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NCAA Brackets 2013: Biggest Road Blocks for Gonzaga Bulldogs

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 11:  Kelly Olynyk #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs grabs a rebound during the championship game of the West Coast Conference Basketball tournament against the Saint Mary's Gaels at the Orleans Arena March 11, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gonzaga won 65-51. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
David Becker/Getty Images
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 19, 2013

The Gonzaga Bulldogs now have a target on its back after earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. With a competitive region, there are several teams that could send Gonzaga packing early.

With a record of 31-2 and a conference record of 16-0, the Bulldogs earned a No. 1 seed.  However, the strength of schedule for Gonzaga was weak, and it played few quality teams. 

Now that the tournament has begun, the quality teams will be gunning for Gonzaga, and a few of them could give the Bulldogs trouble.

Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin has proven that it isn't a team to mess around with. It has a 23-11 record, with big wins against both Indiana and Michigan twice.

What make the Badgers so good is its strong defense and its ability to limit turnovers. They allow only 55.9 points per game and turn the ball over on average only 9.7 times a game.

This team is a strong unit with a lot of key pieces. A team like this could beat the Bulldogs just by frustrating it and limiting points in transition. No one wants to play the Badgers right now, especially not Gonzaga.

Kansas State Wildcats

The Wildcats and Badgers will likely be playing each other in the third round. This means that the winner of this will likely be playing Gonzaga. 

It’s pretty clear that the Bulldogs will have a tough test in the Sweet 16 regardless of who it plays.

What makes the Wildcats so good is its strong backcourt. Rodney McGruder has been great all season, averaging 15.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. His senior leadership has been invaluable to this team. 

Angel Rodriguez has been great as well in the backcourt, averaging 11.7 points and 5.3 assists per game. He’s been a great floor general and he has done a good job running the offense for the Wildcats.

The Bulldogs took it to the Wildcats earlier in the season, beating them 68-52. However, this is a different team than it was earlier in the year. It has found its identity, and now its ready for some revenge.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Big Ten tournament champions will be looking for a trip to Atlanta. With that in mind, it could be facing Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.

Aaron Craft has become the heart and soul of the Buckeyes, playing with intensity on both sides of the ball. His numbers really fill the stat sheet, averaging 9.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Deshaun Thomas is another guy on the Buckeyes that’s a star player. He averages 19.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor, and does a good job driving to the basket.

The Buckeyes are a favorite to come out of the West region for the Final Four. With its tough regular season schedule and strong starting five, the Bulldogs should be very scared of this team. 

 

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