NCAA Tournament 2013 Bracket: Debunking Popular Upset Picks in Round of 64

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2013

Dec 31, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers guard Andre Hollins (1) against the Michigan State Spartans at Williams Arena. Minnesota defeated Michigan State 76-63. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

As soon as the NCAA tournament brackets came out, experts started claiming that there were a few obvious upsets in the round of 64.

Of course, there are major upsets in the first set of games in every year. Every person who fills out a bracket wants to be the one to who calls the No. 15-over-No. 2 stunner. 

However, the games that are becoming trendy picks are not going to be upsets at all.


No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 South Dakota State

Nate Wolters is one of the best players in the country that people have not seen play. He is a talented point guard who can lead his team to victories on his own.

This is causing many to think that South Dakota State could be a sleeper team that could win a game or two in the tournament.

However, Michigan also has a talented point guard that can win a few games by himself. Trey Burke is one of the best players in the country and undoubtedly the best point guard. He averaged 19.2 points and 6.7 assists per game this season, plus he constantly made plays at the end of games to help his team win.

Additionally, the Wolverines also have talented shooters like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Nik Stauskas, and a frontcourt of Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary. While the Jackrabbits might be fun to watch, they do not have anyone to compete with these players.

With a different seed, South Dakota State could have made a run, but this squad will not beat Michigan.


No. 12 Oregon over No. 5 Oklahoma State 

Oregon is one of the more under-seeded teams in the entire NCAA tournament. After putting up a 12-6 record in the Pac-12 with wins over Arizona and UCLA (twice), the Ducks should have been well inside the tournament if they needed an at-large bid.

However, a win in the conference tournament only gave this squad a No. 12 seed.

The Ducks would beat a lot of teams seeded higher than them, but Oklahoma State is not one of them.

After a mediocre start to the year, Oklahoma State has won 12 of the last 15 games, including at least one victory over every team in the Big 12. The Cowboys are led by three very talented players, Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and Le'Bryan Nash, that can score almost at will.

Oklahoma State is a much more consistent team than Oregon and will easily be able to advance in this one.


No. 11 Minnesota over No. 6 UCLA

If you look at the overall profile of Minnesota, it is easy to think that this team can make a run in the Big Dance. The Golden Gophers have survived the tough Big Ten and had wins over Indiana and Wisconsin at home.

However, they have absolutely collapsed down the stretch. After starting the year 15-1, Minnesota lost 11 of the last 16 games. The squad has not won away from home since Jan. 9.

It makes sense to question UCLA after losing second-leading scorer Jordan Adams to an injury. However, the Bruins are much deeper than just one player. 

Shabazz Muhammad is one of the best pure scorers in the country and will be playing in the NBA next season. Larry Drew II is a veteran point guard who averages 7.4 assists per game. Additionally, the frontcourt is full of talented defensive players who will make things difficult for any opponent.

Not a lot of respect was given to the Pac-12 this year, but UCLA is a talented team that will be able to survive the loss of Adams and beat Minnesota in the first round.


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