Straight-Forward Tourney Commentary: Overrated Teams

    
March 18th, 2008

This column is not the place for in-depth team information (which you can find here), or in-depth game previews (which you can find here).. this here is all about straight-forward, honest, to-the-point, useful NCAA Tournament commentary:

 

Overrated Teams

 

Vanderbilt (4)

Why? 7-7 away from home is rather pathetic for a 4 seed, especially considering their best non-home win was on a neutral floor against 71st ranked Utah State. Luckily for the Commodores, Siena shouldn't be an issue in the first round.. but they might not make it past the Round of 32.

 

Davidson (10)

Why? Everybody loves to love Davidson and Stephen Curry. But they didn't even win a single Top 100 game all year. The only other tournament team with a similar mark of futility is 15th seeded Belmont.  If Davidson was also a 15 seed, I'd say they were dangerous and capable of surprising someone, but they're overseeded as a 10. No doubt they'll give Gonzaga a serious run in Round One, but too many people will fall in love with the Wildcats.

 

Kansas (1)

Why? The Jayhawks only decent non-conference win was against USC early in the year. In fact, you could argue that their only other decent win all year was in the Big 12 Title game against Texas.  The Jayhawks looked good on Sunday, but I don't think they're built to make a deep tourney run. Mainly for two reasons: A) I don't trust Bill Self's coaching ability compared to the other big-timers like Howland, Coach K, and Calipari. B) They lack a true go-to star, which will hurt them down the stretch.

 

Arizona (10)

Why? This bothers me because I've always tended to like the Wildcats.. but really this team is a fraud. In the last month, they have one win over a top 250 ranked team. Considering Oregon State is basically a D2 team, you could say Zona finished 2-8 against D1 teams.  Jerryd Bayless is no doubt a stud talent, but Chase Budinger seems unwilling to become a big-time player, and its not fair for Bayless to have to do everything for them to win. If you think Beasley plays a big role for Kansas State, then Bayless take it to another level. He's often a one-man team.

 

Oregon (9)

Why? I'm not suggesting Oregon doesn't deserve to be a tourney team, but a 9 seed was oddly high. None of the numbers suggest the Ducks will do damage beyond the opening round.  6-10 away from home is weak.. 5-5 to finish the season is weak.. and just 4 wins in 13 tries against Top 50 teams is weaker. There's no doubt Oregon can beat Mississippi St in the opening round, but the #9 seed wasn't fair to begin with.

 

Kentucky (11)

Why? Is the March version of Kentucky really that much better than the December version that lost to Garder Webb, Houston, UAB, and San Diego? Sure the Wildcats have improved somewhat in recent months, but the gaudy 12-4 SEC record is mostly due to the overrated nature of the entire conference. There was no greater proof of the league's mediocrity than Georgia's run through the SEC tournament. The Wildcats 4-8 record away from home is one of the worst amongst Top 100 RPI teams. In fact the only one's with a worse record are Oklahoma St, Nebraska, and Wake Forest.. ie, NIT teams. Kentucky is basically a glorified NIT team.

 

- My Underrated Teams will be up soon.