March Madness 2013 Bracket: Complete Analysis Heading into Sweet 16
As the bracket indicates, this year's Sweet 16 is set to be one for the ages. From Cinderella squads to deep teams with high seeds, fans would definitely be wise to tune in to each and every game, even though that would mean having two TVs on at once.
One game that I'm super-psyched for in particular is No. 1 seed Louisville taking on No. 12 seed Oregon. The Cardinals lead the nation with 15.5 steals per game and top scorer Russ Smith has been on fire over the tourney's first two games, averaging 25 points per game. On paper, Louisville is a far better team.
But Oregon is not to be counted out by any means. The Ducks have already taken out two dangerous squads in the Marcus Smart-led Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Atlantic 10 Conference's ever-feisty Saint Louis Billikens, thanks to their pure-hustle rebounder in Arsalan Kazemi, who has posted 16.5 rebounds over the Ducks' first two games.
That said, if there's anyone who can give Louisville a run for its money, it's Oregon.
Fans would also be wise to check out the game between No. 6 seed Arizona and No. 2 seed Ohio State. The Wildcats' perimeter defense has finally shown up, having defeated the hot-shooting Belmont Bruins along with an upstart Harvard team, and attempting to bring down the Buckeyes' deadly tandem of DeShaun Thomas and Aaron Craft is definitely going to be something worth watching.
The same can be said for No. 3 seed Michigan State facing No. 2 seed Duke, as the chess match between two coaching greats in Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski is not to be missed under any circumstances.
Head over to the East Region, and there's more of the same. No. 1 seed Indiana takes on a No. 4 seed in Syracuse, who will look to end their final Big East season with a bang, and No. 2 seed Miami will look to bring its balanced attack in a matchup with Buzz Williams' No. 3 Marquette Golden Eagles.
Head back to the West, and No. 13 seed La Salle will look to continue its positive streak against a growing danger in the No. 9 seed Wichita State Shockers. The Explorers have already defeated strong teams in both the Kansas State Wildcats and Ole Miss Rebels, but Wichita State is not to be taken lightly.
After all, this is the same team that just beat No. 1 seed Gonzaga, so the Shockers are definitely in full giant-slaying mode.
In he South Region, the fast and furious Michigan Wolverines will look to defeat the Kansas Jayhawks. This is simply an opportunity to see some great players in Kansas' Ben McLemore and Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke, each of whom will surely make an impact in the NBA next season and enjoy long and prosperous careers.
However, the game that everybody's going to keep a close eye on will be the one between No. 3 seed Florida and No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast University. The Gators may seem like the obvious favorite, but let's not count out the Eagles just yet.
Not only did Florida Gulf Coast already defeat No. 2 seed Georgetown in the round of 64, but it also beat the tough and defensively skilled San Diego State Aztecs in the round of 32. With a battle for state pride and a trip to the Elite Eight on the line, the team could ride its new popularity and definitely give Billy Donovan's men a run for their money.
This means locking in against the Gators' offensive game and refusing to back down on defense. Offensively, the Eagles must continue to try and overwhelm the opposition with their own offense and thunderous dunks. They are already the first No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16, and something tells me that they aren't done making history.
That all being said, college hoops fans, this year's Sweet 16 is bound to be a good one. Each and every team brings something unique to the table, from Duke's great shooters to Wichita State's undeniable determination, which means all of the games will provide fans with some fireworks they'll cherish for years to come.
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