Look out for the Arizona Wildcats.
The NCAA tournament is all about getting hot at the right time. You don't want to be playing your worst basketball coming into March. One bad performance and you'll be riding a bus back home.
Arizona started the season very strong before stumbling a bit when conference play began. However, if the Wildcats play like they did against the Belmont Bruins, they'll be a major dark-horse candidate.
The Bruins came in as a hot-shooting team but only shot 39.2 percent from the field. On the other hand, Arizona was the complete opposite, shooting a sultry 56.9 percent.
It was a real statement win for the Wildcats and set them up very well. The only thing standing between them and the Sweet 16 is the 14th-seeded Harvard Crimson.
Arizona wasn't the only team to impress in the round of 64. Here are three other teams who really helped themselves.
No. 4 Syracuse 81, No. 13 Montana 34
It doesn't matter whom your opponent is—any time you hold a Division I basketball team to 34 points, you've done a very good job. The four players who led in scoring for the Montana Grizzlies only had five points each. As a team, the Grizzlies only shot 11-of-54 from the field, including 4-of-31 from three-point range.
This is a Syracuse Orange team that can really crash the boards. The Orange are second in the country in offensive rebounds and third in total rebounds. Syracuse out-rebounded Montana 40-29 on Thursday.
The Orange need to really look strong going into a possible matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers in the Sweet 16. They look well on their way after their win over Montana.
No. 4 Saint Louis 64, No. 13 New Mexico State 44
The Saint Louis Billikens are positioning themselves as major contenders. They made it to the top of what was a stacked Atlantic 10 during the regular season and postseason.
Only three players scored in double figures, but it was a total team performance against the New Mexico Aggies on Thursday. The Billikens were stout both offensively—shooting 46.4 as a team—and defensively—forcing 16 turnovers.
Saint Louis will need to be on its game against an Oregon Ducks team that upset the very good Oklahoma State Cowboys. If the Billikens play like they did on Thursday, Jim Crews won't have anything to worry about.
No. 2 Miami 78, No. 15 Pacific 49
Unlike another No. 2 seed, the Miami Hurricanes looked very strong on Friday.
The Canes came into the tournament with some major question marks. Some wondered if they would have the offense to advance deep into the tournament, considering they finished 110th in scoring.
Offense didn't look to be a problem Friday night as Miami routed the Pacific Tigers, 78-49. It was the kind of dominating performance you want to see from a team positioning itself as a major contender.
There's something to be said for a No. 2 seed running roughshod over its opponent. Pacific isn't the toughest of competition, but the Hurricanes made sure not to play down to the Tigers at all.
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