USC and UCLA are very overrated
USC this year has no good wins. Their only wins are against un ranked teams. USC’s free throw percentage is BOTTOM 3 IN ALL OF COLLEGE BASKETBALL. Their free throw percentage is currently at about 58.4%. They are massively overrated being put at 7. They barely beat UC Irvine (who’s 5-3 in a bad conference), and they also won by just 2 against Washington State. They should not be ranked number 7 due to having no good wins and horrid shooting. Isaiah Mobley’s the best player on this team. They face Arizona on February 5th and UCLA on Feb. 12th, their first two real challenges this year. I can totally see them losing to a high level 7/10 seed in March Madness or a streaky 15.
As for UCLA, they are also very streaky. They are 8-1, with their only L to Gonzaga by 20. Their only good win has come against Villanova by 9. Villanova is ranked 22nd while losing to 4 teams. UCLA shoots a surprisingly bad field goal percentage. The difference between 3 point percentage and field goal percentage is just 6%! That’s really crazy. Their two best players are Johnny Juzang, and Jamie Jaquez. They are both 6’6 guards who are juniors. I’m not as low on UCLA as I am on USC, but I can completely see UCLA going cold from distance and losing earlier than expected in March Madness.
LSU has great defense
Their defensive rating this year is 1st in all of college basketball. There are over 350 college basketball teams. Tari Eason’s a really good defender, and they also have Shareef O’Neal, Shaq’s son. LSU has the most steals out of any team in college basketball. LSU’s opponent field goal percentage is at a stifling 34.5%, good for first in all of D1 basketball. LSU’s offense is also pretty good. Eason’s averaging 16 off the bench. This team could be sneaky good going into March Madmess.
The Biggest Sleeper Team
Arizona is averaging the most points out of any teams out of any team in college basketball, with an insane 90 points per game. Their offense is arguably the best in college basketball. They are first in steals, too. They are 16th in field goal percentage, which is a great indicator on how good teams are offensively. Mathurin’s been really good this year, and Azuolas Tubelis is super underrated (Grantula sold me on him). This team is also third in rebounding this year. If Jaden Ivey gets hurt before March Madness and doesn’t play, or I get less high on Purdue, consider this team the favorite for winning it all. This team is also really underrated defensively when it counts. Tubelis is a very underrated defender and Koloko is a good defender. They are 11-1 currently, with their one loss coming against Tennessee. Arizona only played with 9 players, however it was 9 of their best. Tennessee was near full strength, and they are a top team when full strength.
Purdue is the March Madness winner
You can look at my other college basketball post for more details, but Purdue is the best team in college basketball and should be the favorite for March Madness. Also, for what’s detailed in the last March Madness post, Arizona loses 3 point percentage by 0.3%. Purdue is also one of the top offense teams. Their offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) is 1st in the league! They are 12-1, with their one loss coming against Rutgers by a last second shot for Rutgers to win. Ron Harper Jr went off for 30 points. Jaden Ives’s great on both ends of the floors Zach Eddy has been dominating in the post and getting a lot of boards. This team’s FG%, which I really like in evaluating entire teams’ March Madness chances, is 51.6%, good for 4th in the league. Their 3 point percentage comfortably passes my threshold with 41.4%. Purdue also has multiple good wins already. Iowa is 10-2 in the Big 10. Purdue won by 7. Purdue also beat Villanova by 6. Purdue is the best team in college basketball due to them being good on both ends of the floor. They also don’t have a very top-heavy team. They have 4 people averaging at least 10 points per game. Trevion Williams is also a great scoring big. This team has a great big 3 of Edey, Ivey, and Williams. This team will go far.
Wisconsin and Villanova are in tricky situations
Wisconsin and Villanova both have had impossible early schedules this year and have been punished by the committee for it. Wisconsin has had to play fully-healthy #12 ranked Houston (with Sasser), 21st ranked Providence, and 13th ranked Ohio State. Out of those, their lone win was against Houston. This was before the news of Marcus Sasser’s injury which killed Houston’s chances. Wisconsin won by 2 on top of Johnny Davis’ 30 points! Davis could be a big sleeper in this year’s draft. He is also a candidate for POY. Wisconsin has had to play a lot of hard teams, but at least they beat all the cupcake teams.
Villanova has played a near impossible opening schedule. They set this years in advance, so they must’ve assumed they’d Be one of the best college basketball teams. They haven’t played like it. There are only 2 ranked teams this year with more than 2 losses. Villanova has 4. And today, they play another ranked team, Seton Hall! They play 4 more currently ranked teams in their schedule this year and have already played 5 ranked teams. They lost to UCLA, beat Tennessee, lost to Purdue, lost by over 20 to Baylor, and beat Xavier. They also lost by 20 to Creighton, an unranked team. It’s gonna take a lot to show the committee they are worthy of being ranked
Providence is legit
According to Warren Nolan, they are 3-0 against top 30 teams this year. They can play with the highest level of teams. They beat Wisconsin, Texas Tech, UCONN, and Seton Hall. Those are all high level teams. I expect them to be ranked top 15 in the next rankings list. I’m extremely low on them however, their offense is just not at the level of any serious contender.