NCAA Tournament 2013 Bracket: Underdogs Who Will Shock Fans in Round of 64

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVMarch 18, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: Murphy Holloway #31 of the Ole Miss Rebels reacts in the second half of the game against the Vanderbilt Commodores during the Semifinals of the SEC basketball tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

If you're going chalk with your bracket in the early rounds, this may not be the year for you to put money down on your predictions. It's bound to be one of the most unpredictable NCAA Tournaments in recent memory.

With the top-ranked team going down nearly every week throughout the regular season, it's hard to find enough consistency across the nation to be confident about picking a certain team.

Likewise, the double-digit seeds are always out to shock the world on the big stage, and this year is no different.

Let's check out some underdogs who'll be victorious in the round of 64.


No. 12 Ole Miss over No. 5 Wisconsin

The Ole Miss Rebels won the SEC Tournament, but were disrespected with a No. 12 seed in the Big Dance. Even worse, they drew a near-elite team in Wisconsin.

But the Rebels' hot streak and solid starting five will have them grind it out against a tough Badgers team, while advancing to the round of 32.

SEC tourney MVP Marshall Henderson jacks up about 11 three-pointers per game, with many of them contested, but he still finds a way to score 20 points each game without hurting his team with a low field-goal percentage.

Part of his ability to do that is based off bigs Reginald Buckner and Murphy Holloway. The two forwards dominate the paint and allow for the Rebels to be a strong rebounding team. Holloway is a stud down low on the post, too, with the ability to put up 20 and 10 on any given night. 

Ole Miss is one of the hottest teams in the nation, and most importantly, their confidence is through the roof. Getting down early won't deter this Rebels team and they'll advance after a tough opening matchup.


No. 13 South Dakota State over No. 4 Michigan

The last time Michigan was a No.4 seed—which was last year, by the way—they were ousted in their tournament opener. This year will feature more of the same for the Wolverines with a tough draw.

The No. 13 South Dakota State Jackrabbits are the real deal. With senior Nate Wolters averaging 23 points per game as well as more than five assists and five rebounds, they'll be a tough out for even the best teams. 

The Jackrabbits are one of the most disciplined teams in the nation with a low turnover rate, and that will get them up early. Then, Wolters will take over and create a lead too large for the Wolverines to overcome.

Yes, good guard play can win you tournament games, but Michigan's backcourt isn't experienced enough to overcome a big deficit early on against a pesky, hungry team.

Michigan have looked at times to be an elite team, but they're trending heavily downward as they finished the season at 6-6. This one has upset written all over it.


No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA

The Bruins boast a potential NBA lottery pick in Shabazz Muhammad, but that alone won't be enough to get them past an underrated Minnesota team.

With Jordan Adams out for the season, who averages nearly 16 points per game, UCLA will struggle to score and the Golden Gophers will take advantage.

Tubby Smith's squad didn't finished the season on a great note—they lost 11 of their last 16—but their offensive rebounding prowess and having four players scoring in double figures will get them past a Bruins team that isn't entering the tournament on a high note, either.

Don't expect the Golden Gophers to make a deep run or anything, but they'll end UCLA's season on a sour note. 


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