NCAA Tournament 2013 Picks: Dark Horse Teams to Watch for in Round of 64

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIMarch 19, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 02: Jake Cohen #15 of the Davidson Wildcats concentrates at the free throw line against the Duke Blue Devils at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 2, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

The start of the 2013 NCAA Tournament is only days away now—with bracket selections being made around the world (printable version here).

Of course we all want that perfect bracket that glistens with ticks at the end of the tournament, but the reality is that we aren't going to get 100 percent. In fact, if experience with March Madness is anything to go by, we're probably not even going to come close to a perfect bracket.

However, what we can do is try and eliminate those early mistakes and upsets by picking out the teams that are most likely to spoil our brackets. They might not necessarily win, but they'll certainly make us think twice about who we move through to the next round in our various brackets.

And hopefully, that should reduce some of those early-round mistakes.

Read on to see the biggest dark-horse teams to watch for in the round of 64.


Bucknell (vs. Butler, East Region)

Is Butler really a No. 6 seed? And coming up against a very good team in Bucknell, can they live up to the hype of being a relatively low seed in the region by winning through their round of 64 game?

Those are the biggest questions that face Butler at the moment, with the Bulldogs' success here all dependent on the form they bring to the tournament.

If they bring the form that saw them defeat Indiana and Gonzaga, then they should be fine here—even against a very good Bucknell team. But if they bring the form that's seen them struggle since that Gonzaga win and go 1-5 against Atlantic 10 Tournament teams this year, then they may fail.

The Bison will be very consistent across the court, and with Mike Muscala in their midst, they certainly have the talent available to knock off Butler here.


Davidson (vs. Marquette, East Region)

The Golden Eagles don't tend to make too many mistakes when it comes to lower-ranked teams, and that's why they're the No. 3 seed in the East Region this year. They just don't give a whole lot away to their opponents—making them very difficult to beat as a result.

However, with a potentially dominant Davidson offense coming up against them, Marquette will certainly have their work cut out trying to stay in this one.

The Wildcats have scored better than a point per possession in 2013, and have a very dominant squad on hand. In fast, their squad is pretty much identical to the team that beat Kansas City in Kansas last season, and they'll be out for another giant-killing run this year.

Look for the Davidson offense to step up through leading scorer Jake Cohen. And if that happens, it could be a very early exit for Marquette in 2013.


Minnesota (vs. UCLA, South Region)

Minnesota certainly have the talent on hand to dispose of UCLA in their round of 64 matchup—especially now that the Bruins have lost second-leading scorer Jordan Adams for the season.

The Gophers took down Indiana during the year—highlighting both their offensive and defensive capabilities—and if they can steer clear from the inconsistencies that cost them defeats to teams like Purdue, then they could very well win this one.

They have a very talented team and providing that Shabazz Muhammad is kept under wraps, they could see their way through to the round of 32 as a result.


Make your picks for the 2013 NCAA tournament here with the Bracket Challenge Game, or print out your 2013 March Madness bracket here.


Which teams do you think can cause an upset in the round of 64?

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