NCAA Tournament 2013 predictions: Arizona on upset alert early

Jeff Gross

The Wildcats are picked by most to beat Belmont in their first-round game, but a few have the Bruins pulling off the upset and moving on to face New Mexico.

The Arizona Wildcats were inconsistent in the second half of the year, and as a result, experts are split on whether or not they will beat the No. 11 Belmont Bruins Thursday night.

For more on the story, visit Arizona Desert Swarm.

The Bruins come into the game winners of six straight, including an overtime win over Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game. SB Nation's bracketologist Chris Dobbertean believes Belmont has a perimeter advantage over Arizona that it can exploit en route to an upset. Dobbertean then has Belmont losing to New Mexico in the next round.

But just three of the 13 experts at CBS agree with Dobbertean. The other 10 are going with the Wildcats, led by Jeff Goodman, who has them advancing all the way to the Elite Eight before falling to top-seeded Gonzaga. Mateen Cleaves and Wally Szczerbiak, both of whom know a thing or two about winning in March, have Arizona beating New Mexico to reach the Sweet 16.

Jay Bilas from ESPN acknowledges that Belmont will be a tough opponent for Arizona, but cites the Wildcats' advantage up front as the main reason why they will survive and advance to meet the New Mexico Lobos.

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