2013 March Madness Bracket Preview & Picks

by Scott on March 19, 2013

Selection Sunday was last night and the teams are now finalized for the 2013 March Madness tournament. We’re going to take a look at the four brackets to see what teams have the best chance to advance and what teams could face an early elimination.

Region Team
Midwest Louisville
South Kansas
West Ohio State
East Miami, FL

2013 March Madness Midwest Region Preview

Louisville to Win the Midwest Region +128

#1 Louisville is the team to beat in the Midwest region this year after securing the #1 overall seed. Louisville has a tough defense that allows just 58 PPG (14th) and the offense this year has been a lot better, as they’ve averaging 73.6 PPG (42nd).

After earning a Final Four bid last year Louisville should easily make it to the Sweet Sixteen this year. I expect that Louisville will have to play the Billikens in the S16, which will be a tough game that can’t be overlooked, as #4 St. Louis is a potential sleeper.

Gorgui-Dieng-MM#2 Duke and #3 Michigan State are both in the Midwest region as well. Duke is going to be a tough out with Ryan Kelly healthy, but I don’t expect them to make a deep run. If #7 Creighton beats #10 Cincinnati I think Creighton could upset the Blue Devils.

Doug McDermott is one of the best players in the country and Creighton’s offense can be overpowering for teams. MSU will be tough as well in the Midwest, as Izzo always has his team ready to play in the big dance. However, I don’t like MSU this year.

MSU only scores an average of 68.2 PPG (152nd) and they rely too heavily on their defense. MSU has a tough match-up to begin the tourney against Valparaiso who ranks 6th in the country in FG%. If they win that they’d most likely play Memphis next.

I think we’ll see a surprise or two on the bottom of the bracket in the Midwest, but I expect Louisville to win and move onto the Final Four again this year. MSU and Duke both have tough match-ups early on and Louisville is heating up at the right time.

Duke is the only team in the Midwest that I could see pulling off the upset and winning the region. Duke beat Louisville earlier in the season (76-71) at home, but on a neutral court I give the edge to the Cardinals. I like the Billikens to win two games as well.

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2013 March Madness South Region Preview

Kansas to Win the South Region +305

I think that the South region is going to be tough for the top seed #1 Kansas. I have a futures bet on the Jayhawks and Tar Heels and it turns out that these two teams will meet in the 3rd round of the 2013 March Madness tournament if they both advance.

Kansas will advance against WKU and with the way UNC is playing I expect them to beat Villanova. Kansas can play like one of the best teams in the nation, but they can also play lousy and get blown out against teams they shouldn’t be losing against.

Jeff-Withey-MMThe Jayhawks should cruise through the South region if they play like they have throughout most of the season. Kansas gets it done on offense with an average of 75.4 PPG (24th). UNC has an injured Hairston to deal with and that hurts their chances.

The biggest challenges for Kansas will be from #2 Georgetown and #3 Florida. The Gators got snubbed with a #3 seed, but it isn’t a big deal. I think the Gators will step up their game and advance to the E8 where they’ll play the Jayhawks.

Georgetown has some very impressive wins this year, but the Gators are a better team in my opinion. Florida needs to be hitting the 3-ball to have success in the tournament, but they also have an inside game with Young that they need to utilize.

Otto Porter Jr. will get the Hoyas into the S16, but I don’t think they have the depth to beat Florida. We may even see the Gators beat the Jayhawks in the E8 game, but I’ve already bet the Jayhawks to win the championship earlier this year.

#4 Michigan and #5 VCU are both in the South region as well. They’ll most likely play each other with the winner playing KU. I’m not high on either team after watching them during their conference tournaments and I think KU can handle both of them.

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2013 March Madness West Region Preview

Ohio State to Win the West Region +347

#1 Gonzaga is going to have a tough time advancing in the West region. They had a fairly weak schedule this season and the Zags were just 1-2 in games against T25 opponents with a win against Oklahoma State and losses against Butler and Illinois.

I have the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes advancing to the Final Four in the West region, as they should be able to beat Gonzaga if they have to play them in the E8 round. OSU really shouldn’t have much of a problem in the West region in my opinion.

Deshaun-Thomas-MM#3 New Mexico isn’t that strong of a team and they haven’t been tested like OSU this year. I actually like Belmont as a sleeper to knock-off New Mexico in the 3rd round if they play each other, but I can’t see Belmont hanging with the Buckeyes.

I don’t see #4 Kansas State or #6 Arizona doing well this year in the West region, but I think that #9 Pittsburgh will win their 1st game at the very least. I also expect #5 Wisconsin to make a run and they could even knock-off the Zags in the bracket.

Wisconsin looked good during their conference tournament where they finished 2nd place behind OSU. When Wisky isn’t nailing their shots they struggle, but if they can string together a few more games they could make a push during March Madness.

This region should really be a battle between the top seeds. Gonzaga is great offensively (77.6 PPG – 12th) and they have one of the best FG% in the nation, but they haven’t played too many strong defensive teams and I think that’s the difference.

OSU has been playing the top teams in the country all season and is battle tested. Their record may not look as nice, but they just won the Big Ten conference championship and have a current winning streak of 8 games dating back to last month.

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2013 March Madness East Region Preview

Miami FL to Win the East Region +323

The East region is also unlikely to have many big surprises. I thought #2 Miami FL should have been a #1 seed, but even as a #2 seed I like them to advance. The toughest competition for Miami FL is going to be from the #1 Indiana Hoosiers.

Indiana is the co-favourite to win the championship this year behind Louisville. Indiana was once the favourite, but they’ve been inconsistent down the stretch with losses against Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin in the Big Ten tourney.

Kenny-Kadji-MMCody Zeller leads the Hoosiers team in points and rebounds this year, but the team does have depth. Indiana ranks 3rd in points scored per game (80 PPG) and 7th in FG% (48.6%). Beating the Hoosiers will be tough, but I like the experience on Miami FL.

Miami FL just won the ACC tournament this past week after beating UNC in the finals. The team only averages 69.4 PPG (118th), but they play tough defense and the team is very experienced, which always plays a role in tournaments like this.

#3 Marquette and #4 Syracuse are both having down years and are unlikely to surprise us during the tourney. I like #5 UNLV and #8 NC State, but beating the Hoosiers will be tough and both of them could end up playing Indiana during the tournament.

Some bettors have been predicting that #6 Butler will make a run, but I don’t see it happening. Butler had some big wins early in the year against UNC and Indiana, but down the stretch they’ve had some very mediocre losses and I think they lose to Bucknell.

I feel that Indiana will be playing Miami FL in the E8 game and I like the Hurricanes. They have an easier path to the E8 and I think they have the players to defend against Zeller down low, which will put more pressure on the rest of the team to hit shots.

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has written 67 awesome posts on tipsandpicks.com.

Scott primarily focuses on the US sports at Tips and Picks and he spends most of his time analyzing the betting markets to ensure bettors always get the best odds