March Madness 2013 Picks: Weaknesses That Will Eventually Doom Top Seeds
Every team has a weakness, no matter how dominant it is.
While some teams find a way to overcome or overshadow their weaknesses in the NCAA tournament, more often than not glaring weaknesses end up coming back to haunt them.
I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I can remember Duke's loss to Lehigh last year like it was yesterday. I remember C.J. McCollum devastating the Blue Devils with 30 points. I also remember looking back at the Blue Devils' defensive stats after that game and realizing we should have all seen it coming.
Just because a team has a storied history or the most talent in the world doesn't mean it is guaranteed the championship—or even a round-of-32 matchup. We've seen this all too often during March Madness.
Here's a look at four top seeds whose weaknesses will doom them in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Duke: Defense, Rebounding
Duke ranks 114th in opponents' field-goal percentage. In the ACC tournament, the Blue Devils allowed Maryland to shoot 51 percent from the floor, including 8-of-20 from downtown. Virginia shot 46 percent against Duke on Feb. 28. It's a legitimate concern headed into the NCAA tournament.
Duke also ranks 211th in rebounding rate. That includes ranking 225th in defensive rebounding rate. The Blue Devils were attacked on the glass in the losses to Maryland and Virginia.
I expect the Blue Devils to reach the Elite Eight, but I see them falling to Louisville once they get there. Rick Pitino's Cardinals not only rank 10th in offensive rebounding percentage, they have the defense to contain Duke's offense (ranked second in defensive efficiency).
Gonzaga may rank eighth in opponents' field-goal percentage and 20th in defensive efficiency, but those rankings are slanted given the Bulldogs played in the WCC.
The Bulldogs played three ranked teams this season, and lost to two of them. They allowed Butler to shoot 50 percent from the floor in the 64-63 loss on Jan. 19 and allowed Illinois to shoot 50 percent in the 85-74 loss on Dec. 8. Butler and Illinois combined to shoot 47 percent from downtown against Gonzaga.
I see Gonzaga advancing to the Elite Eight before falling to Ohio State. While the Buckeyes aren't a particularly high-scoring team, neither were Butler or Illinois. Plus, the Buckeyes do have a star in Deshaun Thomas and they've been rolling as of late.
Beyond Otto Porter Jr. and Markel Starks, Georgetown doesn't have a lot of pieces on offense that scare you.
The Hoyas' defense has been outstanding this season. Then again, so has Florida's (Georgetown's potential Sweet 16 opponent), and the Gators also have a dangerous offense (ranked seventh in offensive efficiency).
Georgetown's defense can only get it so far. Before long, teams (potentially Florida) are going to focus on containing Porter and make everyone else try to beat them. That's a recipe for failure for the Hoyas.
Who should be the most worried?
Indiana has all the talent in the world to win the national championship. That's why the Hoosiers are ranked so highly in nearly every important statistical category this season (despite playing in the ultra-competitive Big Ten).
But while some dismiss Indiana losing three of its last six games (Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin), I don't. This team, for whatever reason, has struggled offensively, defensively and on the glass during that stretch.
If Indiana was struggling in one or two areas, I could see the Hoosiers finding a way to get back on track. But it's almost as if they've hit a wall in all three important areas. I really believe it's much more concerning than a lot of people think.
I have Indiana advancing to the Sweet 16 before falling to potential opponent Syracuse.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?