NCAA Tournament 2013 Bracket: Potential Matchups We Hope Come To Fruition
The excitement of the rounds of 64 and 32 is coming to an end. It's now time to get to some of the potentially great games that the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight can create.
This is the point when most of the teams that were just happy to be in the Big Dance are home and the real contenders remain.
There are some exciting potential matchups on the horizon in every region. Here's a look at a few possible games that would delight college basketball purists.
Duke vs. Louisville
The No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup is not always intriguing. Sure, they are the top two seeds in the region, but the styles of play don't always mesh.
If the Blue Devils and Cardinals meet in the Elite Eight, it would be an exciting blend of pressure defense and up-tempo basketball. The game will have its share of above-the-rim performers.
Louisville's pressure is amazing, and it ignites the team. Peyton Siva is perhaps the best defensive point guard in the nation, and seeing him compete against Seth Curry and Quinn Cook will be a treat.
Although Russ Smith is out of control at times, the Cardinals guard is one of the fastest players in the country. The Blue Devils will have a difficult time staying front of him.
In the middle, Duke's freakishly athletic big man, Mason Plumlee, will face a huge test against shot-blocker extraordinaire Gorgui Dieng.
Hopefully, the Cardinals and Blue Devils handle their respective business leading up to this potentially epic showdown.
Indiana vs. Syracuse
Both of these teams have had their moments during the season that made me think they were legitimate national championship contenders. But both have also had moments that caused me to doubt them.
There is no disputing the amount of NBA talent that would be in action should these teams meet in the Sweet 16, though.
One intriguing matchup would be Indiana's Victor Oladipo vs. Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams.
Obviously, the Orange play a lot of zone, and both teams will switch accordingly but Oladipo is an excellent on-ball defender.
He is actually big enough to present problems for a big point guard like Carter-Williams.
Indiana's Jordan Hulls would be at a huge height disadvantage trying to check Carter-Williams, even if it were just in spots. Oladipo and Carter-Williams both figure to be lottery selections in June, so seeing them compete would be great.
That's just the individual appeal, but from a team standpoint, these two programs once played a historic national championship game in 1987.
Keith Smart's baseline jump shot gave the Hoosiers a national championship. The two programs have only met four times, per OrangeHoops.org, and believe it or not, the 1987 meeting is the only Hoosiers' win.
Kansas vs. Michigan
This is another potential battle of national championship contenders and another game stocked with NBA talent.
Which one of these three games would be the most epic?
We are likely watching the final games in the collegiate careers of Trey Burke, Glenn Robinson III and, of course, Ben McLemore.
Many predict the latter will be the No. 1 overall player taken in the draft.
That said, Burke is among the favorites to win the Naismith award for the nation's top player. Watching the favorite to be the top player selected in the draft compete against the favorite for the Naismith award is a great draw.
The Wolverines have looked great in the NCAA tournament thus far. They easily handled VCU and South Dakota State, but the Wolverines have struggled against elite teams this season.
They are just 4-6 against Top-25 squads. The Jayhawks have a tremendous shot-blocker on the inside in Jeff Withey. His presence could turn the Wolverines into a three-point shooting team exclusively.
If the shots aren't falling, they could be in trouble.
No matter how it shakes out, this will still be a celebrated contest between two more historic programs.
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