NCAA Bracket Predictions 2013: Upsets That Will Shake Up Field
We all love a good upset, unless of course it's your favorite squad going down, or if said upset takes out one of your Final Four teams in the early rounds.
Those are what we call bracket-busting games, and a few of those are on tap in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The action begins on Thursday, and so will the upsets.
No. 12 Oregon Ducks will take out No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowboys
I love Marcus Smart and the overall athleticism from the Cowboys, but these Ducks are hot, confident and fearless.
They will take it to the Cowboys and pull one of the biggest upsets of the round of 64.
This is a team led by the dynamic backcourt of Damyean Dotson and E.J. Singler. The two have been a load to handle in the last three games. They were the driving force in the Ducks' successful run in the Pac-12 tournament, and they will be key in this upset.
Over the last three games Dotson and Singler are averaging a combined 27.3 points per game. Their three-point shooting has been stellar over that stretch. The duo has connected on 11-of-22 from long range.
This team is peaking at the right time.
The Cowboys have some quality wins and Smart is one of the five best players in the nation. But their outside shooing worries me. They make just 31.6 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, and Smart is prone to poor shooting nights.
I fully expect the Ducks to pack the middle to take away dribble penetration. They are a better rebounding team as well, and they should be able to control the tempo.
Another No. 12 (Ole Miss Rebels) will Upend a No. 5 (Wisconsin Badgers)
The seemingly annual upset in the No. 5 and No. 12 matchup will happen twice in the 2013 NCAA tournament. The Badgers are six-point favorites, but the Rebels are playing great basketball right now.
They won the SEC conference title, and their defense is the biggest reason for the success. The Rebels have held their last four opponents under 42 percent shooting from the field.
When one mentions defense, the Badgers' stinginess is perhaps second to none. But I don't see them scoring enough points to out-gun the Rebels inside-outside duo of Marshall Henderson and Murphy Holloway
Henderson is a conscious-less long-range gunner. He's made 131 three-pointers this season, and he's averaging 20.1 points per game. He is capable of uncanny scoring binges, and he's got the green light from just about anywhere.
Holloway is putting up a near double-double with 14.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game to give them balance in the paint.
Both teams are very good defensively, but this game figures to be a tight one, and teams with individuals capable of making plays with the ball have an edge.
Henderson's ability to score will prove to be the difference.
No. 11 Minnesota Golden Gophers over the No. 6 UCLA Bruins
Which upset do you believe will happen?
In some ways, this isn't even an upset. The Gophers are actually favored to win, per OddsShark.com. However, the Bruins are the higher seed, so technically this qualifies as an upset.
UCLA is the more talented team, but I don't think they ever came together as unit this season. I love Shabazz Muhammad, despite the imperfections in his game.
I believe he has a sincere desire to be great and a work ethic that will help him improve where he lacks.
That said, he and the Bruins will be facing a very tough and athletic defense in this matchup.
Rodney Williams, Trevor Mbakwe and Elliott Eliason are all long and athletic defenders. They make the Gophers tough to score on in the paint, and their ability to control the glass helps to ignite the team's transition game.
This is a tough draw for the Bruins in the second round, and they won't survive it.
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