Originally published on Bleacherreport.com on March 22, 2013:
The second round of 2013 NCAA tournament kicked off in some style on Thursday, as the Harvard Crimson, Oregon Ducks and Cal Bears all pulled off impressive upsets against their higher-seeded opponents.
While Thursday’s slate of games have already provided fans with a little taste of upsets, Friday’s remaining second round schedule could prove to give them even more.
With the Round of 64 set to conclude on Friday, here are a couple of teams that should be on high alert for a possible upset.
UCLA Bruins (No. 6 South Region)
If losing Jordan Adams to injury wasn’t already bad enough, things got even worse for the Bruins when they were matched up to play the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The 11th-seeded Gophers have displayed their superiority rebounding the ball all season as they currently rank 17th in the nation in total rebounds per game (38.8) and eighth in rebounding margin with a margin of +8.2.
While these rebounding numbers may not mean much to some fans, these statistics show that the Bruins may be in for a long night on the glass. UCLA is currently ranked 250th in the nation in rebounding margin, as they lose the battle of the boards by an average of 1.9 rebounds per game.
Rebounding will be huge in this matchup and Minnesota is far superior to UCLA in this category. With Adams also being out, don’t be surprised to see the Bruins suffer an upset in Friday’s contest against the Gophers.
San Diego State Aztecs (No. 7 South Region)
The San Diego State Aztecs could potentially play spoiler to the Georgetown Hoyas in the third round, but only if they can make it past the 10th-seeded Oklahoma Sooners.
Led by Jamaal Franklin, the Aztecs rely heavily on their guard play to get them points, as the trio of Franklin, Xavier Thames and Chase Tapley combine for an average 40.0 points per game.
As for the Sooners, they run a completely different style on offense, as they look to pound the interior defense by getting it into their big men Romero Osby and AmathM’Baye. This duo of bigs currently put up a combined average 25.9 points per game.
The Aztecs could potentially be in trouble if the Sooners are able to control the game with their style on offense. With the Sooners making their first tournament appearance since 2009 (Aztecs’ 4th straight), the Sooners could also have the advantage of being the hungrier team coming into Friday.
(Check out the article on Bleacherreport.com here: March Madness 2013 Predictions: Teams on Huge Upset Alert Friday)