March Madness 2013: Dark-Horse Teams to Watch out for

Pete SchauerCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2013

Mar 16, 2013; Missoula, MT, USA; Montana Grizzlies guard Kevin Henderson (2) celebrates a basket against the Weber State Wildcats during the championship game of the Big Sky Conference tournament at Dahlberg Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The second round of the 2013 NCAA tournament is bound to see some upsets, as March Madness does each season.

Conservative bracketologists likely won't be a fan, but if you're looking to shake up your bracket a bit, here are three dark horses who have an outside chance of an upset in the field of 64.

I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it, but it's worth giving these three teams a second look.


No. 13 Montana

Montana drew a tough matchup with Syracuse in the field of 64, but if the Grizzlies can hit their shots over the top of the Orange's zone, Syracuse could be on upset alert.

Montana is a top-20 three-point shooting team in the country, shooting it better than 38 percent from downtown, highlighted by a 44 percent mark from sophomore guard Jordan Gregory.

The Orange are coming off a 17-point loss in the Big East tournament to Louisville and must tighten up their zone defense to keep Montana from shooting the lights out.

Will Cherry has been excellent for the Grizzlies of late and will be a huge key to Montana's success.

I'm expecting Syracuse to pull a win out, but it will be a lot closer than most expect.


No. 15 Iona

It's the unlikeliest of the three to happen—in my opinion—but I think Iona has an outside chance of knocking off powerhouse Ohio State.

Led by the nation's third-leading scorer in Lamont Jones (23 points per game), the Gaels boast the second-highest-scoring offense in the country.

While Aaron Craft will be a thorn in their side, if they can shut down leading Buckeyes scorer Deshaun Thomas, the Gaels have a legitimate shot at pulling off the upset.

The keys for Iona will be Jones continuing his dominance and the offense taking care of the basketball, with pesky Craft playing pressure defense.

Iona over OSU would surely shake up my bracket, but I wouldn't mind seeing it.


No. 11 Belmont

I like Belmont's chances of an upset the most of anyone in this article, as I took the Bruins over Arizona in my bracket.

While the Wildcats have been playing improved defense of late, it won't be easy to shut down Belmont's hot shooting—the Bruins are fourth in the nation in field goal percentage, at .494.

Arizona will come into this matchup losers of three of its last five games while the Bruins are riding a six-game win streak and are seeing Ian Clark light it up from downtown, shooting better than 46 percent from three while averaging 18 points per game.

The Wildcats don't do much that will jump off the page at you, but they're a solid rebounding team that will have the advantage on the glass.

If Belmont can continue its hot shooting and hit the glass against Arizona, it'll be moving on to the field of 32.


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