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NCAA Brackets 2013: Updated Look at Most Intriguing Round of 64 Games

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 16:  Travis Wear #24 and Shabazz Muhammad #15 of the UCLA Bruins look on in the first half against the Oregon Ducks during the Pac-12 Championship game at MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIJuly 3, 2015

The NCAA Tournament is now down to 64 teams, and March is about to get a whole lot madder.

The play-in games are over, and four teams that were uncertain about who their opponent would be now know the task that lies ahead. On Tuesday, North Carolina A&T moved past Liberty to earn a date with Louisville, while Saint Mary’s took care of Middle Tennessee and will go on to face Memphis.

In Wednesday’s action, James Madison bested LIU Brooklyn and will now play Indiana, while La Salle bested Boise State to earn a showdown with Kansas State.

Now that every Round of 64 matchup is set, here are the games that must not be missed.

  

No. 5 Wisconsin vs. No. 12 Ole Miss

Where: Spring Center, Kansas City, Mo.

When: Friday, March 22, 12:40 p.m. ET 

Watch: TruTV

This matchup is the odd couple of the Round of 64, as these two teams could not be more different.

Wisconsin is all about discipline on both ends of the floor. Their offense is slow-paced, and it features plenty of ball movement the get open jump shots. On defense the team is extremely sound and plays well as a team.

Loud-mouthed sharpshooter Marshall Henderson will lead the Rebels into Kansas City, and discipline is certainly not the word that comes to mind when discussing his antics.

The Badgers have also been to 15 straight tournaments, while Ole Miss is dancing for the first time in 11 years. The contrasting styles and identities of the teams in this game will make for a truly entertaining game.

 

No. 4 Kansas State vs. No. 13 La Salle

Where: Spring Center, Kansas City, Mo.

When: Friday, March 22, 3:10 p.m. ET

Watch: TruTV

La Salle hit 11 of its 21 three-point attempts to beat Boise State, with eight of the made shots from distance coming from Ramon Galloway and Sam Mills.

The explorers have a small team, but they can shoot the lights out, and that should make Kansas State nervous. The Wildcats are an impressive offensive team, but rank 64th in the nation in KenPom.com’s defensive efficiency ratings.

While the 5-12 matchups get all the attention, at least one 13-seed has advanced to the Round of 32 in each of the past five tournaments. La Salle has already built momentum and started to heat up from distance, and now the team is facing a mediocre defense.

If the Wildcats don’t find a way to stay disciplined defensively before the Explorers shooters get in rhythm, the trend of 13-seeds advancing will continue.

 

No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Minnesota

Where: Frank Erwin Center, Austin, Texas

When: Friday, March 22, 9:57 p.m. ET

Watch: TruTV

This is a popular upset pick, and there are plenty of reasons to doubt the Bruins. The young Pac-12 team will have to deal with adversity after losing second-leading scorer Jordan Adams to a broken foot.

Even with Adams on the floor, UCLA would be facing a difficult matchup against a talented Minnesota team. The Bruins lack a physical force down low, and this opens the door for Trevor Mbakwe to have a big night.

But word has certainly made its way to Ben Howland’s locker room by now, and the Bruins will know that much of the sports world has serious doubts about their ability to avoid an early exit this year. 

It will be fascinating to see how Shabazz Muhammad and UCLA respond to a difficult situation.

 

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