NCAA Tournament 2013 Bracket: Top Seeds That Will Struggle in Round of 64

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIMarch 18, 2013

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 15:  Ryan Kelly #34 celebates his basket with a foul along with teammates Mason Plumlee #5 and Rasheed Sulaimon #14 of the Duke Blue Devils in the second half against the Maryland Terrapins during the quarterfinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 15, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Selection Sunday is over, and 2013's NCAA tournament bracket is official. Headlining this year's group of tournament hopefuls are some great top-seeded teams, such as Indiana, Miami and Louisville.

While some top seeds are well deserving of their status, others are not. Even if they are deserving, holes in their game represent major stepping stones toward getting through the tourney unscathed.

Looking toward the round of 64, here's a breakdown of some top-seeded teams who are bound to see some struggles in their first matchups of the tournament.

Also, be sure to follow this year's action with printable and live versions of the 2013 NCAA tournament bracket.


Duke, No. 2 Midwest

March looked like Duke's month, as it ended regular-season play with three straight wins—including victories over Miami and UNC.

And then the ACC conference tournament came, and the Blue Devils were knocked out after one game in an 83-74 loss to Maryland.

In the Blue Devils' defense, the Terrapins played some great basketball during the conference tourney, but unfortunately all it takes is one loss to turn a season upside down.

Offensively, it's hard to find a team better than Duke. It led the ACC in three-point and free-throw percentage, and was second in field-goal percentage. It averages 78.3 points a game.

Defensively is where the Blue Devils have struggled. They don't force a lot of turnovers, and had one of the conference's worst rebounding teams this season (36.2 per game).

Duke will draw Albany in its first match of the tourney.

The Great Danes are solid on both ends of the court. They shoot well, work the glass better than Duke and don't give up a lot of turnovers. They also enter the tournament on a tear, having won their last three games.

We've already seen Duke struggle this season against teams it has underestimated. If the Blue Devils do the same thing to Albany, their tournament could be ending very soon.


Syracuse, No. 4 East

It's been an up-and-down season for the Orange, and things have been mostly down in March.

Syracuse closed out the regular season going 1-2 in March, including a 61-39 shellacking at the hands of Georgetown.

It looked like things were under control in the Big East conference tournament, as the Orange won their first three games on the way to the finals—where head coach Jim Boeheim and crew would meet Louisville.

Things looked great at the half, with Cuse up by 13. But the Cardinals stormed back, outscoring the Orange 56-26 in the second half, on their way to a decisive 78-61 win.

While Syracuse averages 71.3 points a game, it isn't an efficient offense. It ranks in the bottom half of the Big East in field-goal, free-throw and three-point percentage.

The Orange will face Big Sky champion Montana in the round of 64. The Grizzlies are strong rebounders as well as efficient shooters.

If the inconsistencies start showing their heads, Montana can easily expose Syracuse and come away with an upset. It's not a sure bet the Orange lose this game, but a win is far from secure.


Michigan, No. 4 South

Despite a strong push through March, Michigan enters the NCAA tournament having been bumped from the Big Ten tourney by Wisconsin in its most recent 68-59 loss.

The Wolverines had an all around solid season. They went 26-7 overall and enter March Madness with a high seeding.

Scoring has been the key to Michigan's success, averaging 75.2 points a game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field. The Wolverines hit a lot of shots and are great at controlling the ball.

For the round of 64, the Wolverines will pull South Dakota State as their opponent. Needless to say, the Jackrabbits enter the tournament on fire.

South Dakota State has won its last four in a row, by a wide margin of 311-254. It shoots the ball just as well, if not better, than Michigan and averages 73.9 points a game.

The Jackrabbits are on par with Michigan defensively. They're decent at rebounding, and find a way to force plenty of steals and blocked shots.

This is going to be a great round of 64 matchup, with two efficient and effective offenses taking each other head on.

While the Wolverines still have an upper hand, if they don't come prepared—or can't keep pace with South Dakota State—this one will be over fast.


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