March Madness is almost among us – we’re seeing some teams really stepping things up as the ultimate playoff is creeping up on us, and some teams are starting to drop off. Typically, for some teams it’s easy to see if they’re going to bust. A weak schedule, combined with a great win-loss ratio usually means they’re in for their world to be rocked once they get to the big stage. Look at Duke a few years ago if you need an example. This year we see several favorites that are likely to disappoint. These teams aren’t just betting favorites for almost any online sportsbook, but they’re favorites in the eyes of fans all over the world. Let’s get started.
Let’s start off with a crazy one. Currently Villanova is the number one team in the country, and that vote is almost unanimous. They’re destroying their Big East competition, which includes a 95-64 thrashing of #6 Xavier. The only thing that really scares us away, is when they’ve played other big teams, they’ve been destroyed. Look at their game against Oklahoma – 78-55. Against Virginia: 86-75, and against a mediocre Providence team they lost 82-76. They did beat Xavier, and later Providence, but I think this team will falter come March. Their defense is one of the tops in the league, but that’s just about all they excel at. Expect them to lose in the 2nd or 3rd round, in my opinion.
Keeping with the Big East theme, let’s take a look at the currently #5 ranked Xavier Musketeers. They only had two losses as of a few days ago, but Creighton just upset them by a huge margin of 14 points, and Creighton had no reason to beat Xavier in that game. As mentioned earlier, when they went up against Villanova, they got creamed by 29 points. As much as I love watching Trevon Bluiett, he can’t carry Xavier to the final four. I expect Xavier to go out pretty early in March.
Iowa is a sneaky pick to upset a lot of people this season. I think they’re going to be favored in every game the rest of the season, just as long as nobody gets injured. They’ll also stand their ground in the Big 10 tournament, but I think they’ll end up going down to Maryland or Michigan State. They do have a great team on paper, but I don’t think they’re a final four team. They have a chance to go into March Madness with the best record in the field, making them a hot favorite, but I think they disappoint in March.
#4: Michigan State:
To start off, I’m a huge fan of Denzel Valentine – I love the way he plays and the energy he brings to the team. Sadly, it hasn’t been enough for the Spartans this season. As good as Michigan State can be, they’ve shown terrible flashes this season, and have five conference losses, amounting to a 7-5 record in-conference. Valentine might be the best all-around player in the nation, but he can’t carry the team by himself.