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2013 March Madness: 10 Lower Seeds That Could Make Sweet 16 Run

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2013 March Madness: 10 Lower Seeds That Could Make Sweet 16 Run

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA tournament has finally arrived. College Basketball fans all over the country are frantically filling out their brackets and trying to figure out which teams are capable of upsets, while college coaches are looking at brackets to determine which team might be their biggest threat down the stretch. Unfortunately, unlike last year with the Kentucky Wildcats, there isn’t a clear top team in the NCAA, which will set up a crazy, unpredictable post-season.

This tournament is going to be one of the best in history; rarely has there been a more open field. Gonzaga is the only team in the entire tournament with less than three losses, which shows that no team is infallible. Every one-seed this season, except Gonzaga, has had a surprising loss or two. It’s called March Madness for a reason; expect multiple upsets throughout the tournament and many surprising teams to make it to the Sweet 16.

Everybody loves the “Cinderella” team in the NCAA tournament. Over the past few years, teams like VCU and Butler have made names for themselves by knocking off top tournament teams and advancing to the Final Four. This season, there are many teams that could pull upsets, as well as many low-seeded teams that could go a lot farther in the tournament than many would expect them to be capable of going. This season will be a good NCAA tournament year for non-Big 6 conference teams.

Here’s a look at ten lower-seeded teams that could pull off a few upsets and make the Sweet Sixteen:

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No. 10 San Diego State Aztecs

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The Aztecs competed in an extremely tough Mountain West Conference. If Jamaal Franklin can get hot, San Diego State could easily make the Sweet 16.

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No. 9 Oregon Ducks

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon is the type of team that has been up and down all season. The Ducks have the talent level to make it to the Sweet 16; however, whether they can string a few wins together remains to be seen.

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No. 8 Temple Owls

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Five of the Temple’s losses have been by five points or less. The Owls compete in every game; with a little luck, they could pull off a major upset or two.

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No. 7 Belmont Bruins

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Belmont is an experienced and talented team. The Bruins are a complete package and could be this NCAA tournament’s VCU.

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No. 6 Wichita State Shockers

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Wichita State looked unstoppable at the beginning of the season but started slipping towards the end. The Shockers need to start playing high quality basketball again if they want to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

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No. 5 Bucknell Bison

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

The only loss by more than three points that the Bison have suffered all season was to Princeton. This team knows how to compete, but has to win two tough games to get to the Sweet 16.

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No. 4 Minnesota Golden Gophers

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Minnesota has knocked off some of the best teams in the Big 10, but still had a very poor record once conference play started. The Gophers started the season 15-1 and need to get back to that form soon.

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No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

This team believes it can win the national championship. Marshall Henderson is the leading scorer in the SEC, and Reginald Buckner is the SEC’s block leader. This team is good offensively and defensively.

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No. 2 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina State has all the tools to be a Final Four team, but hasn’t played up to par this season. If the Wolfpack start knocking down threes, they can beat any team in the country.

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No. 1 Missouri Tigers

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Missouri is one of the most talent laden nine seeds in NCAA tournament history. When Phil Pressey, Laurence Bowers, and Alex Oriakhi play well, the Tigers are nearly unstoppable. Most of their losses this season were by one possession.