March Madness 2013: Bold Predictions for Sweet 16

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2013

DAYTON, OH - MARCH 24: Cody Zeller #40 and Jordan Hulls #1 of the Indiana Hoosiers celebrate after a play in the second half against the Temple Owls during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 24, 2013 in Dayton, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

March Madness may have never been a more appropriate name for the NCAA tournament than it is this year. 

In the Sweet 16, we have a No. 15 seed, Florida Gulf Coast University, and another game that features No. 9 seed Wichita State vs. No. 13 seed La Salle. 

This kind of insanity can humble even the most proven of prognosticators, and I'd certainly be lying if I said my bracket didn't have enough red to dry out a printer, but I'm ready to atone. 

After spending enough hours on my couch watching basketball to make my eyes bleed, I have a solid feeling for how things will play out in the Sweet 16.  


Indiana Will Blow Out Syracuse

The Indiana Hoosiers hit their powerful stride as they were fighting for their tournament lives in the round of 32 against Temple.

The Hoosiers were down by four with just under three minutes to go. They then went on a 10-0 run to advance by a score of 58-52.

Indiana is going to carry that momentum with it as the Hoosiers take on the Orange on Thursday.

Like Temple, the Orange are going to try and slow down the pace of the game. However, Indiana's offense is too well-balanced and features too many good shooters for the Orange's zone defense to be effective all game.

Indiana is going to get off to an explosive start. This will force the Orange out of their game plan as they try to launch a comeback, and it will only result in them falling further behind. 


Michigan Will Upset Kansas

The No. 1 seeded Jayhawks narrowly escaped a landmark upset in the round of 64 when they beat Western Kentucky, 64-57.

They then beat North Carolina in the round of 32 by a comfortable score of 70-58. However, they trailed for much of that game, including being down 30-21 at halftime. 

The Jayhawks will not be able to pull off similar dramatics against the Wolverines. 

The Wolverines have looked as good as any team in this tournament. They cruised in their first game with a 71-56 win over South Dakota State in the round of 64 and followed that up with a 73-58 win over VCU in the round of 32. 

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. will provide the steady leadership the Wolverines will need to prevent Kansas from going on any runs, and they will emerge victorious as a result. 


FGCU Will Beat Florida 

As the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16, FGCU is not done yet.

While the low seeding certainly gives FGCU Cinderella status, this team has not looked like one.

This team is not winning with unsustainable three-point shooting or fluky plays. They have just been the better team. 

The Eagles have been dominant in beating Georgetown, 78-68, in the round of 64 and then followed that up with an 81-71 win over San Diego State in the round of 32. 

FGCU has an impressive arsenal of athletes as they have thrown down dunk after dunk to earn the moniker Dunk City. 

Like the dunk in this tweet by NCAA March Madness: 

Led by outstanding point guard Brett Comer, FGCU is lethal in transition, and with scorers like Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson, they can also thrive in the halfcourt game.

Meanwhile, Florida has looked very impressive in their tourney run. The Gators are a balanced team with the nation's second-best scoring defense. However, FGCU will get out in transition to score some easy buckets and propel them to an historic victory.