Skip to content

Eight teams that won’t win the National Title

Mar 18, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

source: AP

AP

RELATEDEast Region | South Region | Midwest Region | West Region

1. Wichita State Shockers: After running the table, Wichita State was rewarded for its 34-0 record with the top spot in the bracket’s most difficult region. How difficult? The Shockers could end up playing Kentucky, which appears to be putting it all together, in the Round of 32. I think the Shockers have the experience and toughness to get to the Sweet 16, but then there is a potential matchup with defending national champion Louisville, which is playing its best basketball. I’d love the Shockers to get back to the Final Four because this team is talented — better than last year’s, in fact — and it would quiet some season-long doubters, but I would not like to face the Cardinals right now.

2. Duke Blue Devils: Another member of the Midwest Region, the Blue Devils enter the tournament coming off a ACC Tournament championship loss to Virginia. Duke should get to the Sweet 16, where it could play a familiar opponent. The Blue Devils defeated Michigan back on Dec. 3. But this Wolverines team is much improved. Derrick Walton has grown up. Caris LeVert has been great, which is big because it takes pressure off Nik Stauskas, who was limited to four points in that meeting in Durham. Let’s say Duke does get by Michigan. The trendy pick to reach the Elite 8 at the top of the bracket is Louisville, which has Montrezl Harrell inside, who will be tough for Duke to stop.

3. Virginia Cavaliers: The ACC regular season and tournament champion came on late this season, winning 16 of its last 17 games. But, the Cavaliers weren’t stellar in the non-conference. Virginia’s best win before ACC play was against NCAA tournament snub SMU, while losing back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Green Bay, another NCAA tournament caliber team, and to VCU — a No. 5 seed in the South. It’s clear the selection committee placed a lot of weight on the ACC Tournament and Virginia’s success in conference play. Many think the last No. 1 seed didn’t belong to Virginia, but that could be answered in the Sweet 16 with a potential clash against surging Michigan State.

source: Getty Images

Getty Images

4. Villanova Wildcats: In the Big East Tournament quarterfinals, a buzzer-beater from Sterling Gibbs’ sent Villanova back to Philadelphia. The Wildcats got a generous seeding from the committee, especially when you consider that Creighton dominated them, twice. My personal thinking is that Saint Joseph’s gets by UConn. The Hawks were throttled by Villanova earlier this season, but Phil Martelli’s club is rolling after its Atlantic 10 Tournament run. St. Joe’s has good guard play, led by Langston Galloway and Halil Kanacevic is grabbing 13.8 rebounds per game in his last five contests.

MOREEight teams that can win the national title

5. Wisconsin Badgers: Bo Ryan has yet to reach a Final Four. This is likely his best chance to do so, with the Badgers ability to score. However, Oregon is playing well as of late. If the Ducks get by BYU, they can pose as a problem for the Badgers. Wisconsin has been up-and-down, going from No. 3 in the nation to a dreadful January to eight straight Big Ten wins. A deeper tournament run than in years past is dependent on the Badgers making shots.

6. Kansas Jayhawks: It’s not typically wise to bet against Bill Self in March, but Kansas is without freshman center Joel Embiid. If New Mexico advances past Stanford Round of 64, the Jayhawks will have to deal with Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk in the frontcourt. I’d love to see Kansas get a rematch against Florida in the South Regional final, but without Embiid that may not happen.

7. Cincinnati Bearcats: The committee did not do the American Athletic Conference any favors. The conference’s co-regular season champion drew Harvard in the Round of 64. Last season, three No. 12 seeds knocked off No. 5 seeds. This one is a common upset pick in many brackets as the Crimson are coming off last year’s shocking win over No. 3 New Mexico. Harvard has the tournament experience, which was only added to with the return of Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry. The Crimson could pull off another tourney win if they catch the Bearcats in a drought. If Cincy does advance, it’ll likely face one of the hottest teams in the nation in Michigan State

8. Syracuse Orange: They didn’t lose until Feb. 19, but the Orange were playing with fire for weeks leading up. The previously 25-0 Orange went 2-5 in their last seven games. The length of the zone, freshman point guard Tyler Ennis and the seasoned C.J. Fair can all help turn it around in March. But if Syracuse plays like it had in the past six weeks, it could be an early exit for Cuse.

Latest Posts
  1. Mixtape of 2016 five-star guard Malik Monk (VIDEO)

    Jul 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    (USA Baketball) (USA Baketball)

    Is this the best high school mixtape since Seventh Woods?

  2. DePaul forward DeJuan Marrero to transfer to Chipola College

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:43 PM EDT

    marrero

    DePaul redshirt freshman forward DeJuan Marrero will play his sophomore season at Chipola.

  3. Malik Newman, Ivan Rabb, Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk among 33 members battling for USA U17 roster spots this week

    Jul 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Malik Newman (Getty Images) Getty Images

    The USA U17 tryouts have a lot of big names and it will also be important for the last week of the July live evaluation period.

  4. Peach Jam mixtape for five-star 2015 guard Isaiah Briscoe (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT

    (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com) (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com)

    Isaiah Briscoe helped lead the New Jersey Playaz to a title at Peach Jam.

  5. Four-star Class of 2016 guard Bruce Brown gave up football to focus on basketball

    Jul 21, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

    (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com) (Scott Phillips/NBCSports.com)

    Bruce Brown was a promising two-sport athlete, but gave up football to focus on basketball.

  6. Four-star recruit Cameron Walker commits to Stanford

    Jul 21, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

    adidas adidas

    Walker is the second commitment for the Cardinal this spring.

  7. Seven (more) Takeaways from Nike’s Peach Jam

    Jul 21, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    NikeEYB NikeEYB

    Seven additional thoughts on Nike’s Peach Jam, including Ben Simmons’ one weakness, Malik Monk and how college coaches look at parents

  8. Peach Jam mixtape of top 2016 recruit Jayson Tatum (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 2:54 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.45.41 PM

    Tatum is the best player in the class.

  9. Indiana’s summer workouts look intense (VIDEO)

    Jul 21, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

    Tom Crean AP

    The Hoosiers will be in shape come September, that’s for sure.

  10. CBT Quotables Part IV: The Lawsons, Stephen Zimmerman, Malik Monk

    Jul 21, 2014, 11:26 AM EDT

    NikeEYB NikeEYB

    The latest in our series of anonymous quotes from coaches on the players they recruit.

  11. Kansas’ Landen Lucas hopes summer work results in more playing time

    Jul 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

    Aaron Ross, Landen Lucas Aaron Ross, Landen Lucas

    After playing sparingly last season, Lucas is hoping to take a significant step forward in 2014-15.

  12. Name aside, Gary Payton II will be an important player for Oregon State

    Jul 20, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    JucoRecruiting.com JucoRecruiting.com

    Fans may look to compare Gary Payton II to his father, something both hope to avoid this season, but his role as point guard is an important one.

  13. Reports: Former Clemson forward Ibrahim Djambo transferring to Hofstra

    Jul 20, 2014, 7:46 PM EDT

    Jeff Laidig, Ibrahim Djambo AP

    Djambo’s playing time was unlikely to increase had he remained at Clemson, where he played 9.2 minutes per game last season.

  14. Report: 2015 shooting guard Matt McQuaid de-commits from SMU

    Jul 20, 2014, 6:46 PM EDT

    Larry Brown AP

    McQuaid’s de-commitment leaves SMU with one verbal pledge in its 2015 recruiting class.

  15. Report: 2015 phenom Ben Simmons fully committed to attending LSU

    Jul 20, 2014, 5:39 PM EDT

    Ben Simmons (Kelly Kline/Under Armour) Ben Simmons (Kelly Kline/Under Armour)

    Apparently there were some questions at the Peach Jam regarding the possibility of Simmons returning to Australia in 2015 to play professionally instead of attending LSU.

  16. Stanford guard Anthony Brown looks to take another step forward in 2014-15

    Jul 20, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown AP

    Brown won Pac-12 Most Improved Player honors last season, helping lead the Cardinal to the Sweet 16.

  17. Former Stony Brook guard Ahmad Walker transfers to Barton Community College

    Jul 20, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

    Stony Brook Stony Brook

    The 6-foot-4 Walker played just one season at Stony Brook.