Nightmare Matchups for Skill No. 1 Seeds in the 2023 NCAA Tournament

Nightmare Matchups for Skill No. 1 Seeds in the 2023 NCAA Tournament

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    Zach Edey

    Zach EdeyJeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire by capability of Getty Photos

    Earning a No. 1 seed in the lads’s NCAA basketball tournament is each a huge accomplishment and the most life like in all probability indicator of imaginable success.

    That with out a doubt isn’t very any shock, furious by a top billing is the bellow results of in-season excellence. No varied seed accounts for extra Remaining Four appearances or national champions, in particular the latter.

    However in every tournament, no decrease than three No. 1 seeds are assured to lose at some level.

    Earlier than the 2023 bracket is released, followers of projected top groups needs to be hoping to preserve away from seeing one particular opponent positioned in their favourite college’s station on Need Sunday.

    Remaining Three hundred and sixty five days, for instance, we identified Baylor wanting no share of North Carolina in the 2d round. Alas.

    As of the Bracket Matrix update on March 8, 5 packages—Alabama, Houston, Kansas, Purdue and UCLA—are doable top seeds. Our focal level is figuring out a challenging matchup for every of them in the Sweet 16 or earlier.

    Make your picks: Play the NCAA March Madness Men’s Bracket Enlighten and Tournament Fling.

UCLA Bruins

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    Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr.

    Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr.Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Photos

    Nightmare Matchup: Texas A&M Aggies

    UCLA’s Enlighten

    Few offenses are as allergic to threes as UCLA, which makes an strive fewer than 30 percent of its photos from the perimeter. For the reason that Bruins delight in a mammoth protection, that reliance on two-level jumpers—the 12th-highest rate nationally, per—has worked out.

    However if UCLA meets an opponent that excels defensively all thru the arc, the aptitude for an upset is unmistakable.

    Texas A&M’s Energy

    Wide protection has additionally carried Texas A&M this season. Most impressively, opponents delight in hit a meager 32.7 percent—the seventh-worst rate in the nation—on two-level jumpers.

    So, yeah, no longer an most life like in all probability matchup for UCLA!

    Both packages nefarious decrease than 220nd in tempo, per This is in overall a appropriate, ol’ fashioned rock fight in a thorny doable 2d-round clash for UCLA, which additionally wouldn’t thoughts escaping Huge Ten colleges Michigan Impart and Northwestern for an analogous causes.

Purdue Boilermakers

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    WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - JANUARY 13: Purdue Boilermakers guard Fletcher Loyer (2), guard Ethan Morton (25), guard Braden Smith (3) and center Zach Edey (15) take the floor during a college basketball game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on January 14, 2023 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

    Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire by capability of Getty Photos

    Nightmare Matchup: Duke Blue Devils

    Purdue’s Enlighten

    Zach Edey is Purdue’s threat. Only two varied gamers—Fletcher Loyer and Braden Smith—moderate higher than six capabilities. The problem is Loyer has persisted a monthlong frigid slip from the perimeter, while Smith’s scoring contributions are total inconsistent.

    Barring a string of unparalleled success, the Boilers will inch into an opponent that would possibly perhaps well match up with the 7’4″ Edey. As soon as that occurs, Purdue desperately needs its complementary pieces to construct.

    Duke’s Energy

    Roaming the paint for Duke are NBA potentialities Dereck Active II and Kyle Filipowski, a pair of 7-footers.

    No longer coincidentally, per, the team is 25th in self-discipline-plan share allowed on the rim. Active himself blocks 2.3 photos per game, while Filipowski is lawful disquieted of one.

    On the quite rather a lot of conclude, the Blue Devils nefarious 48th in photos tried on the rim. Purdue, despite Edey’s presence, is a excellent 343rd defensively on those appears. It be resplendent to bid the Boilermakers wouldn’t thoughts Duke—plus Auburn and Arkansas, for appropriate measure—getting positioned on the different facet of the bracket.

    In case Purdue finally ends up as a No. 2, it is in all probability you’ll well want obtained to thrill in the Boilermakers shall be hoping the Blue Devils wind up with higher than a No. 7 seed—or worse than a No. 5 if Purdue is a top seed.

Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Brandon Miller and Nate Oats

    Brandon Miller and Nate OatsBrandon Sumrall/Getty Photos

    Nightmare Matchup: Saint Mary’s Gaels

    Alabama’s Enlighten

    Whereas the Crimson Tide gladly live to tell the tale the perimeter, they are no longer exactly an ambiance pleasant workers. Alabama ranks 10th in three-level strive rate nonetheless connects on lawful 33.9 percent of those tries—appropriate for 204th nationally.

    The offense atones for that instability with a commitment to rebounding; Bama is 50th in corralling its have misses and 17th total. Nonetheless, the Tide would possibly perhaps well additionally merely additionally be contained if a protection forces them to have the most life like in all probability shot the first time and no longer capitalize on 2d probabilities.

    Saint Mary’s Energy

    Can we please scrutinize this matchup? For posterity?

    Gonzaga no longer too long ago beat Saint Mary’s twice, so a speedy-paced offense, in theory, can rupture down the Gaels. Gonzaga, despite the indisputable reality that, is joyful with the mid-vary photos that the Saint Mary’s protection forces; Alabama makes an strive those on the third-lowest rate nationally and is 291st in making them.

    Whereas giving up offensive rebounds on the 2d-lowest rate, the Gaels play at KenPom’s fifth-slowest tempo—a stark dissimilarity to Alabama as the 2d-fastest team. The clash of kinds would possibly perhaps well be charming.

Houston Cougars

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    Marcus Sasser

    Marcus SasserJustin Ford/Getty Photos

    Nightmare Matchup: Florida Atlantic Owls

    Houston’s Enlighten

    Whereas the ranking is rather skewed by “we’re losing and must shoot threes” moments from opponents, Houston additionally invitations perimeter photos. The protection has the 16th-highest three-level strive rate allowed.

    For the reason that Cougars play so slowly—347th in tempo, per KenPom—a sizzling-shooting offense shall be crushing to Houston.

    FAU’s Energy

    Equally, the asterisk here is competition level. Florida Atlantic has played an most life like in all probability schedule all season, most particularly splitting games with SEC opponents Florida and Ole Plug over.

    Nonetheless, FAU is 32nd in three-level strive rate and 20th in long-vary share. Seven members of the Owls’ rotation hoist no decrease than 2.8 triples per game, and 5 gamers hit 36 percent or higher—in conjunction with each Johnell Davis and Reduce Boyd at 41-plus percent. Only eight offenses delight in buried 10-plus threes in extra games than FAU’s 18.

    Throw in FAU ranking 23rd in opponent offensive rebound rate, and it would possibly perhaps well additionally outshoot Houston while neutralizing a key energy.

Kansas Jayhawks

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    Dajuan Harris Jr.

    Dajuan Harris Jr.Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire by capability of Getty Photos

    Nightmare Matchup: Arkansas Razorbacks

    Kansas’ Enlighten

    One particular person is rarely any longer going to singlehandedly resolve the conclude results of a game, nonetheless Dajuan Harris Jr. is totally checking out that perception.

    Within the Jayhawks’ wins, he’s shot 51.8 percent from ground and drilled 50 percent of his three-pointers. However in six losses, Harris has linked on a shapely 17.1 percent of makes an strive with a 15.4 long-distance clip.


    The short model is “any program with a backcourt that would possibly perhaps well frustrate Kansas” for a entire game. Arkansas with out a doubt fits the mildew.

    Davonte Davis is a tenacious guard who averages 1.4 steals and earned All-SEC Defensive Crew honors. Around him, the Razorbacks delight in an packed with life perimeter workers that permits the 36th-lowest three-level clip in the nation.

    Arkansas hasn’t packed noteworthy of a scoring punch nonetheless is more fit all thru the arc. Kansas is most life like in all probability moderate at scuffling with and defending photos on the rim, so two of the Jayhawks’ top vulnerabilities match the Hogs’ preferences.

    Exhibit: Stats appropriate as of March 10.

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