Ranking the 10 Most Overhyped Teams in College Basketball This Season

Doug Brodess@DougbrodessCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2013

Ranking the 10 Most Overhyped Teams in College Basketball This Season

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    During the course of the 2012-13 season, we have seen No. 1 teams come and go.

    We have witnessed outrageous upsets and disappointing losses.

    And, we've heard about some teams on a weekly basis, while other programs seem to only enjoy moments of media consideration even if they are having unbelievable seasons.

    Here is a ranking of this season's 10 most overhyped teams in college basketball

    This list is the mixture of two types of overhype.

    One type is from excessive coverage of a legitimate team.

    The other type is top-heavy attention that is the result of an exaggerated estimate of how good a team actually is.

    Let's do this!


    Stats and team information provided by ESPN.com

10. Ole Miss Rebels

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    Over the years, Ole Miss basketball has had sporadic success. So, when the Rebels are doing well, it’s worth talking about.

    This season, Andy Kennedy’s crew started on fire, winning 17 of their first 19 games. They were ranked as high as No. 16 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls. Uncommon territory for Ole Miss.

    Also, Mississippi’s eccentric, high-scoring SG, Marshall Henderson, creates his own run of media madness.

    Unfortunately for the Rebs, their season has taken a tumble, as they have now lost six of their last 10 games, and are on the verge of not making the NCAA tournament.

9. Florida Gators

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    For most of the 2012-13 season, the Florida Gators have been the most legitimate team in the SEC.

    Currently in first place in the conference and ranked  No. 8 in the AP and No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, Florida gets a lot of genuine coverage and buildup.

    Because the Gators are presently the only ranked SEC program, Billy Donovan’s squad catches that much more media attention.

8. North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    Riding the wave of its 2012 NCAA tournament success, North Carolina State entered into this season as the conference’s preseason favorite according to the ACC Coaches' Poll.

    Opening the year ranked No. 6, the Wolfpack enjoyed some early season sizzle, as they went 14-2 and beat the (then) No. 1 Duke Blue Devils.

    Since mid-January, the sizzle has turned into sputter, as NC State has gone 7-6 and dropped out of the polls altogether.

7. Louisville Cardinals

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    The Louisville Cardinals kicked off the 2012-13 season as No. 2 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches' Poll.

    After going 16-1 and being voted as the No.1 team in the Week 11 polls, the Cards went into a mini free fall, losing three straight Big East games.

    They shook themselves, and Louisville has pulled out of their dive, winning eight of their last nine contests.

    Regardless of whether the Cardinals are on top, head coach Rick Pitino is a media-attention magnet and a human highlight reel himself.

6. Syracuse Orange

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    Syracuse’s 2012-13 campaign has played out like a television drama that we have seen before.

    The Orange started out the season ranked No. 9 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls.

    By winning 18 of its first 19 games, Jim Boeheim’s bunch scratched and clawed its way to a No. 3 ranking in the Week 12 polls.

    Since then, Syracuse has been scuffling in Big East play. The Orange are 4-6 since late January, including a current three-game skid.

    Is this stretch a product of the quality of the conference or the ordinariness of the Orange?

5. Indiana Hoosiers

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    It is good for college basketball when certain programs are winning and competing for championships.

    Indiana is one of those programs.

    Tom Crean has tirelessly slogged through the massive job of rebuilding IU hoops and is leading the Hoosiers through a distinctive season.

    Indiana was ranked No. 1 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches preseason Polls.

    Center Cody Zeller was selected as the preseason national Player of the Year. And, now, the Hoosiers' high-flying guard, Victor Oladipo, has vaulted into the middle of the national player of the year dialogue.

    At three separate times during the 2012-13 season, Indiana has lost while being the No. 1 team in the nation.

4. Duke Blue Devils

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    Duke is Duke.

    The Blue Devils are, at the same time, the standard-setters and evil villains of college basketball.

    While this year’s team does not have the unforgettable talent level of some past Blue Devil teams, it is certainly well positioned for a deep run in March Madness.

    Even though it was without the services of senior power forward Ryan Kelly for 13 games, Coach K’s crew is rolling as Kelly roared his return this past weekend with a 36-point, seven-rebound performance against Miami.

    Duke’s combination of balanced scoring (all five starters averaging double figures) and experience (three senior starters: Kelly, Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry) makes the Blue Devils a tough matchup for anyone.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels

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    North Carolina lost four of five starters from last year’s Elite Eight team.

    But the Tar Heels returned lots of talent, and they started off the 2012-13 season as No. 11 in the AP poll.

    It didn’t take long before UNC showed signs of shakiness.

    After handily winning their first four games, the Tar Heels went 3-4 with ugly losses to Butler and Texas.

    UNC lost three of its first six ACC games and is still fighting to recover and return to the Top 25 rankings.

2. UCLA Bruins

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    Bruins head coach Ben Howland finished last season on UCLA’s hot seat.

    One more season of turmoil on and off the court like last year, and Howland would be history.

    But then, the Bruins “hit the lottery,” pulling in the 2012 No. 1 recruiting class, including superstar wing Shabazz Muhammad. And the hype machine started working overtime.

    Some said that the Bruins had found their "savior." (h/t nextgenjournal.com) Predictions of "a new era in UCLA basketball" were immediate and plentiful. (h/t ocregister.com)

    The actual results have been gradual and inconsistent.

    The jury is still out on this year’s team. It has a shot at winning the Pac-12 championship.

    But, regular-season titles are not the yardstick in Westwood.

1. Kentucky Wildcats

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    The Kentucky Wildcats are this year’s most overhyped team in college basketball.

    From the beginning of the year, the 2012-13 Cats were expected to ring up another national championship for head coach John Calipari and the Big Blue Nation.

    Even after the team lost three of their first seven games and showed that it was definitely a work in progress, many still applauded its abilities and celebrated its skills.

    Right now, UK is dangerously close to being the eighth team to win the NCAA tournament one year and then miss March Madness the next. The other seven teams are:

    • Kentucky in 1979 (after winning in 1978)
    • Michigan State in 1980
    • NC State in 1984
    • Louisville in 1987
    • Kansas in 1989
    • Florida in 2008
    • North Carolina in 2010