2013 NCAA Bracket Breakdown

NCAA-Bracket-games-2013[2]

 

The Field of 68 has been selected and now it is time to make your picks, but first comes the research. Sure, you could just throw darts and hope for the best, but it helps to read up on the teams in the tourney before filling out your brackets. In this article, I will do my best to help breakdown the bracket for you followed by a recipe for Barbecue Snapper with Rum.

 

 

 

This years marks College basketball Men’s Championship’s 75th Annniversary. The four No. 1 seeds are Louisville (29-5), Kansas (29-5), Gonzaga (31-2) and Indiana (27-6). The Cardinals are the top overall seed and landed in the Midwest region (Indianapolis), meaning they get to play the first few rounds in their own backyard.

 

 

SOUTH BREAKDOWN (North Texas)

The South has five viable Final Four teams. Offensively-challenged Kansas will be vulnerable from the second round on but their suffocating defense (opponents shoot 35.8 percent) can produce another trip to the Final Four. The Hoyas are one of the nation’s top defensive teams, but like Kansas, Georgetown sometimes has problems scoring. Florida is a sleeper national title contender. The Gators are one of the nation’s best shooting teams (48.4 pct.) and have a stout defense (opponents shoot 37.3 pct.), a potent combination. Michigan has a ton of talent but is young. Bolstered by swarming, talented guard play, Virginia Commonwealth is more talented than its Final Four team.

 

EAST BREAKDOWN (Washington, DC)

Indiana got a good draw and I think this is the easiest regional. Many believe Cody Zeller and the Hoosiers are the team to beat for the national title. Miami has a sparkling resume but lacks NCAA Tournament experience. Marquette is solid but may be overrated and have rebounding issue. Inconsistent Syracuse is capable but I have a feeling they could lose early in the tournament.Indiana, fourth in the nation in scoring (80.0), is entertaining with a lot of weapons. The Hurricanes, the ACC champions don’t have a major weakness and will be the one to challenge the Hoosiers bid to make it out of this region.

 

MIDWEST BREAKDOWN (Indianapolis)

The Midwestmight be the toughest regional, but my money is on the South being the one that busts your bracket. Louisville is the No. 1 overall seed, but Rick Pitino’s squad is in a region with two of college basketball’s coaching legends. The Cardinals, riding a 10-game winning streak, are on a roll and are the team to beat. Louisville junior guard Russ Smith (18.1 ppg) is the top weapon, but the Cardinals win with defense. The Duke Blue Demons are capable of giving Coach K his 12th Final Four appearance and maybe his fifth national title, but they must navigate through this challenging bracket. MichiganState is gritty but has fallen just short in several big games. To reach a Final Four, the Spartans have to play at their very best and cannot make any mistakes.

 

WEST BREAKDOWN (Los Angeles)

Gonzaga has a viable shot at making its first Final Four appearance. Critics claim the Bulldogs haven’t played a demanding schedule. Gonzaga hasn’t advanced past the Sweet 16 since 1999, But 7-footer Kelly Olynyk (17.5 ppg) and 6-8 forward Elias Harris (14.9 ppg) are seasoned stars on coach Mark Few’s best team. Ohio State has a star in junior F Deshaun Thomas (19.6 ppg). The Buckeyes, a tough matchup for most teams, often keep games in the 60s. Steve Alford’s New Mexico Lobos (29-5) won the Mountain West, which produced five NCAA Tournament teams. The senior laden Lobos are capable of making a Final Four run. No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 New Mexico appear on a collision course.

 

 

UPSET ALERTSSouth

I like Minnesota over UCLA: The Gophers slumped down the stretch, going 2-7 but one of those wins was against Indiana. Minnesota has underachieved but can dominate the boards. The Gophers were a respectable 5-5 against top 25 teams, including wins over Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin. UCLA is vulnerable without guard Jordan Adams, who suffered a season-ending broken foot in the Pac 12 tournament. #4 Michigan could lose to #13 South Dakota State. The young, talented Wolverines can play with anyone but make too many mistakes, G Nate Wolters (22.7 ppg) and the Jackrabbits could post an upset.

 

UPSET ALERTSEast

How about Bucknell over Butler: This isn’t the same type of Butler team that made Final Four runs. The Bulldogs finished third in the Atlantic 10 behind Saint Louis and Virginia Commonwealth. Led by senior forward Mike Musala, who leads the nation with 22 double-doubles, the Bison are primed for another upset. #14 Davidson could scare # 3 Marquette and #10 Colorado is basically in a pick ’em against #7 Illinois.

 

UPSET ALERTSMidwest

You think Middle Tennessee can beat Memphis?: The Tigers are athletic, but the Blue Raiders are capable of advancing if they first dispose of St. Mary’s in a first-round game in Dayton Although either could beat the Tigers. I think the Blue Raiders will win the first round game and run into Michigan State. #5 Oklahoma State faces #12 Oregon (who won the Pac-12 tournament), many people think that the ducks are underrated, I’ll agree,  I could see the ducks winning along with #10 Cincinnati who take on #7 Creighton. The Bear Cat’s Junior forward Doug McDermott (23.1 ppg, 7.5 rebs) might be the best player in the country, but his team had a tailspin late in the regular season. #4 Saint Louis (27-6, champions of Atlantic-10), and #3 Michigan State (25-8), appear to pose the biggest challenge to Louisville making a return trip to the Final Four.

 

UPSET ALERTSWest

It seems like everyone is taking Belmont over Arizona: A popular pick on several brackets, Belmont is this year’s trendy upset pick. The senior oriented Ohio Valley champions are led by senior guards Ian Clark (18.1 ppg) and G Kerron Johnson (13.7 ppg). The Bruins like to pick up the tempo (77.2 ppg), capable of posing perimeter issues for the Wildcats, who average 13 turnovers a game. #7 Notre Dame has a tough matchup vs. #10 Iowa State: The hot and cold Irish can be dangerous when they bring their A game but face capableIowaState, the nation’s top 3-point team.

 

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Barbecue Snapper with Rum

 

INGREDIENTS:

2 2-pound Snappers, gutted and scaled

 

Rum Marinade:

3 Tbs olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp oregano

1 Tbs kosher Salt

½ Tbs ground Pepper

1 cup orange juice

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup dark rum

 

PREPARATION:

In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper.  Cook 2 more minutes.

Add juices, and rum. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool.

Rinse fish under cold running water.  Make three 2-inch slits on each side of the fish. Place fish in a freezer bag and pour the sauce over the snapper.

Seal and marinate in the fridge for about an hour.

Remove fish from marinade and dry with paper towel. Save marinade. Drizzle with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill until the first side is brown and crisp, 5-7 minutes.  Baste occasionally with rum marinade.

Carefully turn the fish and continue cooking and baste again, another 5-7 minutes.

 

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