The NCAA basketball tournament is one of the most unpredictable things in all of sports. Teams can shock the world like North Carolina State did in the 1982-83 season, upsetting a powerhouse Houston squad. Or the Villanova Wildcats who went on to win the Big Dance as an eight seed and beat Patrick Ewing's Georgetown Hoyas in one of the biggest upsets in Championship history.
There are always teams that grab the attention of the nation because nobody expected them to win, a recent case is Davidson, led by now NBA guard Stephen Curry. These Cinderella story teams forever go down in history as teams that did what nobody thought they could, but what about the other side of the story?
With great upsets there also must be great tournament disappointments. Teams doing what nobody thought they could do, but in the opposite fashion, losing games that nobody thought was possible.
People always remember the teams like Davidson, but forget about huge tournament disappointments and failures such as when No.14 seed Arkansas Little-Rock upset promising No. 3 seed Notre Dame.
The list goes on and on of teams that haven't lived up to their expectations in the tournament, but nobody seems to remember teams that were such failures with high expectations, even in recent cases like in 2001 when No. 2 seed Iowa State, who was thought to be a competitor for the Final Four, was beaten by No. 15 seed Hampton.
This was one of the biggest upsets of all time but if you ask many people, I bet most don't recall Iowa State ever being in that tournament. Nobody ever remembers the tournament losers, and if that’s the case, here are some teams that will fall out of people’s memories as being good teams.
There are teams every year that disappoint fans across the nation and slowly fade until they are completely forgotten by the public, and these will be the teams that will be busts in the Big Dance.
I haven't been very impressed with the Cougars despite their 25-3 record. This looks like an outstanding team if you only see their wins and losses, but when you take a closer look, BYU isn't as good as they look from a distance. The Cougars have one of the weakest schedules of any top 25 team that consists of only one team in the RPI top 25, and they lost that game against New Mexico.
The Cougars have yet to beat a team that is ranked in the RPI top 40 at home and on the road an even worse mark of RPI top 50. The Cougars have absolutely no big wins and have a terrible schedule that is ranked 131 by the RPI, the worst in the top 40 RPI teams.
Another big downfall for this Cougar team is their dependency on one player, Jimmer Freddette. Now, Jimmer can ball, no question about it, but the Cougars don't really have a reliable second scoring option. Early on in the year, production came from Tyler Haws, freshman swingman that can shoot the rock; however his production has began to falter as the season has rolled on and he is no longer a dependable source for scoring.
When the Cougars eventually play some good talent in March, they are going to need more than on scorer and a presence in the post, which is non-existent for the Cougars as well. This team has been over-blown since the beginning of the season and I think that will show when March rolls around.
If you look at the Longhorns on paper, they look like a team with a balanced attack that can really ball. They have guys that can shoot lights out like J'Covan Brown and Avery Bradley, they have great defenders like Dogus Balbay, they have senior leadership in Damion James and a dominant inside presence in Dexter Pittman. These guys should be a great team with all the talent they have, and for a while, they were.
However, after this Texas team went to 17-0 with the number one ranking in the country, something happened to this squad that made them start losing games. They are currently ranked 24 in the nation by the RPI as of February 21 and have lost six of their past ten games.
The Longhorns have a ton of talent but they lack one thing that is a key to success in college basketball. The team chemistry just isn't there for the Longhorns. They have no sub rotation and no consistency in their bench, nobody to step up in clutch spots, and nobody that can go out and take over a game when you need it the most.
Teams have struggled with this problem throughout history. The most recent case of a team like Texas is the Georgetown Hoyas of last year. Everyone had huge expectations for the Hoyas and they showed flashes of their potential by beating No. 1 ranked Connecticut at the beginning of the season, but they just had no chemistry and didn't play well together.
This is a major problem that Texas is struggling with right now and if it continues I don't see the Longhorns making it out of the first round of the tournament.
Northern Iowa Panthers
I have yet to discover what makes Northern Iowa a top 25 team in the nation. This Northern Iowa team has yet to beat a team that has been ranked in the RPI top 25 in the nation at any point this year and has only beaten one team in the top 40 (Siena). How can you consider a team with this weak of a résumé among the ranks of teams such as Michigan State (28 RPI), Ohio State (32 RPI), Gonzaga (25 RPI), or Baylor (17 RPI).
There is no way in my mind that a team like Northern Iowa can compete and beat teams like the ones I just listed, and these are teams who they will see in the tournament in basically every round. Even though the Panthers have an impressive record of 26-3, they have only beaten two maybe three teams that will be in the tournament as low seeds and they have been unable to win anywhere but the comforts of home with their best win coming against Missouri State (RPI 79) in road or neutral games.
Don't be deceived by the record Northern Iowa has, they haven't beaten or even played against a team that will be more than a ten seed in the tournament and play the likes of Indiana State and Drake on a consistent basis. This Panther team will not be ready to play a team that has more skill and more athletic ability than them and that’s why I think they will struggle to make it out of the first round of the Big Dance.
It pains me to say this, but I just don't see the Hoyas making a run at the championship this year. I love Georgetown so much and watch them play whenever i get the chance, but I just see to many holes in the Hoyas team for them to succeed in the Big Dance. They have lots of potential and have one of the most talented starting five in the nation, but talent doesn't always win championships as it has been proven time and time again.
Georgetown has great players that start off the game, but if any of them get tired or get in foul trouble, the Hoyas have only one player that can really produce of the bench in forward Hollis Thompson.
They have no guards on the bench that can come into the game so only the three guards that start the game are ever in, which is a serious problem especially if one of these players is having an off night. They have nobody that can spark them off the bench and that's going to be a big problem for the Hoyas if they want to beat teams during March Madness.
Also, the Hoyas have a tendency to play down to opponents with less talent than they do, which is a big red flag for tournament teams. They seem to over look opponents that they don't think are serious threats and when that team starts to put up a game against them, they have nobody that can lead their team out of a deficit and win a game.
These are all crucial missing pieces in the Hoyas team that will definitely hurt them in the Big Dance and I wouldn't pick this team to get out of the second round of your brackets.
These are four completely different teams that play completely different styles of basketball, but one thing they all have in common is that these teams all have key weaknesses that you can't have if you’re going to make any noise in the NCAA tournament.
If you have any of these teams going deep into your tournament bracket I would scratch them out because none of these teams has what it takes to be a serious contender in the tournament this year.
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