The 10 Most Overrated Teams in NCAA Tournament
The best part about the NCAA tournament is the upsets.
On one side of the upset, there is the underdog that receives all the attention for causing chaos during March Madness, but on the other side, there are typically teams that might not be as good as their seeds would indicate.
The following is a list of teams that are overrated based on where they are seeded and figure to mess up the all-chalk bracket.
Here are the 10 most overrated teams in the NCAA tournament.
Seed: No. 6 seed in the South Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 11 Minnesota in Austin, Texas
The reason for UCLA’s inclusion on this list is unfortunate. The Bruins were playing good basketball down the stretch, having won seven of eight entering the Pac-12 title game. However, UCLA received bad news when second-leading scorer Jordan Adams went down with a broken foot in the semifinal win over Arizona.
A No. 6 seed means that UCLA is among the top 24 teams in the country. Without Adams, are the Bruins that good? That certainly does not seem to be the case. UCLA could very well lose to Minnesota in the round of 64.
Seed: No. 6 seed in the West Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 11 Belmont in Salt Lake City
Arizona was 14-0 to start the year with wins over Florida and Miami. The Wildcats were in the running for a top seed in the NCAA tournament.
Then, Arizona lost five of its last 10 games and finished as the fourth seed in the Pac-12 tournament, which was not that strong of a league.
The Wildcats don’t have a true point guard and have been prone to some offensive dry spells throughout the course of a game. They also struggle defending the perimeter, allowing opponents to shoot 36 percent from three.
Arizona’s first game against Belmont will be tricky since the Bruins can put up a lot of points.
Seed: No. 6 seed in the Midwest Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 11 Middle Tennessee State/Saint Mary’s in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Memphis is 24-1 in its last 25 games, but the Tigers did most of their damage in conference against weak Conference USA foes.
The Tigers have plenty of talent, but they don’t do a good job taking care of the ball, averaging 15 turnovers per game. Memphis also shoots just 66.7 percent from the free-throw line, which could hurt in a close game.
7. Kansas State
Seed: No. 4 seed in the West Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 13 Boise State/La Salle in Kansas City
Kansas State has put together a really nice season in the first year under Bruce Weber, but the Wildcats have not shown they can beat elite teams.
They are 27-7, and of those seven losses, three have come to Kansas while the other two were to Michigan and Gonzaga. Kansas State’s win over Florida earlier in the year looks less impressive given how the Gators struggled down the stretch.
The Wildcats are playing in Kansas City, which bodes well for Kansas State. However, the first game will be tricky against either Boise State or La Salle.
Kansas State could win a game or two, but it is not a serious threat to make a Final Four run.
Seed: No. 3 seed in the East Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 14 Davidson in Lexington, Ky.
Marquette has made it to the Sweet 16 in each of the last two years, and as a No. 3 seed, the Golden Eagles are eyeing another deep run in March Madness.
However, Marquette has really struggled against quality teams outside of Milwaukee. It won in overtime at Pittsburgh, but outside of that, the best road or neutral-court win came over St. John’s.
The Golden Eagles have lost to Butler, Florida, Cincinnati, Louisville, Georgetown, Villanova and Notre Dame away from home. Because of their road struggles, it will be tough to trust the Golden Eagles in the NCAA tournament.
Seed: No. 1 seed in the West Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 16 Southern in Salt Lake City
Gonzaga is 31-2, and the Bulldogs have been rolling since a Jan. 19 loss to Butler, winning 14 games in a row. They earned a No. 1 seed based on their consistency, but the Bulldogs have the shakiest resume of the four top seeds.
The big unknown with Gonzaga is that it has not been challenged very often this season. The Bulldogs are 2-2 against teams that are seeded No. 8 or higher in the NCAA tournament.
Could Gonzaga go on a Final Four run with the right matchups? Sure, it could. The Bulldogs could also flame out in the round of 32 against either Pittsburgh or Wichita State.
Seed: No. 6 seed in the East Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 11 Bucknell in Lexington, Ky.
Many fans across the country filling out brackets will advance Butler far in the NCAA tournament. It’s easy to understand the logic.
Brad Stevens has built a consistent program, and he is one of the best coaches in the country. Surely, he can rekindle some of the magic from the back-to-back national title game appearances in 2010 and 2011.
However, this Butler team is limited and doesn’t have the star power of those Final Four teams. The Bulldogs figure to be in every game they play simply because of Stevens, but he can only take them so far.
Seed: No. 4 seed in the South Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 13 South Dakota State in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Michigan is as good an offensive team as there is in college basketball. Trey Burke is one of the front-runners for national player of the year, and he has an excellent running mate in Tim Hardaway Jr.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they can’t play much defense. For example, they gave up a stunning 84 points in a loss at offensively challenged Penn State back on Feb. 27. On the season, Michigan ranks No. 57 nationally in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com.
With Burke running the show, Michigan will be able to outscore a lot of opponents, but at some point, the Wolverines will have to get stops. To this point, they haven’t shown they can consistently do that.
Seed: No. 3 seed in the South Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 14 Northwestern State in Austin, Texas
Florida has struggled mightily in close games. The Gators are 26-7, and six of their seven losses have come by six points or less. In fact, Florida is 0-6 in games decided by single digits.
Billy Donovan has not figured out a go-to player down the stretch in crucial situations of games. That came into play Sunday in the SEC tournament final against Ole Miss. Needing a bucket, Florida did not look confident in the closing moments and was not able to get quality shots.
If the Gators do not figure out their late-game struggles, they will have a very brief stay in the NCAA tournament, which would be a huge letdown with such an experienced squad.
Seed: No. 4 seed in the East Region
Round of 64 matchup: vs. No. 13 Montana in San Jose, Calif.
Syracuse really struggled at the end of the regular season, losing four of its final five games. The Orange rebounded nicely in the Big East tournament and looked to be on their way to a conference title before Louisville stormed back in the second half of Saturday’s championship game.
The reality is that Syracuse really struggles shooting the ball. As a team, the Orange are shooting 33.4 percent from three, and their best playmaker, Michael Carter-Williams, is an inefficient scorer, shooting 38.7 percent from the floor.