per game on 44.7 percent shooting.

The frontcourt will be key in this game.  Trevor Mbakwe is a dominating forward who can turn the tide of a game by himself.  He was able to do just that against Indiana earlier this year, when he had 21 points and 12 rebounds in the big upset over the Hoosiers.  If the Bruins can’t contain Mbakwe, they will be sent packing early.


Creighton vs. Cincinnati

A lot of people doubt the Bearcats, but Cincinnati has a real shot beating the Bluejays.  Leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick has been a solid performer for Cincinnati, averaging 16.9 points per game.  With Kilpatrick and senior point guard Cashmere Wright, the Bearcats have a veteran backcourt that can be very good in the tournament.

Creighton has its own weapon in Doug McDermott.  He averages 23.1 points per game, making him the second highest scorer in the NCAA.  He is an efficient scorer as well, shooting 56.1 percent from the floor and 49.7 percent from behind the arc.

The game could turn into a shootout, with some real scorers on both teams.  Look for the hotter team to pull this game out.


Pittsburgh vs. Wichita State

If you like tough, stingy battles between schools, then this is certainly the game for you.

The Pittsburgh Panthers are a tough team, especially on defense.  They have allowed only 55.4 points per game, which is the sixth fewest points allowed in the country.  The freshman Steve Adams has done a great job down low, averaging 2.0 blocks per game. 

Wichita State won’t be too intimidated, as they have one of the bigger lineups in the country.  They have six players on their roster that are at least 6’8’’, and they can all crash the boards.

This game will be gritty, but it should be a good one.  The two teams may not combine for 120 points or anything, but it will be a fun matchup to watch.   


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