March Madness Round of 32: Safest Bets to Move Forward

Ryan DavenportContributor IMarch 22, 2013

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 21:  C.J. Fair #5 of the Syracuse Orange shoots against the Montana Grizzlies in the second half during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at HP Pavilion on March 21, 2013 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With the Round of 64 almost in the books, there have already been a number of upsets that have created seemingly smoother paths to the Final Four for a handful of contenders. 

Looking ahead to the Round of 32, a few of college basketball's heavyweights will be facing under-matched opponents and are sure locks to be left standing when the dust clears and the Sweet Sixteen is revealed. 

Here's an early look at the safest bets to keep building momentum by cruising to victories in the Round of 32. 



No, the Blue Devils aren't going to benefit from an upset by facing either Creighton or Cincinnati, but Duke was so impressive against Albany that it'd be ludicrous to think that either team will be able to put up much of a fight against Coach K and company. 

Seth Curry's shooting was reminiscent of older brother Steph's during his days with Davidson, as the senior shot 10-14 from the field with 26 points; and Ryan Kelly, despite putting up just 8 points, came up with some big boards and a couple of monster blocks against the Great Danes.

The Blue Devils went into cruise control in the second half, but if they keep playing like they did in the first, they'll breeze by whichever team they face in the Round of 32.  



Early on, No. 6 Arizona was regarded as one of the nation's best teams, as the Wildcats notched big wins over elite teams such as Miami and Florida only to drop a pair to UCLA and another to Oregon later in their schedule. 

However, the Wildcats that showed up against No. 11 Belmont in the Round of 64 was a surprisingly effective offensive squad that ran away with the game early. 

No, the Wildcats won't shoot .569 from the field or .529 from outside the arc every night, but with Mark Lyons, Nick Johnson and Kevin Parrom leading a big, athletic offense, Arizona will be a nightmare for Harvard. 

The Crimson's win over New Mexico was a nice story, but No. 14 Harvard simply won't benefit from another dreadful shooting performance from its opposition two games in a row. 



After an absolute demolition derby of a game against No. 13 Montana, the No. 4 Syracuse Orange will be heading into its Round of 32 clash with No. 12 Cal well-rested and ready to sweep aside another challenger.

That's not to say that Cal should be viewed as just another No. 12 seed, because the Golden Bears were impressive against UNLV, but the Orange's offense will simply too much to handle.

Not to mention that as one of the best rebounding teams in the country, the Golden Bears won't have nearly as much time with the basketball as they did against UNLV. 

It might not be a blowout, but C.J. Fair, Brandon Triche and the rest of Syracuse's relatively well-rounded attack will be the difference against Cal in the Round of 32.