The NCAA Tournament is always filled with disappointments and here are potential 2013 busts. These are all teams that could get top four seeds that could be gone before the Sweet 16.
The 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament is now about a month away, and spotting potential tournament busts before it begins is just as important as making your NCAA Basketball picks on who will make the Final Four and/or who will win the National Championship.
Our first potential bust currently projects to be a one seed, and if that does indeed hold true, we predict it will be the first one seed to lose and may not even make it to the Elite eight! That is not unlike top-seeded Michigan State last season, which lost to Louisville in the Sweet 16.
The rest of the potential busts that we are about to discuss are all projected to be top-four seeds as of this writing, and yet we would not be at all surprised if these clubs lost in their second game in the round of 32, and in case of one of these teams, a first-game exit would not surprise us in the least!
So without further ado, here are five potential 2013 NCAA Tournament busts.
Miami Hurricanes: The whole world loves the Hurricanes right now and they do project to be a number one seed at the moment. It has not hurt their cause that perhaps their two best offensive performances all season have been nationally televised blowouts of North Carolina and Duke! However, if those were the only times you watched Miami this season, you may be surprised to learn that it ranks only 63rd in the country in three-point shooting and 36th in two-point shooting, so do not be fooled by the Canes’ offensive explosions in those high profile games. Miami is still ranked just ninth overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, and it is not even the highest ranked ACC team as Duke is ranked sixth! Miami is certainly not without flaws, as it is ranked just 231st in offensive rebounding percentage, and even though the defense is only allowing 59.4 points per game, it surprisingly ranks only 217th in defensive turnover percentage. We tend to agree that we would pick Duke over Miami if the teams met on a neutral floor, and on top of that, the ACC is ranked on par with the Mountain West Conference this season according to Pomeroy, which is another reason why Miami would probably be the first one seed eliminated from the tournament this season if the Canes do indeed get that honor.
Michigan Wolverines: Michigan has gone from being a slam-dunk one seed at 21-2 to now being a projected two seed after back-to-back losses leave the Wolverines at 21-4, first in overtime at Wisconsin and then by 23 points at Michigan State in the Wolverines’ worst game of the season. Now that would lead many to believe that Michigan is actually undervalued right now, but we are of the opposite belief that they were overachieving early on and that they are at best just a borderline top 10 team. Yes, Michigan ranks third in the country in offensive efficiency and seventh in effective field goal percentage., but they do settle for far too many perimeter shots, ranking a horrendous 342nd out of 347 Division I teams in FTA/FGA percentage and they also rank just 114th in offensive rebounding percentage. Our biggest problem with the Wolverines though is on the defensive end, where they rank 148th in effective field goal percentage allowed and 178th in two-point defense. It is not as if they compensate for that by creating turnovers either, as they rank only 244th in defensive turnover percentage. Michigan is the type of team that simply relies on outscoring people, leaving it vulnerable to a good shooting team that can play a little bit of defense in the early rounds.
Arizona Wildcats: The Wildcats just might hold the dubious distinction of being the single most overrated team in the country right now. Even after back-to-back losses to California at home and to Colorado on the road this week, Arizona is still projected to be a three seed by a lot of experts and even all the computer projections we have looked at other then Pomeroy still have the Wildcats as either a three or a four seed. Pomeroy has the Wildcats ranked 17th overall, and while we feel even that is too high, it equates to a five seed which is a tad more reasonable. We do not think it matters though because we do not expect the Wildcats to win more than one game in the tournament. While Arizona has a decent Pomeroy profile, it simply does not look like one of a top-four seed. On offense, the Wildcats rank 67th in effective field goal percentage, 141st in offensive turnover percentage and 57th in offensive rebounding percentage. On defense, they rank 104th in effective field goal percentage allowed mainly because they are a hideous 274th in three-point defense! Throw in the weakness of the Pac-12 and the Cats should get knocked out early by a team that can make outside shots, particularly from beyond the arc.
Michigan State Spartans: Yes, Michigan State has been very impressive while winning 10 of its last 11 games as of this writing with the only loss being by five points at Indiana, and the Spartans obviously have one of the best tournament coaches (or any time really) in the country in Tom Izzo. With that being said, the Spartans are now projected to be a three seed, and some guys even have them as a two, and that simply seems too high. Michigan State never loses at home, but what was the Spartans’ best road win this season? Would that probably be Wisconsin? Not that the Badgers are a bad team mind you but we think Michigan State needs to show more on the road to avoid a quicker-than-expected exit like last season. After all, the Spartans do not have eye-popping Pomeroy numbers as they rank 52nd in effective field goal percentage while ranking 48th in two-point shooting and 77th in three-point shooting, as well as 38th in effective field goal percentage allowed, 49th in two-point defense and 76th in three-point defense. It also hurt that the Michigan State non-conference schedule ranked 145th in SOS, and that was with a win over Kansas on a neutral floor in the second game of the season.
New Mexico Lobos: After Gonzaga, the Lobos are probably the next mid-major predicted to go far by many experts. Joe Lunardi has New Mexico penciled in as a three seed at this moment and several computer projections have the Lobos as a four. As usual, Pomeroy is the voice of reason with New Mexico ranked 33rd in the country overall, which would equate to a nine seed. New Mexico is a great home team that has one of the strongest home court advantages in all of NCAA Basketball at The Pit, but unless you consider Cincinnati an upper echelon team, and we do not, the Lobos have yet to beat a anything special on the road this season. In fact, besides a home win over a Colorado State team ranked 15th by Pomeroy, the Lobos’ only other home win over a team ranked in the Pomeroy Top 50 was over 44th ranked UNLV. New Mexico ranks a dismal 236th in effective field goal percentage, not to mention just 104th in offensive efficiency and we just do not see the Lobos handling a rise in class once Marsh Madness begins.