March Madness 2009: Five Long Shots To Win NCAA Tournament

ctsports picksAnalyst IJanuary 19, 2009

With only one NFL game left it is time to turn my attention to NCAA basketball. It is hard to believe the NCAA tournament selection show is only 55 days away. I'm going to look at five teams that present a lot of value with eight weeks remaining in the season. To make the list I will only consider teams who odds makers have listed at 10-1 or higher so as of 1/19/09, that rules out the following teams: UNC, UConn, Louisville, Duke, and Pitt. Very interesting that the odds makers' five favorites are all from the Big East and ACC.

5. Michigan State 20-1

The Spartans are currently in the top five in the RPI and I have them in the top 10 in my power poll. I look for Tom Izzo's squad to receive a No. 2 seed when the brackets are released. This Michigan St. team is very similar to past Spartans' teams. They are solid on defense and a very hard-nosed team. They are led in scoring by Ramar Morgan, who is averaging nearly 15 ppg. Kalin Lucas does a great job running the offense with nearly a 5-1 assist to turnover ratio while averaging 13 ppg. My one concern about this team is the lack of a dominant center.

4. Wake Forest 15-1

They are currently 11th in the RPI, top five in my power poll, and putting a strong resume together to lobby for a No. 1 seed. The Demon Deacons are undefeated and led by Jeff Teague, who is averaging 21 ppg. Joining Teague are Johnson, Aminu, and McFarland who all are averaging double-digits. This team had an easy schedule at the beginning of the year but has beaten UNC and won at Clemson Saturday.

3. Oklahoma 18-1

The Sooners are fourth in the RPI, eighth in my power poll and looking at a No. 2 seed. The Sooners are led by Players of the Year front runner Blake Griffin who is averaging... READ REST OF ARTICLE AND GET TOP TWO HERE!!