NCAA Basketball March Madness

Ranking the 10 Best Rebounding Teams in 2014 NCAA Tournament

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NCAA Tournament 2014: Ranking the 10 Best Rebounding Teams

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Erwin Mendoza is a contributing writer for Follow him on Twitter @erwinsports, or add him to your network on Google.

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10. Indiana

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana has an outside chance of making the tournament. Current bracketologists don’t have them in, but as a team they’re tied for 12th in the nation with 39.9 total rebounds. F Noah Vonleh leads the Big 10 with rebounds at 9.3 RPG.

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

UNLV isn’t exciting anybody this year. Sure Anthony Bennett was the No. 1 overall pick last year, but rebounds from Mountain West leader Roscoe Smith can’t will them with 11.1 rebounds per game, totaling a team RPG at 39.9.

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8. Baylor

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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.

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7. UMass

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlantic-10 has been playing like a really good basketball league right now. As a team, UMass is 19th in the NCAA in rebounds, and their rebound leader is tied for 54th in the nation with 8.6 RPG.

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6. LSU

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

LSU is undoubtedly on the bubble. The Tigers are 9th in the nation in rebounds per game and they have two guys in the Top 5 SEC rebounders.

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5. North Carolina

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

In the ACC, Duke’s Jabari Parker leads the league in rebounding. But UNC as a team rebounds more than any other ACC team. The Tar Heels are grabbing 40.9 rebounds per game, and it helps to have two top 15 ACC rebounders.

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4. BYU

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

BYU has a strong rebounding duo. Nate Austin and Kyle Collinsworth are both in the top 5 in the rebounding for the WCC. They are on the bubble, but with Gonzaga's loss the WCC could be a two-bid league this year.

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3. Kentucky

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Alone, Julius Randle is second in the SEC in rebounds, but Kentucky is 41.4 nationally.

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2. Texas

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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1. Iowa

Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron White and Melsahn Basabe lead the team in rebounds, and Iowa is fourth in the nation in rebounding. Expect these guys to play.