Ranking the 5 Most Disappointing Teams in College Basketball This Season
The beauty of college basketball is that a team that makes the most disappointing list in January could right the ship in time to win the national championship.
Of course, it doesn't always work out that way, but these teams need hope, right?
Some of the teams on this list have been disappointing only in the context of their expectations. But that's a part of the game, and if you're expected to contend for a national title or take a step forward and then you middle around mediocrity, you deserve to get called out.
These are the five most disappointing teams at this point in the college basketball season.
The Drexel Dragons (5-11, 1-3) returned nearly all their key pieces from last year's 25-win team that should've received an NCAA tournament berth.
Many felt they were primed for a run to the tournament as a dangerous out for anyone who landed them there.
With their dismal start, including bad nonconference losses to Illinois State and Rider, the only chance for the Dragons to break their 16-year tournament drought is to win the Colonial Athletic Association title.
That may still not be far out of the realm of possibility—the CAA is relatively weak this season—but something is going to need to drastically change quickly.
On the bright side, at least they don't have to contend with VCU.
The Dragons are already 1-3 in conference play with losses to Towson, Northeastern and James Madison.
The Florida State Seminoles (10-6, 2-1) lost a few key pieces from a team that last year won the ACC Championship, but they quickly restocked and reloaded.
The season began with high expectations, centered around All-American hopeful Michael Snaer and Ian Miller, but the Seminoles tripped literally right out of the gate.
Losses, at home no less, to South Alabama and Mercer are absolutely inexcusable. As is their total non-effort against in-state rival Florida in a 25-point blowout.
With the ACC schedule now in full swing, the 'Noles better get their act together quickly. They don't want to find themselves as one of those bubble teams come tournament time that has to explain those nonconference losses.
Say what you will for the North Carolina Tar Heels (11-5, 1-2)—they're not scaring anybody this year.
They were thoroughly unimpressive in nonconference play. They lost to Butler and Indiana, which are reasonable, and Texas, which isn't. Now they must face down a tough ACC schedule.
Perhaps even more troubling is that North Carolina wasn't even competitive in any of those games.
The Tar Heels have multiple problems, including the loss of many pieces from last year's team. Four key players, including Harrison Barnes, now play on the big stage, and depth is an issue.
A road win over Florida State this past weekend will likely ease some nerves around Chapel Hill, but consistency is key with a week off followed by matchups with Maryland, Georgia Tech and at in-state rival NC State.
Fair or not, the defending national champions have higher expectations than most teams. Even when they lose virtually every player who got them there to the NBA.
Many people felt that John Calipari's young Kentucky Wildcats (10-5, 1-1) team would be ready to immediately compete for tournament glory despite their youth and inexperience.
And they may well yet do so, but at this early stage, they'd have to be labeled a little disappointing. Again, as long as you keep it in the proper context.
Four of their five losses have come against teams that are virtual locks to be playing in March Madness. And they were competitive in all of those games.
The loss over the weekend to Texas A&M stings, especially when paired with it being at home and coming off a narrower-than-necessary win over Vanderbilt, but the 'Cats have plenty of time to get on a roll.
On a side note, that was the same A&M team that earlier this year lost to Southern.
The SEC isn't overly strong this year, so this is one team that should definitely find its way off this list.
With a brand-new conference, and several new pieces, it was understandable for Bob Huggins' West Virginia Mountaineers (8-7, 1-2) to struggle to adapt.
But far too often this season they have looked completely lost. Nonconference losses to Duquesne and Davidson don't look good on their ledger, and they've already dropped two games to new in-confernece rival Oklahoma.
The Mountaineers also blew a good chance to score and upset, and build some momentum, when they were narrowly defeated at home by Kansas State this weekend.
They have a tough road tilt at Iowa State on the horizon followed by winnable games with Purdue and TCU before a stern test at Oklahoma State.
For Bob Huggins' club, the time to turn things around is fast approaching.