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Who are the true title contenders in CBB? Top 10 teams Analysis

March Madness is coming soon, and there’s been almost no posts I’ve seen on college basketball this year. I’m here to change this by allowing y’all to catch up on the top 10 teams in March Madness and what makes them good.


Houston just became the number one team in the country after Tennessee knocked off Alabama. They’re a great team, somehow ranking top 3 (out of over 300) in both offensive and defensive rating. Everyone that plays on their team can defend really well. Despite having a small team (the tallest guy is 6’9 and he doesn’t even play), this team has elite rim protection. From Jarace Walker to J’Wan Roberts, the Cougars has multiple rim protectors, which is rare for college basketball teams. They prioritize protecting the rim on defense as they give up a ton of threes. They’ve been blessed with incredible shooting luck and teams are shooting a horrible 27% from 3 against them. On offense, they’ve got multiple guys who can create with the ball in their hands. Marcus Sasser is one of the best guards in the country. He’s an elite shooter, especially pulling up. They're a great rebounding team, which is a common theme between great college teams and a good indicator of March Madness success. Houston is legit amazing on both ends of the floor and that’s a recipe for success. They’re the championship favorite for me.

  1. Alabama

Alabama is a very analytically driven basketball team. They take the fewest mid range jumpers in the NCAA and take only threes and layups. Brandon Miller leads their offense as a primary scorer. They run a ton of off ball screens to free him up to shoot and get to the bucket. Their point guard, Mark Sears, is an electric and crafty ball handler who’s great at operating ball screens. He’s creative around the rim and very shifty. Their offense most runs through these two players. Their defense might be even more appealing. They have even better rim protection than Houston with a very tall team. They drop all ball screens, especially when Charles Bediako is involved. Even with Clowney, who’s known for being switchable, they mostly drop. They deny teams from being able to score at the basket a ton and it’s been successful.

  1. Kansas

We may need to start the back to back talk again. Kansas is really good, even with losing Agbaji and Braun to the NBA. Kansas just wiped the floor with my Baylor Bears for the second half of that game. Jalen Wilson is a great scorer and gets boards well. DaJuan Harris is a great defender for his size, and Kevin McCullar was locking down Keyonte George. Gradey Dick didn’t have a great game that game, but he’s a vital player for the Kansas offense as a movement shooter. Kansas’ defense, despite lacking a great rim protector, was completely locked in. If we can see that Kansas team we saw against Baylor more often, they’re a legit title contender.

  1. UCLA

I will admit, I’ve watched a lot less of UCLA as most of the other teams in the country, so don’t value this one too highly. However, they’re a legit great defense. Adem Bona is an amazing rim protector and Jaylen Clark can defend the perimeter really well. They have the 4th best defense in the country according to ESPN’s CBPI. Senior Jaime Jazquez is becoming a leader for the Bruins this year, taking a leap in three point shooting and rebounding. They’re a disciplined team and almost never turn the ball over, but the reason I’m not high on them as a championship contender is their mediocre shooting and rebounding.

  1. Purdue

Purdue is a team I’m a lot lower on than most. Their shooting leaves a lot to be desired and their perimeter defense isn’t great. Shooting consistency is vital for championship level teams, and having an above average three point shooting team could move the needle. They’ve also lost 3 games already in February, dropping games to Maryland, Northwestern, and Indiana. However, they’re a great rebounding team and Edey is an amazing rim protector. Purdue runs a drop ball screen coverage, allowing Edey to use his 7’4 body to deter any shots at the rim, but teams with a floor spacing big can punish this. Their offense runs smoothly through Edey mostly working in the post and occasionally setting screens for ball handlers. Their offense ranks 6th in CBPI, and that’s justified even with some small shooting problems. I don’t think Purdue will go far in the tournament due to the previously stated reasons, but they’ve got a lot to like.

  1. Virginia

I’ll be real, I don’t think Virginia should be top 6. In their last 6 games, only one of them has been by 10 or more points, and they’ve lost one of those games to an unranked team. They rebound terribly, with a very small rotation. Their shooting is subpar. They’ve got no great scoring option that can just buy a bucket. This is not good. Most of these things are big indicators of tournament success, and Virginia just doesn’t hit them. They do have elite perimeter defense, multiple playmakers, and great defense, so there’s reason to be optimistic. But, I don’t see the upside with them winning the tournament and they could fall in the standings late in the year.

  1. Arizona

Another team that was excellent last year has been excellent this year, despite losing Benedict Mathurin and Dalen Terry to the NBA. Tubelis has been taking the leap we all wanted to happen, and pairing him with Omar Ballo makes for one of the best frontcourts in college basketball. While they don’t play in transition as much as last year, they still play at a quick pace and have lots of scorers. They rebound better than almost any team in the country and have lots of guys that can create with the ball in their hands. The Wildcats take good shots and generate good looks by moving the ball. Their offense is very good, but their defense is where they can improve by tournament time. Their defense is pretty average, and historically that doesn’t bode well for aspiring champions. However, their offense is elite and they could go far off of that in the Big Dance.

  1. Baylor

If you know me, you know I’m a Baylor fan. This year, I’ve watched almost every game, and we are not winning the National Championship. Teams that get to the basket and draw fouls/pressure us on offense beat us. We don’t have rim protection (Flo Thamba is surprisingly bad on defense). Jalen Bridges is a great help side rim protector, but he mostly guards on the perimeter. On the perimeter, we are pretty good. Dale Bonner earlier in the year was exceptional guarding the ball and I can’t say why Langston Love took his rotation spot (worse on defense, not an advantage creator on offense, forgettable off ball). Keyonte is really good when locked in, he’s got great hands and pressures the ball really hard. Flagler tries but isn’t a positive. We switch all screens and dribble handoffs unless Thamba is involved. When Thamba is involved, we either hedge or sometimes accidentally switch. On offense, teams beat us by pressuring our guards and pushing them to half court. Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer aren’t good at operating while being pressured (Keyonte, however, is very good at getting out of traps). None of our three starting guards can drive well, and they all thrive while shooting off the dribble 3s. Baylor’s offense is elite given their ability to shoot and the ability of our three guards’ shot creation. The way Virginia beat us early in the year and Kansas beat us recently was that they pressured us towards half court and didn’t let our guards shoot. That’s the blueprint to beating us, and if there’s a blueprint to beating a team they won’t win the championship.

  1. Tennessee

Yes, technically Marquette is #10. But, they just lost and I haven’t watched them play this year so sue me. Tennessee’s defense is absolutely elite and it is what makes them a high level team. They have two truly elite guard defenders in Santiago Vescovi and Zakai Zeigler. Advanced stats have them as the best defensive team in the country by far. They play amazing team defense and they guard screens well. On offense, it gets a ton murkier. No one on their team can create their own shot, and the way that Tennessee scores is by an avalanche of off ball screens. They are constantly running a ton of off ball screens on both sides, and it creates good looks. However, if Tennessee plays a team who knows how to guard them, they’re in trouble. In the first half of their game against Florida, that’s exactly what happened. Florida held them to something crazy like 2 points in 6 minutes. Tennessee’s defense is elite, but their offense isn’t consistent enough for them to win the title.