March Madness 2013: Breaking Down Every No. 1 Seed's Biggest Flaw
As we enter the Sweet 16 of the 2013 NCAA tournament, three No. 1 seeds remain intact. Those teams include Louisville of the Midwest Region, Indiana of the East Region and Kansas of the South Region.
The question on every opponent's mind is simple—what are the biggest flaws of each No. 1 seed?
As we've already seen, seedings in this tournament have been of minimal value. No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 4 Saint Louis lost in the round of 32, while No. 2 Georgetown and No. 3 New Mexico fell in the round of 64.
All three No. 1 seeds are in danger of losing in the Sweet 16.
How can an underdog solve the puzzle of taking down these elite teams? Contrary to popular belief, it's more than possible.
It's probable due to their significant weaknesses.
Kansas Jayhawks: Inconsistent Guard Play
On the defensive end of the floor, the Kansas Jayhawks possess a high-quality backcourt. On offense, however, they struggle to piece together consistent performances to reach success.
A prime example of this is the fact that Ben McLemore is 4-of-21 from the field during his past three games.
Although McLemore is a better player than his production suggests, he's also a freshman on a major stage. On numerous occasions this season, we've seen that McLemore is not quite ready to handle the pressure.
That's a terrifying truth for Kansas, as Travis Releford is defensive-minded, Naadir Tharpe is inconsistent and Elijah Johnson is playing out of position.
If Kansas' guards are on their game, the Jayhawks are virtually unbeatable. If they're struggling, however, the Jayhawks are prone to an upset.
It's that simple.
Indiana Hoosiers: Size on Defense
The Indiana Hoosiers are one of the best teams in the nation. This comes by virtue of their depth, star power and world-class coaching.
However, the Hoosiers have a proclivity to struggle on defense due to their lack of size.
Victor Oladipo is a respected defender and Will Sheehey is considered to be Indiana's enforcer. With that being said, Oladipo is 6'5" and often defends small forwards that stand much taller than him. On the other hand, Sheehey is 6'7" and is often tasked with defending down low.
Furthermore, Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell make up a backcourt that consists of two 6'0" tall offensive-minded players. Cody Zeller, meanwhile, is a high-motor player but hardly an elite defensive presence.
This could spell trouble against Syracuse and any other team they draw from here on out.
With all of this being noted, the Hoosiers attack the perimeter well and limit open looks. The issue they'll have, however, is that slashers reach the basket with limited contest at the basket.
Khalif Wyatt's 31-point performance in the round of 32 is evidence enough.
Louisville Cardinals: Half-court Offense
Truth be told, the Louisville Cardinals are a team with very few weaknesses. They're the No. 1 overall seed for that very reason.
If there is one area in which the Cardinals struggle, however, it's where they beat themselves—in the offensive half court.
To be clear, Louisville is more than capable of thriving in a half-court set. They have an elite point guard in Peyton Siva, a dynamic scorer in Russ Smith, a three-point specialist in Luke Hancock and versatile big men in Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan.
With that being said, Louisville has a frustrating tendency to rush shots—the ultimate offensive block.
Only one qualified player, Luke Hancock, is shooting better than 35.0 percent from beyond the arc. There is also an 8.4 point disparity between the leading scorer, Smith, and the second leading scorer, Dieng.
Even with their scoring balance, Louisville can struggle when opposing teams slow it down and force them to score in the half court.
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