March Madness 2013 Sleepers: Teams That Will Wreak Havoc on Everyone's Bracket
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The field is set, and the madness of March will soon commence.
Top seeds Louisville, Gonzaga, Kansas and Indiana may be destined to go deep into the 2013 NCAA Men's basketball tournament, but a number of sleeper teams have a chance to wreak havoc in everyone’s bracket and cause complete mayhem across college basketball.
In the Midwest, opponents should fear the No. 4 seeded Saint Louis Billikens (27-6).
The Billikens aren’t a sexy team with ridiculous statistics. They rank 138th in points per game, 251st in rebounds, 160th in assists and 96th in field-goal percentage.
No matter, the Billikens bring a hefty resume to this year’s tournament.
They are the Atlantic 10 Conference champions. They knocked off Butler three times, including at home, on the road and at a neutral site. Moreover, they took down Virginia Commonwealth twice and pummeled non-conference opponent New Mexico.
All three of those teams were ranked at some point during the regular season.
What’s more, the Billikens posted winning streaks of nine and 11 games, respectively.
Butler coach Brad Stevens knows a thing or two about overlooked teams in the tournament. After all, Stevens steered the Bulldogs to a pair of unbelievable trips to the national title game, defying the odds with stellar defense mixed with clutch offense.
It didn’t take Stevens long to tout Saint Louis as a national title contender.
“They’re in Gonzaga, IU range,” Stevens said, courtesy of Sports Illustrated. “No question.”
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Sure, Saint Louis is without the luxury of a Cody Zeller or Otto Porter Jr. Rather, but the Billikens can beat you with precision shooting from Dwayne Evans, Kwamain Mitchell and Cody Ellis.
The West is up for grabs.
No. 11 Belmont (26-6) is certainly capable of multiple upsets in this year’s tournament.
The Bruins are flat out dangerous, and opponents shouldn’t take them lightly. The Ohio Valley Conference champions are lethal offensively, averaging over 77 points per game, 15th-best in the nation.
The Bruins have made an art of shooting the ball.
Collectively, the Bruins boast the fourth-best field-goal percentage in the nation, 49.4 percent. Four players average over 10 points per game. Ian Clark heads Belmont with over 18 points per contest, while Kerron Johnson boasts just less than 14 points per game.
In the South, the No. 8 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (24-10) are another dangerous team.
Sure, they struggled in the Atlantic Coast Conference, going just 12-6. But during the second half of the season, the Tar Heels only lost to Miami and Duke—two powerful and ranked opponents.
North Carolina has the ability to score no matter the situation. The Tar Heels average over 77 points per contest. James Michael McAdoo, P.J. Hairston and Reggie Bullock all average over 14 points per game—making for a powerful offensive unit.
Moreover, Dexter Strickland and Marcus Paige each average more than four assists per game on a team that ranks third in the nation collectively in that category.
With Roy Williams behind the bench, anything is possible for North Carolina.
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