2013 NCAA Tournament: First Weekend NBA Prospect Breakdown

2013 NCAA Tournament: First Weekend NBA Prospect Breakdown
Mar 17, 2013, 09:30 pm
With the 2013 NCAA Tournament Bracket officially set, we take a look at how the first weekend match-ups shape up from a NBA Draft perspective.

Note: The players listed next to each team are those appearing in our current rankings of the top-100 prospects for the 2013 draft.

Full Bracket


1 Louisville: #24 Gorgui Dieng, #46 Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell, Zach Price, Kevin Ware
16 North Carolina A&T/Liberty

8 Colorado State: #90 Colton Iverson, Daniel Bejarano
9 Missouri: #52 Phil Pressey, Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi, Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson, Stefan Jankovic, Negus Webster-Chan
San Jose

5 Oklahoma State: #5 Marcus Smart, #43 LeBryan Nash, Markel Brown, Michael Cobbins
12 Oregon: Arsalan Kazemi, Tony Woods, Damyean Dotson

4 St. Louis: Kwamain Mitchell
13 New Mexico State


Colton Iverson made quite a statement this past weekend in front of a horde of NBA scouts in Las Vegas with a 24 point, 16 rebound outing against UNLV in the Mountain West Conference tournament semifinals. He has an opportunity to continue his positive momentum against fellow NBA prospect big man Alex Oriakhi, and then potentially against Gorgui Dieng and Louisville should he advance. Iverson is a true center with the type of size and strength NBA teams often like to fill out their rosters with, and he couldn't have asked for better matchups to kick-start his draft process.

If Missouri advances on the other hand, we will have a very interesting matchup at the point guard position between Phil Pressey and a combination of Peyton Siva and Russ Smith. Louisville's full-court press is a daunting task for any point guard to deal with, but Pressey is one of the best ball-handlers in college basketball and has a chance to rebound from a somewhat disappointing SEC tournament showing.

Highly regarded freshman point guard Marcus Smart has his work cut out for him to reach the Sweet 16. Oregon is a difficult matchup already in the first round, and should his team manage to advance, they'll likely have to go through Cinderella candidate St. Louis, who are as aggressive and physical a team as you'll find.

Auburn Hills

6 Memphis: Adonis Thomas, Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson, Tarik Black, Shaq Goodwin, D.J. Stephens, Damien Wilson
11 Middle Tennesse State/St. Mary's:
Matthew Dellavedova (StM)

3 Michigan State: #23 Gary Harris, #68 Adreian Payne, #69 Branden Dawson, Derrick Nix, Keith Appling
14 Valparaiso: Ryan Broekhoff

7 Creighton: #56 Doug McDermott, Greg Echenique
10 Cincinnati: Cashmere Wright, Sean Kilpatrick, Shaq Thomas

2 Duke: #11 Mason Plumlee, #60 Rasheed Sulaimon, #72 Ryan Kelly, #93 Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, Amile Jefferson, Alex Murphy, Marshall Plumlee
15 Albany


Matthew Dellavedova is one of the most experienced players in college basketball, having seen significant minutes in the Olympics last summer with the Australian national team. His matchup with Memphis, should he advance, could be extremely interesting, as he's exactly the type of disciplined and mature player that can give the often wild and disorganized Tigers problems. Dellavedova has everything you look for in a prospect except NBA-caliber athleticism, so a strong showing against a quick and explosive bunch of defenders could be highly beneficial for his draft stock.

Fellow Australian Ryan Broekhoff was the last player cut from that same Olympic team that Dellavedova competed on, and even though he was very much under the radar in the Horizon league, he is an extremely productive and versatile player who has a lot to gain with a strong showing against Michigan State.

Doug McDermott will have his hands full in matching up with one of the best defensive teams in college basketball in Cincinnati. Creighton loves to get up and down and often struggles to stop their opponents from scoring, so this will be a real contrast in styles and likely a very interesting contest. Should Creighton manage to advance, many scouts will want to see how McDermott fares against Ryan Kelly and Duke, in what should be a very high scoring and entertaining matchup.

Kansas City

1 Kansas: #2 Ben McLemore, #31 Jeff Withey, #97 Elijah Johnson, Perry Ellis, Naadir Tharpe, Jamari Traylor, Andrew White
16 Western Kentucky

8 North Carolina: #19 James McAdoo, #51 Reggie Bullock, #83 P.J. Hairston, Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald, Marcus Paige, Desmond Hubert, Joel James, Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto
9 Villanova: Mouphtaou Yarou, JayVaughn Pinkston, James Bell, Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu
Auburn Hills

5 VCU: Juvonte Reddic, Briante Weber
12 Akron: #96 Zeke Marshall

4 Michigan: #14 Trey Burke, #20 Glenn Robinson, #80 Tim Hardaway Jr, Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary, Jordan Morgan
13 South Dakota State: #61 Nate Wolters, Jordan Dykstra


Christmas day for pundits also makes for a very highly anticipated matchup for NBA scouts as well. Should North Carolina manage to advance past Villanova, we'll be treated to a second round matchup featuring half a dozen top-100 prospects in addition to the Roy Williams/Bill Self grudge match. Reggie Bullock will have a major opportunity to give his draft stock a boost when matching up with Ben McLemore, and James McAdoo versus Jeff Withey will be a fascinating contrast of styles as well.

Normally we'd look forward to the VCU/Akron game as a chance to take a look at what Zeke Marshall can bring to the table against an athletic defender like Juvonte Reddic, but considering Akron lost their starting point guard to a marijuana trafficking charge, how many times Marshall will even touch the ball going up against VCU's “Havoc” defense becomes a concern.

Michigan versus South Dakota State will likely be one of the most popular first round games for scout's to take in, as it will feature two of the best point guards in college basketball—Trey Burke and Nate Wolters—going head to head. Wolters could really help his draft stock with a strong showing here. Whoever advances will have another outstanding test in a likely matchup with VCU and their defensive stalwart Briante Weber.


6 UCLA: #3 Shabazz Muhammad, #72 Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams (injured), Travis Wear, David Wear, Larry Drew, Norman Powell, Tony Parker
11 Minnesota: #74 Trevor Mbakwe, #91 Rodney Williams, Andre Hollins

3 Florida: #39 Patric Young, #58 Erik Murphy, Kenny Boynton, Casey Prather, Mike Rosario, Will Yeguete, Damontre Harris (redshirt), Braxton Ogbueze
14 Northwestern State


7 San Diego State: #27 Jamaal Franklin, Winston Shepard
10 Oklahoma: Amath M'Baye, Romero Osby, Steven Pledger, Cameron Clark

2 Georgetown: #8 Otto Porter, Greg Whittington, D'Vantes Smith-Rivera, Nate Lubick, Mikael Hopkins, Stephen Domingo
15 Florida Gulf Coast


Shabazz Muhammad will really have his hands full this upcoming weekend. Not only did he lose fellow freshman wing Jordan Adams to a season-ending injury, he'll have to go up against an extremely athletic Minnesota squad that is far more talented than your typical 11 seed. Should UCLA advance, they'll match up with the #2 defense in college basketball in Florida, a team that surely will have a major chip on their shoulder after being deemed just a 3 seed despite their strong numbers in the eyes of most computer ratings. UCLA and Florida have seen plenty of each other in the NCAA tournament the past few years, which only adds more intrigue to the matchup.

On the other side of this pod, Jamaal Franklin has a real chance to improve his draft stock in a matchup against Georgetown's Otto Porter, should both teams advance. The two couldn't be any more different in terms of their strengths and weaknesses and styles of play, which will make this an extremely popular game for NBA scouts to take in should it materialize.


1 Indiana: #4 Cody Zeller, #7 Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford, Will Sheehey, Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, HannerPerea
16 Long Island/James Madison: Jamal Olasewere (LIU)

8 North Carolina State: #30 C.J. Leslie, #32 T.J. Warren, #35 Lorenzo Brown, #48 Rodney Purvis, #73 Richard Howell
9 Temple: Khalif Wyatt
San Jose

5 UNLV: #6 Anthony Bennett, #100 Anthony Marshall, Mike Moser, Katin Reinhardt, Khem Birch, Bryce Dejean-Jones
12 California: #36 Allen Crabbe, Richard Solomon, Justin Cobbs

4 Syracuse #15 Michael Carter-Williams, James Southerland, Brandon Triche, C.J. Fair, Jerami Grant, Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman, Trevor Cooney
13 Montana Will Cherry


Richard Howell has quietly been putting up impressive numbers doing the dirty work for N.C. State all season long. Now he has an opportunity to make a name for himself at the national level with a strong showing against arguably the most skilled big man in college basketball, Indiana's Cody Zeller. Although they've underachieved this season relative to their talent-level, N.C. State has four top-100 prospects overall and should be a very popular ticket for scouts should they be able to advance past Temple in the first round.

Michael Carter-Williams will have to quickly forget his lackluster performance in the second half of the Big East Tournament finals, where he was dominated by Louisville's backcourt and seemingly folded under the pressure. His first round outing will be no cake-walk going up against the very athletic and defensive minded Will Cherry from Montana, who could very well view this game as a platform to elevate his professional outlook after an injury riddled season.

Should Syracuse advance, an extremely entertaining matchup with UNLV could await them, where super-freshman Anthony Bennett could be an X-factor as a zone buster for the talented Mountain West conference squad. Getting past Cal in San Jose will not be a give-in, though, so Bennett and co will have to be on upset alert.


6 Butler: Rotnei Clark, Kellen Dunham, Andrew Smith
11 Bucknell: #37 Mike Muscala

3 Marquette: Vander Blue, Davante Gardner, Trent Lockett, Jamil Wilson, Junior Cadougan
14 Davidson: De'Mon Brooks, Chris Czerapowicz, Jake Cohen

7 Illinois: #62 Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson
10 Colorado: #53 Andre Roberson, Josh Scott, Spencer Dinwiddie

2 Miami: #40 Shane arkin, #63 Kenny Kadji, Reggie Johnson, Durand Scott, Trey McKinney-Jones
15 Pacific:


Mike Muscala has been toiling in obscurity all season in the Patriot league, and could really use a strong outing or two against high-level competition to justify a team using a first round pick on him. Butler will surely throw the kitchen sink at him, and he has to be ready for that.

Illinois-Colorado features a very intriguing matchup in the backcourt between Brandon Paul and Spencer Dinwiddie, two players who share some strengths and weaknesses. Andre Roberson came into this season with major expectations and could really use a positive showing here, and potentially against Miami's strong frontcourt if he's to enter the 2013 draft with fewer question marks about his draft stock.

Shane Larkin is riding some serious momentum after an outstanding showing in the ACC tournament final. He's already hinted he'll be returning, but worded his statement in a way ("as it stands right now") that leaves some room for interpretation should Miami make a run to the Final Four.

Salt Lake City

1 Gonzaga: #12 Kelly Olynyk, #66 Przemek Karnowski, Elias Harris, Sam Dower, Kevin Pangos
16 Southern: Malcolm Miller

8 Pittsburgh: #22 Steven Adams, Lamar Patterson, J.J. Moore, Dante Taylor, Travon Woodall, Cameron Wright, Talib Zanna, Trey Zeigler, James Robinson, Malcolm Gilbert
9 Wichita State:
Cleanthony Early
Kansas City

5Wisconsin: Jared Berggren, Sam Dekker
12 Ole Miss: Marshall Henderson, Jarvis Summers, Reginald Buckner, Murphy Holloway, Anthony Perez-Cortesia

4 Kansas State: Rodney McGruder, Jordan Henriquez
13 Boise State/LaSalle: Jerrell Wright (Las)


Rarely do we get a chance to see two highly touted 7-foot NBA prospects going head to head on the same court at the college level, but that's exactly what we'll get if Pittsburgh and Gonzaga are able to advance to the round of 32. The two couldn't be any more different in terms of polish and style of play, which should make for an interesting matchup. The same can probably be said for the two teams as a whole.

On the other hand, Wisconsin's defense specializes in preventing opposing teams from hurting them from beyond the 3-point line. That's exactly what Marshall Henderson is built to do, though, as he averages an outrageous 14.0 3-point attempts per-40 minutes. Something has to give here, which will make for compelling basketball.

Salt Lake City

3 New Mexico: Tony Snell, Kendall Williams, Hugh Greenwood, Alex Kirk
14 Harvard: Siyani Chambers

6 Arizona: #49 Solomon Hill, #59 Brandon Ashley, Kaleb Tarczewski, Mark Lyons, Grant Jerrett, Nick Johnson, Kevin Parrom, Gabe York
11 Belmont: Kerron Johnson, Ian Clark

7 Notre Dame: #89 Jack Cooley, Jerian Grant, Cameron Biedscheid
10 Iowa State: Georges Niang, Will Clyburn, Melvin Ejim, Korie Lucious

2 Ohio State: #57 DeShaun Thomas, #86 Aaron Craft, Shannon Scott, Sam Thompson, Amir Williams, LaQuinton Ross, Amedeo Della Valle
15 Iona: Lamont Jones


New Mexico has been given a very difficult path to the Final Four, a place many analysts predicted they will end up after their impressive run through the competitive Mountain West conference. A potential second round matchup with Arizona could pit two of the best small forwards in college basketball against each other in Solomon Hill and Tony Snell. Both have a lot to gain from a strong Tournament showing, and both have some very unique strengths.

On the other end of the spectrum, DeShaun Thomas is surely at least thinking about the possibility of entering the NBA draft this spring, but he'll have his hands full inside the paint matching up with the very strong and physical Jack Cooley should the Buckeyes continue to go small. Notre Dame is not known for their defensive prowess, but is very talented offensively, which makes them the polar opposite of Ohio State, who can struggle to put points up at times.

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