NCAA Tournament 2013 Predictions: Upsets You'll Never See Coming in Second Round

Ethan GrantAnalyst IMarch 20, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Jordan Henriquez #21 and Rodney McGruder #22 of the Kansas State Wildcats look on during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Madison Square Garden on November 23, 2012 in New York City. Michigan Wolverines defeated Kansas State Wildcats 71-57.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The 2013 NCAA tournament bracket has been released for what feels like an eternity now and the popular picks for second-round upsets are already streaking over the internet.

No. 13 Davidson, No. 11 Belmont and No. 12 Oregon highlight a field of low seeds that are popular picks to upset their counterparts on Thursday and Friday. With March Madness, though, you just never know, and all 32 of the higher seeds in this tournament will be on upset watch until second-round games are over.

With that in mind, check over your bracket carefully before penciling teams through to the third round and later in the bracket. Matchups you think are favorable for high seeds often are, but upon a closer look, some of these low seeds are just waiting for the ball to bounce their way.

Check out three games you need to reevaluate in your bracket below and see if your assessment of the high seed as the winner makes you confident enough to overlook these games on your bracket.


Upset Central

(10) Iowa St. vs. (7) Notre Dame—Friday, March 22, at 9:45 p.m. ET on CBS

If you want to see two teams shoot threes until their hands fall off, then tune in to one of the last second-round games on CBS Friday night.

Both Iowa State and Notre Dame can light it up from the outside. The Cyclones lead the nation in three-pointers per game with 9.8, are fourth in the nation in scoring and have three guys (Tyrus McGee, Chris Babb and Korie Lucious) that all average around 2-3 makes from the outside per game.

Throw in leading scorer Will Clyburn and big man Melvin Ejim and the Cyclones have all the pieces to make it out of the second round against against a somewhat inconsistent Irish team that has fared that way all season.

Although the Irish have now inserted Garrick Sherman into the regular lineup and have workhorse forward Jack Cooley to both attack the glass and stretch the floor, this Cyclone team matches up extremely well with an Irish team that only has one true threat (Jerian Grant) to take over a game.

Babb will likely draw that defensive assignment.

Iowa State has three games of experience against Kansas this year, and although none were wins, the Cyclones did play exactly the brand of ball in those games that makes them a tournament sleeper. If the defense picks up and the outside shooters are making plays, then Notre Dame is in trouble.


(13) South Dakota St. vs. (4) Michigan—Thursday, March 21 at 7:15 p.m. ET on CBS

Michigan falls in the "go all the way or exit early" category for the tournament this year, and a matchup against the Summit League champion Jackrabbits should evoke thoughts of the latter half of that statement.

Although Michigan has plenty of talent (future NBA first-rounders Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III and Trey Burke) it also has suffered defeat in games this year that could have been won in a tough Big Ten. But before you think I'm dogging Michigan any further, go over to Google and type in Nate Wolters.

The senior guard from South Dakota State is the biggest reason the Wolverines are on upset watch.

He averages 22.7 points per game for the team, lost last year in the second round of the tournament to Baylor after Wolters turned in a 19-point performance in which he shot just 1-of-6 from the three-point line. With a second chance to avenge that loss, Michigan stands in the way.

Wolters, Jordan Dykstra and Chad White don't match up with the Michigan three on paper, but the former Jackrabbits could end up having the bigger impact on this game—especially from the three-point line.

If this one turns into a shootout (a real possibility) don't discount a Michigan upset in this game, especially after looking at the Wolverines' propensity for playing to its competition (Penn State, Purdue) in the second half of the season.


(13) Boise State/La Salle vs. (4) Kansas State—Thursday, March 22, at 3:10 p.m. ET on truTV

We'll know more about Kansas State's opponent after tonight's Boise State/La Salle matchup, but no matter who the Wildcats play in the second round they should be on upset watch.

After beating who they were supposed to and falling to big schools Kansas, Gonzaga and Michigan, the Wildcats have been exposed as a disciplined team that is plagued at times by the lack of a clear scoring option behind stud wingman Rodney McGruder.

For what it's worth, I love McGruder. He's a talented scorer that could be a key backup at the SG/SF in the NBA, and he's done his part in making sure the Bruce Weber era has started off very smoothly. However, in games that McGruder doesn't get the ball in the second half or struggles to get involved in the offense period, Angel Rodriguez tries to take over.

Rodriguez, the attacking point guard that can create his own shot and starts the K-State attack on offense, has a penchant for holding onto the ball too long in possessions. By turning the last 15-20 seconds of the shot clock into a personal dribble show, he's forced to take shots that aren't what Weber wants.

Check his latest shooting nights from K-State's last two losses (3-of-12 and 3-of-16) and you'll notice that maybe McGruder isn't getting enough touches to fully realize his potential.

Maybe he doesn't have the killer instinct.

Either way, Kansas State scares the heck out of me in this matchup, particularly because Rodriguez is such a wild card. We'll have a complete preview of the game once Boise State/La Salle finishes on Wednesday night, but tread carefully with the Wildcats this year in your bracket.


If you know you are going to be away from your TV when a big game goes down, make sure to check out's live stream of every tournament game, stay glued to the live tournament bracket for up-to-the-minute updates and print out a PDF bracket in case you need one on the go. 

Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game.