5 College Basketball Teams That Will Get Back On Track

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College Basketball Teams That Will Get Back On Track

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The college basketball season can be long and grueling for many teams. That has been the case for the five teams that we will discuss further in the slides that follow. Luckily, there is still plenty of time left before the NCAA tournament brackets are the cool kids on the block once again. So, let’s take a look at five college hoops teams that will get back on track.

These five teams aren’t necessarily having the worst seasons. All of them could still easily wind up in the 2014 NCAA Tournament and that is what I am predicting to happen.

Yes, there are definitely more than five teams that have gotten off to disappointing starts, but not every single team that has not met expectations is going to bounce back.

A couple of these teams are actually still ranked, but that could change with a loss or two.

Kansas and Louisville are two teams who entered the season with just as much hype as anyone, but have not exactly rocked our socks off. Both are still ranked in the major polls, so at least there is that.

Playing in the Big 12 (Kansas) and the AAC (Louisville) will provide plenty of opportunities for these two teams to get back on track. Heck, the Cardinals and Jayhawks could still earn a No. 1 seed in the dance. Both will have to win their conferences for that to happen, though, and I am not sure if that will actually be the case.

Well, let’s get down to the five teams that will get back on track.

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VCU Rams

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Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Shaka Smart’s team was expected to do big things this season, but there is no guarantee that the VCU Rams will make the tourney. Beating Virginia right off of the bat had this team’s expectations as high as ever, but losses to three unranked opponents have killed that quite a bit.

Luckily, teams like Dayton, Massachusetts and George Washington have emerged. Sure, VCU will have more competition now, but it will also have more chances at building up that resume.

The Minutemen may be the team to beat in the A 10 right now, but the Rams are still the most talented.

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Kentucky Wildcats

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky has already lost three games this season, but all three opponents were ranked. Michigan State, Baylor and North Carolina all have a bunch of talent and should make the tourney.

This is a much better team than last year, though, and the Wildcats have the wins to prove it. They have beaten Providence, Boise State, Belmont and Louisville. The Cardinals are likely going to make the dance and they are likely going to have a solid seed. As for the other three teams, they could make the tourney.

The SEC is more talented than some people may think and no team is going to run away with the conference title. Still, Kentucky has won two games in a row against tough competition. It has had some time off and it is still one of the best teams in college basketball.

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Michigan Wolverines

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The whole Mitch McGary having back surgery thing stinks. Really, really bad. He is not the only good player on the team, just the only preseason All-American. Nik Stauskas has been putting up great numbers (17.8 points per game, 45.7 percent from three-point line), Glenn Robinson III is still on the team and Caris LeVert is having a breakout season.

I don’t think the Wolverines can win a championship without McGary, but I do think they can knock off some of the top dogs in the conference (Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State) from time to time.

Michigan is already 2-0 in the conference and it should earn a decent seed in the dance even without its All-American.

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Memphis Tigers

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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Memphis isn’t playing Oklahoma State left and right, which it did beat once, it should start climbing up the rankings.

Sure, the Tigers got blown out by the Cowboys earlier in the season, but they did beat them in the rematch. Their other losses have come against Florida (lost by two) and Cincinnati, who is talented enough to win the AAC.

The time for Josh Pastner’s team to succeed is now. They have the talent to be a top 10 team. Not to mention, they play Louisville next and Connecticut on Jan. 16.

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Tennessee Volunteers

tennessee
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Some people may think Tennessee has not disappointed at all just because it did not make the dance last year, but it has. I expected the Volunteers to start off the season with a bang. Instead, they lost their first game of the season against Xavier.

They did beat the Musketeers in the rematch on Nov. 29, though. Still, this team had four losses in their non-conference schedule, which is probably not how Jordan McRae and the rest of the team wanted to start.

Tennessee is on a four-game winning streak and it should get better and better. Wins against Virginia and LSU during that span show that.

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