NCAA Tournament 2013: Most Dominant Teams of Tourney's First Weekend

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2013

LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 23: Russ Smith #2 of the Louisville Cardinals drives to the basket against the Colorado State Rams in the second half during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Rupp Arena on March 23, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first weekend of the NCAA tournament is known for its huge upsets. However, some teams avoided any issues by putting together dominant performances.

In the first few rounds, fans are already ripping up their brackets. No. 2 seed Georgetown lost its first game, while No. 1 seed Gonzaga lost to Wichita State before the Sweet 16. Even Indiana struggled in its third-round game against Temple.

However, the following squads appear to be in good shape to make a run to the Elite Eight or further after solid showings in the Big Dance's first week.



There was little argument for Louisville as the No. 1 overall seed heading into the tournament. After two games, there is absolutely no doubt that the Cardinals are the team to beat.

While top seeds Gonzaga and Kansas struggled in their opening games against No. 16 seeds, Louisville coasted to a 31-point victory. However, it is the second game against Colorado State that was truly impressive.

The Rams were one of the most underrated teams in the field after finishing second in a solid Mountain West conference. Against Louisville, they continued to make open shots no matter how contested they were. 

Usually, hitting 47.5 percent of shots from the floor, including 41.7 percent from three, is enough to be competitive. However, this was a blowout thanks to the Cardinals' impressive full-court press.

Colorado State struggled to even get to the offensive half of the court thanks to 19 turnovers, and Louisville turned those mistakes into easy scores on the other end.

It will be very difficult for anyone to beat this defense over the next couple of weeks.



While Colorado State could not beat an impressive full-court press, Michigan was able to dominate it.

VCU came into the game as a very formidable No. 5 seed, boasting what the team calls a "havoc" defense. The Rams forced Akron to make 21 turnovers in the second round.

However, the Wolverines had little issue breaking down this press. With Trey Burke and a bunch of other ball-handlers, they were able to get into the offensive zone in a hurry and take easy shots before the defense was able to recover.

As a team, Michigan was able to make over 50 percent of its shots from the floor.

In addition, Mitch McGary showed the world what he is capable of with 21 points and 14 rebounds. If he can continue this dominance, it will create a great deal of balance and it will make Michigan tough to beat.


Michigan State

Not many people picked against Michigan State in the first few rounds. Still, the performances were impressive regardless of competition.

The Spartans only beat Valparaiso by 11 points, but the final score was not indicative of the game. In reality, this was never really a close game, with Michigan State outrebounding its opponents 44-20. It only became close when the starters came out of the game.

In the third round, Michigan State had to face an athletic Memphis team that only lost once in its previous 26 games. This was not an issue for this well-coached squad.

Memphis could not get any easy looks at the basket and only made 29.7 percent of shots. The 48 points were by far the Tigers' lowest scoring total of the season.

The Sweet 16 will certainly feature some tougher competition, but Michigan State's tough defense will give the squad an advantage in any game.


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