March Madness 2013 Bracket: Teams with Toughest Roads to Elite Eight

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2013

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 15:  Ryan Kelly #34 celebates his basket with a foul along with teammates Mason Plumlee #5 and Rasheed Sulaimon #14 of the Duke Blue Devils in the second half against the Maryland Terrapins during the quarterfinals of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 15, 2013 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Winning a national championship is no easy task, especially when the bracket and its matchups don't sway in your favor.

While the regular season is a solid indication of a team's talent, it doesn't take into account the unpredictable nature of the NCAA tournament and its seeding procedures.

Unfortunately for the following three teams, the road to the Elite Eight isn't as easy as it is for others.

Make yourself familiar with the bracket before indulging with the printable PDF or live bracket.


No. 2 Duke

The Blue Devils shouldn't have too much difficulty getting by Albany in the second round, but they'll have some tough matchups ahead on their way to the Elite Eight.

The third round has the potential to pin Duke against a tough Creighton team. If the Blue Devils make it to the Sweet 16, they'll likely have to take down Michigan State to make it to the Elite Eight, which is one tough task.

Although Duke had the toughest strength of schedule, they've been somewhat inconsistent, dropping two games to Maryland and being blown out by Miami.

Getting Ryan Kelly back should help the Dukies in their title run, but their road to the Elite Eight could be halted by another top-ranked team.


No. 4 Michigan

I have the Wolverines in my Elite Eight but that doesn't mean it's going to be an easy ride for Michigan.

It's second-round matchup with South Dakota State isn't a given, and if the Wolverines make it to the third round, it'll probably draw the task of playing against No. 5 VCU.

Even if Michigan is fortunate enough to make it that far, the Sweet 16 will likely see No. 1 Kansas waiting for Michigan, and that's obviously not a favorable matchup for John Beilein & Co.

Michigan had the 68th-ranked strength of schedule this season and isn't as battle-tested as its counterparts in the tournament.

Trey Burke needs to be at his best for the Wolverines to make it to the Elite Eight and beyond.


No. 1 Indiana

A lot of people just assume that No. 1 seeds are guaranteed an Elite Eight appearance.


While Indiana undoubtedly has the talent and coaching to compete for a national championship, a tough Syracuse team could possibly prevent the Hoosiers from an Elite Eight appearance.

Aside from that, a potential matchup with Temple in the third round isn't a guarantee either, as the Owls are 9-3 in their last 12 games and have an impressive four-point win over Syracuse on their resume.

While I do think Indiana will be one of the last eight standing, it could be a bumpy road for the Hoosiers, who have lost two of their last four games.


Follow all the exciting NCAA Tournament action with March Madness Live.

Follow me on Twitter: