March Madness 2013 Picks: Favorites Who Won't Be Dancing After Friday's Action

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March Madness 2013 Picks: Favorites Who Won't Be Dancing After Friday's Action
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The first day in the round of 64 saw a handful of upsets in the 2013 NCAA tournament, and Friday's schedule presents the opportunity for a few more.

The No. 12 vs. No. 5 seed is always an intriguing matchup—as we've already seen two No. 5 seeds go down this year—and we've got another potential upset on tap for Friday.

While I'm not saying these upsets are guaranteed to happen, the following three teams should be on upset alert on Friday.

 

No. 8 N.C. State

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

As the favorite in this matchup, N.C. State draws a tough matchup against the Temple Owls.

The Wolfpack own the 32nd-ranked RPI in the nation, but Temple is 9-3 in its last 12 games and has been extremely successful on the road, sporting an 8-4 record. It's been quite the contrary for the Wolfpack, who are a mere 3-7 away from their home floor.

Something that sticks out in my mind for the Owls is an 83-79 win over Syracuse at Madison Square Garden. Khalif Wyatt went for 33 points in the win and went 15-of-15 at the free-throw line.

The Wolfpack will need to slow down Wyatt to win this game. He averages nearly 20 points per game and is always a threat from the three-point range or off the dribble.

I know that N.C. State has an impressive win over Duke this season, but it's lost two of its last four games and continually fails to play up to its potential. With a slew of potential NBA talent, the Wolfpack should be better than what their 2012 resume shows.

That said, I'm taking Temple to pull the upset and move on to the third round.

 

No. 5 Wisconsin

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Led by Marshall Henderson, the Ole Miss Rebels will have Wisconsin on upset alert on Friday.

Henderson is averaging better than 20 points per game and is coming off an outstanding 21-point effort in the SEC title game against Florida—an impressive win for Ole Miss.

The main reason I like the Rebels is because they're a decent road team riding a solid winning streak. Ole Miss enters this matchup having won five in a row and are 4-1 in games played on neutral floor.

Wisconsin is coming off a tough Big Ten tournament loss to Ohio State and owns a losing record away from its home arena, and it scores just 66 points per game, which may not be enough to keep up with Ole Miss' 78 per contest.

We've already seen two No. 12 seeds upset fifth-seeded teams, and we could be on the verge of seeing another one if the Rebels can contain Jared Berggren and Ben Brust.

Do you believe in the 12-5-seed upset? I certainly do.

 

No. 6 UCLA

Not only do I think this upset happens, but I'm actually pretty confident that the 11th-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers will oust UCLA.

With Jordan Adams out with a broken foot, Minnesota's defense will swarm Shabazz Muhammad, who will be forced to shoulder the load offensively. Muhammad is an NBA lottery pick with his 17 points per game and 40-percent three-point mark, but will it be enough?

Behind Muhammad, the scoring options dwindle, with Travis Wear being the next-leading scorer, at 11 points per game. I think the Hollins boys, Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe—all who possess NBA talent—will be too much for the Bruins, who are fresh off a loss to Oregon.

While Minnesota certainly doesn't enter this matchup on a hot streak—the Gophers have dropped three straight—its presence on the glass, led by Mbakwe, will dominate the Bruins.

The Golden Gophers have impressive wins over Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and that trend will continue with a victory over UCLA on Friday.

 

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