NCAA Tournament 2014: 15 Top-Ranked Teams Likely to Get Bounced Early
15 Top-Ranked Teams Likely to Get Bounced Early
Playing the bad guy is no fun. But, here I am, playing the bad guy. Although the tournament field isn’t even close to being set, we will be looking at 15 top-ranked teams likely to get bounded early in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
Who knows where these teams will get placed and who knows if all of them will make the field of 68. As of right now, these teams are some of the top ranked teams in college basketball. Some of them are ranked right outside of the top 25.
The Big Dance is all about matchups which is probably why there are so many upsets every single year. In no way am I complaining. Seeing a No. 2 seed go down to a No. 15 seed is awesome. Sorry, Georgetown.
Some of the teams on this list are ranked in the top 10. That is okay. Not every single top 10 team is going to make the Sweet 16. That is just how it works every year. Once again, matchups mean everything in the dance.
It’s never easy predicting the Cinderella(s) and it is never easy predicting the major upsets in the first couple of rounds. However, the upsets are bound to happen and our brackets are bound to be ruined well before the Sweet 16.
There is one team on this list that is currently undefeated. There are only two undefeated teams in college hoops. Just the heads up.
Well, the 2014 NCAA tournament is right around the corner. Get ready for it by seeing 15 top-ranked teams likely to get bounced early.
Wichita State Shockers
Talking about starting off big. Wichita State has been amazing this season. It is undefeated. However, the Shockers’ best win came against Saint Louis on Dec. 1. That was a great road win, but it was also a long time ago.
The MVC is not the most talented conference in college hoops and the lack of competition could hurt Wichita State once the tourney starts.
Hopefully teams in the AAC are as talented as their rankings would suggest. Currently, there are four ranked teams in the conference.
The Mustangs had a weak non-conference schedule and they lost their two biggest tests against Arkansas and Virginia. The contest against the Cavaliers was close, so I will at least give them that.
Villanova only has three losses on the season and has been one of the best teams in college hoops all year long. However, Creighton has beaten the Wildcats by a combined 49 points in two contests.
Other teams need to take notes from the Bluejays. If they do, and if they are able to execute, Villanova could lose early on.
Other than North Carolina and Kentucky, Louisville had a pretty weak non-conference schedule. And, the Cardinals lost both games.
This is a much different team than last season’s and that is not a good thing. However, if Russ Smith comes up big and if he can get some help, Louisville probably won’t lose for awhile.
I still think Kentucky could be a late bloomer, but if this team continues to not meet expectations it is very beatable.
John Calipari’s team is still solid, but definitely not the team we thought they would be entering the season.
Just imagine for a second that Shabazz Napier isn’t one of the most clutch players in the sport. Just imagine if Napier actually missed a game-winning shot.
He will certainly keep Connecticut in games, but if he has an off night the Huskies could be in trouble.
Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State is one of the most talented and experienced teams in college basketball. If this team is at full strength entering the tournament--and stays that way--the Spartans will probably walk into the Final Four. However, if they are missing some key players who knows what will happen.
The NCAA tournament is very situational. Yes, the Bulldogs lost in the round of 32 as a No. 1 seed last year, but they also met up with Wichita State. The Shockers made it to the Final Four.
Well, this Bulldogs team is nowhere near as good, it has had some challenges but not too many and Kevin Pangos is going to have to be great.
North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina has been on fire as of late. The Tar Heels have won seven games in a row.
My guess is that the Tar Heels are back to being a top team, but the rivalry game against Duke will give us a much better idea on that.
Lamar Patterson is one of the best players in the country and his 17 points per game is evident of that. He is also shooting 40 percent from behind the arc.
However, Pittsburgh may be a little overrated. It wasn’t really challenged in its non-conference schedule and it didn’t beat Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke or Virginia in ACC play.
Doug McDermott is awesome and his awesomeness could lead Creighton on a deep run in the tourney. However, maybe McDermott has an off night or maybe someone is actually able to contain him.
I am really rooting for the senior, but the Bluejays are very reliant on him.
The Arizona Wildcats? Yes, the Arizona Wildcats. They are without a doubt one of the best teams in college hoops, but they haven’t been able to figure it out ever since Brandon Ashley went down.
If they don’t and if their offense doesn’t come to play, their entire season could come crashing down very fast.
Although Big Ten teams bully each other around all of the time, Michigan does not look like the same team that won 10 games in a row. In fact, the Wolverines are 2-3 in their last five and Nik Stauskas has not been his normal self.
During this five-game span, he is only averaging 10.2 points per game. That is not going to get the job done and he has to get back on track before the tournament.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Beating Arizona got the Arizona State Sun Devils back in the national spotlight.
Containing leading scorer Jahii Carson (18.9 PPG) will be key, but I guess you can say that about any teams' leading scorer.
He has only scored under 10 points twice and Arizona State lost both games.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Seeing Aaron Craft make a run in his final season in college basketball would be amazing. However, who knows if that will be the case.
Although this was last year, Ohio State played in three very close games in the 2013 NCAA tournament. They beat Iowa State by three, Arizona by three and lost to Wichita State by four.
That team could rely on Deshaun Thomas in the scoring department as well. Still, this is a great defensive team and it is hard to go against Craft.
Now that I called all of these teams out watch all 15 make it to the Sweet 16.