NCAA Upset Predictions 2013: Projecting Friday's Most Shocking Results
Thirty-two teams will take to the court on Friday as the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament concludes with 16 much-anticipated matchups.
Although many of the big dogs will steamroll to victory and advance to the round of 32 this weekend, there are a couple of teams out there that are poised to wreck brackets with an upset win. Upsets are what makes the Big Dance so intriguing, and that's why millions tune into the opening rounds.
Below we'll project Friday's most shocking upsets.
South Region: No. 11 Minnesota Over No. 6 UCLA
The UCLA Bruins were strong in the Pac-12 season, but without second-leading scorer Jordan Adams (15.3 points per game), look for the underrated Minnesota Golden Gophers, led by Tubby Smith to pull off the upset in the South Region on Friday night.
Ben Howland's team will be leaning on freshman stud Shabazz Muhammad, and first-year players rarely experience success in the NCAA Tournament. While Carmelo Anthony is the exception, Kevin Durant is the norm.
Neither Minnesota nor UCLA played in the tournament last year, so there's no real huge experience advantage for either side.
Both coaches have accomplished plenty at this stage, but Smith has more to work with if you ask me. Minnesota is one of the best rebounding teams in the country, ranking 17th in that category. Senior forward Trevor Mbakwe leads the way for Minnesota on the backboards, averaging 8.7 rebounds per game.
Plus, the Gophers have earned more impressive victories this season, knocking off tournament teams like Memphis, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Indiana.
Don't be fooled by Minnesota's double-digit seed, this is a dangerous basketball team.
West Region: No. 13 La Salle Over No. 4 Kansas State
La Salle looked very strong in its opening-round win over Boise State on Wednesday in Dayton, shooting better than 63 percent from the field and knocking in 11 threes to take out the Broncos despite finishing -9 on the boards.
Led by sensational guards Tyrone Garland and Ramon Galloway, who combined for 30.4 points per game this season, look for the Explorers to give Kansas State everything it can handle and more in Kansas City.
Which team is better suited to pull off the upset on Friday?
La Salle should be in better rhythm as well having just played on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Bruce Weber's Wildcats haven't played since last weekend, losing to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament championship game.
The Wildcats aren't a great shooting team to begin with, though, as they hit just 43.6 percent of their shots as a team this season, and only 36.3 percent from downtown. Plus, Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez are the only two Kansas State players averaging more than nine points per game this year.
If either McGruder or Rodriguez struggle from the field, the Wildcats could be in big trouble as they will have to work hard to keep pace with the Explorers' guards and potent offensive attack.
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