March Madness 2013: 2nd-Round Games Guaranteed to Be Blowouts

Nick JuskewyczContributor IIIMarch 20, 2013

Mar 17, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Virginia Commonwealth Rams guard Rob Brandenberg (11) reacts during the second half against the Saint Louis Billikens of the championship game of the Atlantic 10 at the Barclays Center. Saint Louis won 62-56.  Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Every year when you are filling out your bracket, you want to find that hidden gem and be the person to predict the huge upset. It's never fun picking all the favorites.

Recent history has provided the drama. Even though it's only happened six times in NCAA tournament history, two No. 15 seeds beat No. 2 seeds in the second round of the 2012 tournament.

However, if you pick the wrong game, the winner of that game could cost you the chance of winning your pool considering how most others will select the favorite.

These are the games you want to avoid picking the upset. 

No. 3 New Mexico vs. No. 14 Harvard

Whether it's fair or unfair to the Lobos, New Mexico is better than a No. 3 seed. According to, New Mexico is No. 2 in the RPI and has 19 wins over the RPI Top 100 (that's right, 19).

They can beat you two different ways. The Lobos ran full court at Colorado State and won 91-82. They slowed it down against San Diego State in the Mountain West tournament and won 60-50. 

Kendall Williams is the key at point guard. He leads the team in points (13.5) and assists (five) per game. He also grabs 3.6 rebounds.

Harvard has really struggled away from home. The Crimson are just 6-8 outside of Harvard and have only beaten one team inside the RPI Top 100. They also lost at Columbia (RPI 273) and at Pennsylvania (RPI 279). 

Since New Mexico has the size advantage, Williams has a big game distributing the basketball for the easy win.

No. 4 Saint Louis vs. No. 13 New Mexico State

Saint Louis is the best No. 4 seed in the Big Dance. The Billikens have won 15 of their last 16 in the Atlantic 10, with all of their victories by four points or more. They also swept Butler in all three matchups and beat VCU both times.

Depth is the reason for Saint Louis' success. All nine players in the Billikens' rotation average over 12 minutes a game, which helps them stay fresh on defense. Saint Louis only gives up 58.1 points per game (18th in NCAA). 

New Mexico State has won 18 of its last 20, but don't let that get to your head. The Aggies best win outside of Las Cruces was in the WAC tournament final against Texas Arlington. Their best win of the year was against Southern Miss, and New Mexico State is running into one of the deepest and most balanced teams in college basketball.

Saint Louis' defense prevails with ease.

No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 Akron

VCU gets after you defensively. The Rams are by far the best in the nation in steals with 11.8 per game (Louisville is second at 10.7) and are led by one of the brightest young coaches in Shaka Smart.

This is a terrible matchup for Akron. The Zips lost their point guard, Alex Abreu, for a drug arrest two weeks ago (via Jeff Borzello of and is still listed as being out indefinitely (per USA Today). 

Even though the Zips survived the MAC tournament without him, this is Akron's toughest task of the year. VCU's pressure and 78 points per game will be too much.