March Madness 2021: Examining Underrated NCAA Tournament Contenders

March Madness 2021: Examining Underrated NCAA Tournament Contenders

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    Ethan Hyman/Associated Press

    There would possibly maybe be a overall sense of the most productive groups in the country correct one week from Probability Sunday.

    The Gonzaga Bulldogs hang but to lose a game. Baylor responded to its first loss by getting an beyond smartly-liked time hang end against West Virginia and a hang end over a streaking Oklahoma Order team.

    Then there would possibly maybe be the Colossal Ten. The Michigan Wolverines headline the four groups that had been in the tip seven of the AP’s Top 25 ballot for Week 15. Meanwhile, Illinois continues to play outstanding basketball after beating the Wolverines and Ohio Order Buckeyes in support-to-support contests. In other locations, the Iowa Hawkeyes hang one in all the most productive gamers in the country in Luka Garza.

    All these groups figure to vie for spots in the Final Four. But what about one of the most extra below-the-radar contenders around the country?

    Let’s eradicate a stare upon some imaginable sleeper contenders for the NCAA men’s basketball match.

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    Eric Happy/Associated Press

    Bill Self’s team hit a microscopic little bit of a rut right via the season.

    The Kansas Jayhawks went correct 3-5 in January. It changed into as soon as no longer often the extra or much less originate they wished in Colossal 12 circulation. But the Jayhawks are stringing issues together.

    Kansas carried out a smartly-liked-season sweep over Texas Tech on Feb. 20. The Jayhawks suffered a no longer easy beyond smartly-liked time loss to the Texas Longhorns in its subsequent game nonetheless responded by handing Baylor its first lack of the season.

    David McCormack and Jalen Wilson are a handful inner. McCormack had 20 factors in 25 minutes against the Bears. Wilson didn’t shoot the ball all that successfully nonetheless pulled down 14 rebounds.

    McCormack is a immense body inner. The junior forward has phenomenal agility and is also able to facing up and making mid-fluctuate jumpers. He sets the tone for Kansas’ offense by getting deep post place and going to work from there.

    Senior guard Marcus Garrett would possibly maybe also honest be the X-element. Garrett is no longer extra special of a perimeter menace, nonetheless he can spoil down defenders off the dribble and fabricate plays for teammates. He’s also a pest against opposing guards, and the flexibility to scuttle top guards ought to soundless be famous in March Madness.

    The Jayhawks need Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun to warmth up from deep. Agbaji, in explicit, in overall is a sniper. If these two rep it going, Kansas’ inner-out game would possibly maybe also honest be no longer easy to defend against.

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    This would possibly maybe even no longer come as extra special of a surprise, nonetheless the Virginia Cavaliers thrive as soon as they decelerate the game and grind opposing offenses to a end.

    Tony Bennett’s team operates in the half court and forces opponents to salvage the same. The Cavaliers injurious sixth in defensive scoring. They also injurious 31st in the country in field-impartial share and 10th in three-point share. 

    That extra or much less effectivity makes Virginia a menace to transfer deep. Seniors Sam Hauser and Jay Huff adjust the paint and also shoot the ball successfully from beyond the arc. Junior Trey Murphy is one other guy who has dimension and can light it up from deep.

    The personnel is precious to junior guard Kihei Clark, who relies on his quickness and court imaginative and prescient to manufacture plays and rep to the rim. Clark attacks in recall-and-roll and can power and kick to open shooters.

    As continually, the question with Virginia shall be whether or no longer the Cavaliers can rating adequate to manufacture a scuttle. Hauser is mountainous as a decide-and-shoot guy, nonetheless Virginia doesn’t necessarily hang a bucket-getter to originate offense in crunch time.

    Still, the three-point shooting and stringent defensive scheme will fabricate the Cavaliers a menace in Indianapolis.

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    John Peterson/Associated Press

    The Purdue Boilermakers would possibly maybe no longer be in the same class as the opposite Colossal Ten elite, nonetheless they’ll no longer be the team to sleep on.

    For starters, head coach Matt Painter has loads of newest success in the NCAA men’s basketball match. The Boilermakers made it to the Elite Eight in 2019 and reached the Sweet 16 in the 2 seasons prior.

    Furthermore, Purdue—extra special adore Kansas—would possibly maybe be quite troublesome to guard against.

    Trevion Williams is one in all the extra educated bigs in the country. Williams went into Saturday’s game against Indiana averaging 15.6 factors and 8.9 rebounds, including 3.4 offensive rebounds. He also can exploit doubles on the block and rep the open man, averaging 2.1 dimes per contest.

    Williams is at the heart of every little thing Purdue does, nonetheless Painter also knows when to attract it up for Sasha Stefanovic. The junior guard went into Saturday’s game shooting 42 percent from beyond the arc on 5.1 makes an try per game. He runs off monitors and automatically knocks down above-the-spoil triples.

    Abet an mediate on freshman guard Jaden Ivey and 7’4″ heart Zach Edey. Ivey is no longer often the most productive shooter, nonetheless he’s a dynamic athlete and finisher who can rating off the jump. Edey dominated the Hoosiers on Saturday, with 20 factors and nine rebounds. He slipped to the rim for easy twos and lobs, and his dimension makes him no longer easy to handle. Edey also can spell Williams minutes.

    Purdue is no longer flashy. But the Boilermakers hang diverse scoring suggestions, and Painter is no longer any stranger to taking underdog groups deep into the men’s NCAA match.

    All stats got by Sports activities Reference except otherwise renowned.

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