2013 March Madness Tournament Preview & Futures Predictions

by Scott on February 5, 2013

We’re at the beginning of the 2013 March Madness tournament. Like last year, we began previewing the 2013 March Madness tournament early. This article will be updated regularly as the season progresses and we’ll also begin posting our game predictions once the conference tournaments start.

Early 2013 March Madness Picks

I’m betting 1U on the Jayhawks (+800) and a 1/2U on the Tar Heels (+6000) to win the 2013 NCAAB National Championship. I expect the odds on both these teams to shorten in the next month, so I’m grabbing these futures bets now.

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2013 March Madness Bubble Teams

(March 5th 2013)

The NCAA March Madness tournament this year has a fairly weak field. None of the teams standout as runaway winners and the teams fighting for a spot in the tournament still is expansive. A number of teams still have work to do if they want to earn a spot.

We took a look at some of the teams on the bubble a couple weeks back and we wanted to update our bubble watch. We took a look at five bubble teams in our last update and out of those four are still fighting while it appears that the Hawkeyes our out.

Let’s take a look at a few more teams that are on the bubble looking in. One of these teams has jumped up the rankings recently and is now in our bubble watch. That team is the Tennessee Volunteers who have been on a roll as of late.

Tennessee Volunteers (17-11)

Khalif-Wyatt-MMThe Volunteers did this last year and it looks like they may sneak in the tournament again on a late hot streak. They just lost to a weak Georgia team this month in the SEC, but before that loss the Volunteers had won six straight games against good teams.

Two of those wins were against #25 Kentucky and #8 Florida. Tennessee now boasts an RPI of 56 and a SOS of 38. That should be good enough to get into the tournament, but they need to win their next two games against Auburn and Missouri.

Tennessee is one of the worst scoring teams in the nation (66.4 PPG – 203rd), but they only allow 63.1 PPG (77th), which is great defense considering how tough their schedule has been. Tough defensive teams are often potential Cinderella teams.

Alabama Crimson Tide (19-10)

Alabama has a respectable 11-5 record in SEC play this season, but a terrible 1-5 stretch in December hurts their resume. Alabama won’t wow you on offense (63.1 PPG – 274th), but they get it done on the defensive side of the court (58.7 PPG – 20th).

The Crimson Tide had a tough 3OT loss against LSU in a game they had chances to win. This team has really come together down the stretch and with the tough defense they play I could see them making a push in the tournament if they can sneak in.

Alabama finishes the year with games against Georgia (Must Win) and Ole Miss. The game against Ole Miss is going to be huge because both teams are on the bubble right now. If Bama can beat Ole Miss at home that’ll help their resume.

Temple Owls (21-8)

Temple looks they’ll make it into the tournament again this year. Temple is just 9-5 in the A10 this year, but they also have a very impressive win over #3 Syracuse earlier in the season. Temple scores an average of 72.3 PPG (69th) and allows 67.9 PPG (202nd).

The Owls have a strong RPI rank of 42 and an SOS rank of 49. Temple has played multiple T25 teams this year and you could say that they’re battle tested. They likely won’t do much in the tournament if they get in, but they could win a game or two.

Temple ends the season at home against #21 VCU and if they could win that game they should get in for sure. Even if they lose I like their chances to get into the tournament. If they make it look for senior Khalif Wyatt to handle most of the scoring.

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(February 21st 2013)

I wanted to do a quick update to take a look at some of the teams on the bubble tonight. The conference schedule is starting to wind down and then we’ll just have the conference tournaments to clear the air before the 2013 March Madness tourney starts.

Iowa Hawkeyes (17-9)

Iowa still appears to be on the outside looking in, but they’ve made a recent push with 3 straight wins. They have to play Indiana still, which they’ll end up losing I’m sure, but they need to try and pick up wins in against Nebraska (2X), Purdue and Illinois.

The Hawkeyes have an RPI of 83 right now and I like the offense. They average 72.2 PPG (68th) and the team isn’t selfish, which is evident by their 5.8 APG (24th) on average. The team has depth and if they continue winning they may be able to sneak in.

St. John’s Red Storm (16-10)

JaKarr-Sampson-MMThe only reason St. John’s are still in the hunt is because of their RPI of 60. They just won a must-win home game tonight against UCF, but they have to face 3 ranked opponents (Pittsburgh, Notre Dame & Marquette) plus Providence to end the season.

St. John’s has some questionable losses though and the team missed out on improving their resume with recent losses against Syracuse and Louisville. Harrison, Sampson and Obekpa are good players, but they need to beat one of the ranked teams.

Villanova Wildcats (17-10)

Villanova shouldn’t even be in this discussion, but it’s because they shouldn’t be on the bubble. The team lacks consistent focus and they have some bad losses this season, but they also beat #5 Louisville and #3 Syracuse back-to-back weeks in January.

The beginning of the season hurt the Wildcats resume, but a win over Marquette, Pittsburgh or Georgetown to end the season would help. Villanova has beaten top competition and with an RPI of 57 I think they manage to earn a last four in selection.

Arizona State Sun Devils (20-7)

The Sun Devils have a great record and an RPI of 71, but their SOS is weak. A recent loss to Utah hurt, but they bounced back and won their L2 games against Colorado and Washington State. The win against Colorado boosted their resume last week.

ASU has a tough remaining schedule and going 3-1 would be excellent for them. Ending the season with a win against Arizona is going to be tough, but they could beat USC, UCLA and Washington. This team may need a deep run in their conference tourney.

Virginia Cavaliers (18-8)

Virginia is also on the bubble this year, but they should get in as well as long as they don’t collapse down the stretch. They have quality wins over UNC, NS State, Clemson and Maryland. They have lost their L2 though against UNC and Miami.

The Cavaliers have 3 games they should win to close out the year and another win over Maryland wouldn’t be a surprise. A win over Duke next week would be great for their resume. Virginia isn’t exciting, but their defense is amongst the best in college.

There are still a lot of teams on the bubble for the 2013 March Madness tournament right now. Some of the other teams still on the bubble include California, Temple, BYU, Alabama, Boise State, Baylor and several other teams. It’s wide open this year.

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2013 March Madness Top Contenders

(February 4th 2013)

#1 Indiana Hoosiers +600

Cody-Zeller-2013After beating the #1 Michigan Wolverines (81-73) last week the Hoosiers took over the #1 spot in the AP T25 Poll. Indiana is now 20-2 (8-1 in Big Ten). The Hoosiers two losses on the season were against Butler (88-86 in OT) and Wisconsin (64-59).

Indiana only has the 20th ranked SOS, but each time they’ve played a ranked team they’ve won. The Hoosiers have picked up T25 wins over North Carolina, Minnesota, Michigan State and Michigan this season and still have 5 games against T25 opponents.

The Hoosiers rank 2nd in points scored this season (83.8 PPG), 16th in rebounds (40.2 RPG) and 26th in assists (15.8 APG). The team is led by Cody Zeller who is averaging 16.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.4 BPG plus he’s the leader in minutes (28.7 MPG).

Indiana has three other scorers averaging double digits including Oladipo (14 PPG), Watford (12.9 PPG) and Hulls (11.1 PPG). All 3 shooters are shooting above 47.5% from beyond the arc and combined the three scorers have made 107 3-point shots.

#2 Florida Gators +400

The Florida Gators are on an incredible run right now and haven’t lost in their L10 games. The Gators are 18-2 (8-0 in SEC) and the two games they lost this season were in December against #8 Arizona (65-64) and Kansas State (67-61).

After making an Elite Eight run last year during March Madness, I think the Gators are a big threat. The Gators SOS rank is 11 right now and they have quality T25 wins against Wisconsin, Missouri and Ole Miss. They also have some tough games left.

Florida ranks 46th in points scored (74 PPG) and 7th in field goal percentage (49.6%). However, they struggle picking up rebounds and only rank 119th with an average of 36.3 RPG. Kenny Boynton is the leader on this team again this season.

Boynton is leading the team in minutes (31.7 MPG) and points scored (13.4 PPG) so far this season. Three other players on Florida average double digits in points on offense, but the team gets it done by ranking 2nd in points allowed on defense (50.4 PPG).

#5 Kansas Jayhawks +800

Ben-McLemore-2013After losing their two best players from last year in Robinson and Taylor you’d think the Jayhawks may struggle a bit this season, but they’re currently #5 in AP Poll with a record of 19-2 (7-1 in Big 12). They rank 7th in RPI and 6th in SOS currently.

Kansas lost their 2nd game of the year against #21 Michigan State (67-64) and didn’t lose again until this past weekend when they lost to Oklahoma State (85-80). The Jayhawks only have two wins over T25 opponents (Ohio State & Kansas State).

The Jayhawks rank 42nd in scoring (74.2 PPG), 30th in rebounds (38.9 RPG) and 40th in assists (15.4 APG). The Jayhawks offense is led by freshman Ben McLemore with 16.4 PPG. Jeff Whitey (13 PPG) and Travis Releford (12.6 PPG) are also scoring in DD.

Considering the tough SOS that the Jayhawks have played they rank very well. Kansas only allows 58.7 PPG (30th) and when this team is locked in offensively they can keep up with any team in the nation. After finishing 2nd last year I like Kansas to do well.

#4 Duke Blue Devils +800

Duke ranks 1st in RPI and 2nd in SOS this season. The Blue Devils are 19-2 (6-2 in ACC) and have one of the most potent offenses in the nation heading into March Madness. Duke ranks 13th in scoring (78 PPG), 33rd in assists (15.6 APG) and they shot 47.3% (28th).

The Blue Devils have struggled with rebounds, as they average just 35.7 RPG (149th). Duke also doesn’t rank well defensively, but that’s in part to the level of competition they’ve played throughout the season. Duke has gone 3-2 against T25 opponents.

Duke picked up quality wins early in the season against Kentucky (75-68), Louisville (76-71) and Ohio State (73-68). Duke lost two games this January against T25 opponents though. They lost against North Carolina State (84-76) and Miami FL (90-63).

Mason Plumlee is one of the best players in college basketball this season and he leads the Blue Devils in points (17.6 PPG) and rebounds (10.8 RPG). Seth Curry is another great player and he’s averaging 16.3 PPG. Duke will be tough come March Madness.

#3 Michigan Wolverines +700

Trey-Burke-2013I’m not sold on the Michigan Wolverines yet. The team ranks 7th in RPI, but their SOS rank is just 29. The Wolverines are currently 20-2 (7-2 in Big Ten), but they’re only 2-2 against T25 teams with wins against NC State (79-72) and Minnesota (83-75).

They lost a close one in January against Ohio State (56-53) and this past weekend they lost to Indiana (81-73). Michigan still has a total of four games left against T25 opponents and if they do well in those games I’ll start giving them more credit.

Michigan is still one of the best teams in the country, but they were favourites to win the championship and I don’t think they’ll be able to navigate the brutal March Madness schedule without losing. I could see the Wolverines being upset in the tourney.

The Wolverines rank 16th in points scored (77.8 PPG) and 27th in points allowed (58.6 PPG). Trey Burke is one of the best college basketball players this season and he leads the team with 18.2 PPG, but Tim Hardaway Jr isn’t far behind with 15.6 PPG.

#8 Miami (FL) Hurricanes +1400

Another team being touted by a lot of people is the Miami Hurricanes, but again I’m not sold on this team. They did beat #1 Duke (90-63) last month and have the #1 ranked SOS plus #2 ranked RPI, but this team isn’t pretty and don’t have a potent offense.

Miami only averages 69.5 PPG (120th), 36.5 RPG (111th) and 11.6 APG (265th) this season on offense. Those types of numbers aren’t going to fly in the March Madness tournament even though it has worked during the season, as Miami is 17-3 (8-0 in ACC).

The Hurricanes also have some terrible losses including a 63-51 loss to Florida Golf Coast and 57-55 loss to Indiana State. The best teams in the country don’t loss games against poor opponents like that and I can’t imagine Miami making the Final Four.

Miami (FL) has played well defensively and only allows 58.4 PPG (11th), but the offense isn’t strong enough in my opinion. This is a team that I’ll be fading in the tournament if the spreads are big enough and I’d advise not betting them to win the tourney.

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Potential 2013 March Madness Sleepers

(February 14th 2013)

#22 Oklahoma State Cowboys +7000

Markel-Brown-2013The Cowboys are only 15-5 (5-3 in Big 12), but they have the talent to beat any team in the country, which they showed everyone this past weekend when they beat Kansas (85-80) in a big upset. This team can play basketball on both sides of the court.

Oklahoma State only allows 59.2 PPG (38th) and they score 71.8 PPG (82nd). They have depth, as four players average DD in points including Markel Brown (15.5 PPG), Marcus Smart (14.2 PPG), Le’Bryan Nash (13.2 PPG) and Phil Forte (11.9 PPG).

Apart from a huge win against the Jayhawks, OSU has beat NC State (76-56) early in the season. The Cowboys have five losses including 2 against T25 opponents (Gonzaga & Kansas State) and 3 against unranked teams (Virginia Tech, Oklahoma & Baylor).

#19 Oregon Ducks

Oregon’s odds to win the NCAAB National Championship are drifting because of the two losses they had this past week against Stanford (76-52) and California (58-54). That brings the Ducks overall record on the season to 18-4 (7-2 in Pac-12).

The other two losses on the season were against Cincinnati (77-66) and UTEP (91-84 in 3OT). The UTEP loss hurt, but this team is tough and they have quality wins against three T25 opponents including UNLV (83-79), Arizona (70-66) and UCLA (76-67).

Oregon ranks 45th in scoring (74.1 PPG), 34th in rebounds (38.5 RPG) and 99th in assists (14 APG). The Ducks have tons of depth including five players that average over 10 PPG and I think this team could make a run to the Final Four potentially.

North Carolina Tar Heels +6000 & Kentucky Wildcats +3000

James-McAdoo-2013A lot of people have written off the North Carolina Tar Heels and Kentucky Wildcats already, but these two teams have a lot of talent and still possess two of the top offenses in the nation. If hot these two teams could make a surprise run in the tourney.

Kentucky ranks 15th in FG% (48.6%), 24th in rebounds (39.3 RPG), 29th in points (76.2 PPG) and 59th in assists (14.9 APG). UNC has an even better offense that ranks 8th in points (78.7 PPG), 3rd in assists (18.2 APG) and 2nd in rebounds (42.4 RPG).

The odds are paying well on both teams to win the tournament and you’d definitely be able to hedge if they make it to the E8 if you wanted, as I can’t see them being huge underdogs if they make it that far. These two teams are on my radar currently.

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About The Author

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