March Madness 2013: Highlighting Most Entertaining Round of 64 Matchups
The round of 64 is often the most wildly enjoyable part of March Madness. It is a nonstop frenzy of drama, upsets and buzzer-beaters, and it's the first big opportunity for fans to test their brackets.
With so much action packed into just two days, it is virtually impossible for those days not to entertain.
The following three matchups stand out as entertaining bouts on their own merit. The contrast in styles and slim difference in talent level guarantees a good viewing experience.
No. 6 Arizona vs. No. 11 Belmont
Belmont is a popular Cinderella pick, and for good reason. The Bruins can shoot and score as good as anyone.
On the season, they finished 15th in the nation in points per game and they did so while posting the nation's fourth-best field-goal percentage.
The Bruins should be able to put up some points on the Wildcats. Arizona has suffered through some inconsistent defensive efforts and it does not close out well on shooters. The Wildcats rank a paltry 276th in the nation in three-point percentage defense.
This isn't to suggest that this will be a lopsided affair. Arizona is a talented team, and while it went just 5-5 over its final 10 games, this is still the same group that has wins over Miami and Florida and was once ranked third in the nation.
This should be a fun, fast-paced and high-scoring contest.
No. 4 Michigan vs. No. 13 South Dakota
This matchup is a must-see for one giant reason: the battle of the point guards.
Michigan's Trey Burke is a strong Player of the Year candidate after posting 19.2 points, 6.7 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. He already has the Big Ten Player of the Year honor under his belt.
And he might not even be the best point guard in this game.
Senior point guard Nate Wolters doesn't carry the same name recognition as Burke, but he does carry the same kind of talent.
He is an outstanding scorer, which he proved when he posted 53 points in a game this season, and he wound up averaging 22.7 per game. The senior isn't just a scorer, though, as he finished with 5.8 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals this year.
Wolters also carries a four-inch height advantage over the 6’0” Burke. If he can get the best of this matchup, he just might be able to lead his team to a giant upset.
No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Ole Miss
If you enjoy watching two teams with contrasting styles try to assert their will over each other, this is the game for you.
Wisconsin, long famous for disciplined and deliberate basketball, is 206th in the nation in scoring at 66.2 points per game.
Ole Miss, who loves to get up and down the court, is seventh in the nation in scoring at 78.2.
The Rebels are going to look to come out hot and put up some quick points to try to lure Wisconsin into a faster pace. Also, the Badgers are not well equipped to make large comebacks.
However, that task is far easier said than done for the Rebels. Wisconsin is battle tested, having played in the brutal Big Ten, and it knows how to stick to its game plan.
I see Wisconsin's pace winning out in the end, but whatever happens, it will be fun to watch it all transpire.
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