March Madness 2013 Picks: Sneaky Sleepers You Must Pick

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMarch 20, 2013

CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 9: Andre Hollins #1 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers passes the ball against pressure from Nnanna Egwu #32 of the Illinois Fighting Illini during the game at Assembly Hall on January 9, 2013 in Champaign, Illinois. Minnesota won 84-67. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The tournament always features some upsets, and if you’re planning on filling out a bracket then you’re most likely going to be looking for some sleeper picks that no one is expecting.

Luckily for you, we’ve thought about that, and provided a few sleepers that you need to go with in order to help win your bracket pool.

Belmont Bruins

The Bruins are on here because they can flat out score. They average 77.2 points per game, the 15th best in the nation. Their accuracy is even more impressive, making 49.4 percent of their shots and 38.6 percent of them from behind the three-point line. Ian Clark leads this team, scoring 18.1 points per game on 54.1 percent shooting from the floor and 46.3 percent from behind the arc.

The accuracy of this team makes the Bruins a serious threat to most teams. In their first round matchup, the Arizona Wildcats struggle defending the three, letting opponents make 36 percent of their three-pointers. With such a high-scoring team like Belmont, they could easily shock the Wildcats.

After that, the Bruins would likely play New Mexico. The Lobos also struggle against the three, with opponents shooting 34.3 percent. Once again, the Bruins could burn the Lobos from outside, and advance yet again.

The offense of the Bruins should make them a favorite for anyone, if only for one or two games.


Minnesota Golden Gophers

If you want another low seed to turn some heads, look no further than Minnesota.

The team may not be the best at shooting, but they certainly know how to crash the boards for second chance points. The Gophers average 14.9 offensive rebounds per game, easily the most in the tournament.

The first game for the Gophers will be against UCLA. The Bruins will be without Jordan Adams, one of their best scorers. They also struggle boxing out, allowing an average of 13.1 offensive rebounds per game. The Gophers will capitalize on this, and pull away with a win.

The Florida Gators will likely be a different story. They play some of the best defense in the country, averaging a little over 53 points a game. Led by their three seniors, the Gators will likely not have much trouble against the Gophers.

If you want another low seed team to pick for a game, take Minnesota. Big Ten teams are always a good bet, especially one as stingy as the Gophers.


Butler Bulldogs

Brad Stevens is no stranger to making deep runs in the tournament, and this year has the potential to be no different.

The team statistics may not jump out at you, but the individual players for the Bulldogs have been impressive. Rotnei Clarke has shown off ridiculous range, shooting 41.2 percent from behind the arc and averaging 16.7 points per game. Andrew Smith has been scoring 11.1 points per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. Roosevelt Jones has also shot nearly 50 percent while scoring just over 10 points a game.

The Bulldogs will be able to handle Bucknell in their first game. They played zero games against the Top-25 teams, and didn’t have any real impressive wins. After that, the Bulldogs would likely play Marquette. The Golden Eagles rely heavily on Vander Blue, and a bad game by him could easily spell trouble for Marquette.

It’s impossible to tell how far Butler will go, but don’t sleep on them to win their first two games and make an appearance in the Sweet 16.


Link to Printable PDF

Link to Live Bracket


Follow all the exciting NCAA Tournament action with March Madness Live