Ranking the 10 Best Rebounding Teams in 2014 NCAA Tournament
NCAA Tournament 2014: Ranking the 10 Best Rebounding Teams
March Madness is getting closer with conference play starting to wind down and intensify. Some conferences are about to get into their conference tournaments and punch some tickets to the big dance. Some teams who won’t get an automatic bid will have to wait for an announcement on Selection Sunday, hoping for a bid not stamped NIT or CBI.
Some of those potential NCAA Tournament rejects are actually in the top ten of rebounding in the NCAA. For example, take a look at Quinnipiac. Just, who are they? They play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), and Iona happens to be the most renowned school out of that conference. Quinnipiac are the rebound leaders in the NCAA with 46.2 rebounds per game. Their bigs are eighth and ninth in the NCAA in rebounding.
Although Quinnipiac is currently in second place in the MAAC, no one cares about the MAAC. No one cares if Iona misses a year in his or her brackets. Unless Iona screws up the rest of the way, don’t expect Quinnipiac to be in the tourney.
Out of the ranked top ten, No. 4 Arizona is 20th in the NCAA in rebounds, proving scoring and playing defense wins games. Rebounding isn’t the key to winning games, but it certainly helps. It definitely helps the team if they have length to grab boards and place the ball in the hands of the point-guard. Yet, if they can’t score, then rebounding won’t save anybody.
Rebounding helps teams get second chances when playing cold and from here on out things will only intensify. Every bubble team is making a case, and clutch players will begin to step up. I gathered the top ten likely tourney-bound teams, omitting mid-majors like UAB or Quinnipiac. Here are the top ten rebounding tourney-likely teams ranked according to overall play saving the best for last.
The Big-12 is deep, but Baylor probably won’t make it. They’re at 16th in the nation in rebounding with a team total of 39.5 rebounds per game. Their leader with rebounds is within the top 100 at 8.3 rebounds per game.
Alone, Julius Randle is second in the SEC in rebounds, but Kentucky is 41.4 nationally.
Texas’ bigs, Cameron Ridley and Jonathan Holmes, are averaging around seven rebounds per game. The Big-12, like the ACC, is benefiting from really competitive teams within the conference.
Aaron White and Melsahn Basabe lead the team in rebounds, and Iowa is fourth in the nation in rebounding. Expect these guys to play.