NIT Bracket 2013: Predicting Which Teams Will Make Final Four

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NIT Bracket 2013: Predicting Which Teams Will Make Final Four
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With all this madness going on it can be hard to catch all of the NIT action. Luckily, now you don't have to. I already know which teams will be heading to Madison Square Garden for the Final Four. 

It is going to be a wild ride, as there are some great matchups looming, and once we hit the Final Four, it is anyone's guess, because these four teams are all rolling. 

Check out the full NIT bracket on NCAA.com.

 


Arizona State

No. 3 seed Arizona State started off its tournament run with a 83-68 win over Detroit, and now moves on to battle second-seeded Baylor. The Bears had an even easier time in the first round as they trounced Long Beach State 112-66.

With all due respect to Kentucky-killers Robert Morris and Providence, who will battle in the other game of this region, the Sun Devils and Bears matchup will decide who will advance to the Final Four.

Originally, I was leaning towards the Bears, as they will be hosting this game, but then I couldn't get past ASU's freshman Jahii Carson.

In the tourney opener, he went for 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. It was an excellent performance after a terrific season. He is averaging 18.4 points per game.

He can beat the defense himself or set up his teammates for easy buckets. 

What also turned my opinion to the Sun Devils is how the Pac-12 performed in the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament. Cal and Oregon won as 12 seeds and showed that the Pac-12 was an undervalued conference heading into the postseason. 

The Sun Devils will continue that trend as they roll into the Final Four. 

 

 

Maryland

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Maryland is the safest pick to advance to the Final Four at this point, simply because they are the only team to have advanced to the quarterfinals.

They are now awaiting the winner of the Alabama-Stanford game. If second-seeded Alabama wins, the Terps will have to advance to the Final Four on the road. However, if defending champion and current four seed, Stanford, comes out on top, Maryland gets one more game at Comcast Center. 

Either way, Maryland is going to win. This team is peaking, and it will be bolstered by a stunning late comeback over Denver last round. 

With nine minutes to go in the game and trailing by nine, Maryland put the defensive clamps down. Denver scored just four points the remainder of the contest. 

Dez Wells was fantastic, as he hit big buckets down the stretch on his way to scoring 19. 

That win followed an easy win in the tourney opener, and afterwards Maryland made a nice run in ACC. They won two, including a nine-point win over Duke, and then gave the Tar Heels a run for their money. 

This is a confident team riding a wave of momentum. 

 

 

Virginia 

Lance King/Getty Images

The Cavaliers' defense is going to carry them to the Final Four. On the season, Virginia ranks 18th in the nation in defensive efficiency.

They flashed that defense in the tourney opener by holding Norfolk State to 56 points.

Given this defensive prowess, the Cavaliers don't need a lot on offense, but junior guard Joe Harris gives them a lot. He is averaging 16.7 points per game. 

Virginia, who is the No. 1 seed in this region, also doesn't have to worry about No. 2 seed Massachusetts—they were ousted in the first round by Stony Brook. 

The Cavaliers will ride their talent and home-court advantage to the Final Four. 

 


BYU

William Mancebo/Getty Images

For my money, the No. 3 Cougars were the most impressive team in the first round.

They certainly didn't have the biggest margin of victory, but they played fantastically while taking down a game Washington Huskies team, 90-79. 

The Cougars had the look of a team on a mission. Sophomore Tyler Haws dropped 37 points. Sophomore Matt Carlino went for 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and senior Brandon Davies scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. 

This trio is not going to let the Cougars lose. 

BYU will host the next game as Mercer upset No. 2 Tennessee. No. 1 seed Southern Miss still looms, but it was far less impressive in winning their first-round game by just seven. 

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