NC State yesterday leaving Michigan a chance to claim the number one spot as they traveled to Ohio State. Michigan blew that opportunity as the buckeyes defeated the Wolverines 56-53. Michigan is the fourth best shooting team in the country making over 51% of the attempts, but today Ohio State held Michigan to 38% and only 30% from behind the three point line. The Buckeyes were not much better at 44%, but timely shooting combined with an advantage on the backboard propelled Ohio State to the win.
Multiple teams have held the top spot in college basketball, but there is not one team you point to as a clear cut favorite to cut down the nets this year. The parody in college basketball will make for an exciting tournament where magic is bound to happen. Louisville is the likely choice to be ranked number one this week and the Cardinals have a line up that can make a deep run in the tournament, but there are many teams that are built for March. With the right match up several of the following teams could make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
San Diego State is a team that should receive a seed where they can advance to the sweet sixteen or at least the second round. The Aztecs do not jump out at you statistically in any category, but they have two capable scorers in Tapley and Franklin. In a loss against Arizona the Aztecs showed they can go toe to toe with one of the best teams in the country before falling to the Wildcats 68-67.
The Wolfpack took down number one Duke, but do not think for a moment this was a fluke upset. CJ Leslie and Lorenzo Brown are future NBA talents and Scott Wood can stretch any defense. Depending on the development of freshman Rodney Purvis the Wolfpack will be a dangerous team in March.
Brad Stevens has the Bulldogs back playing well and their efficient offense is built for NCAA tournament play. The Bulldogs took down top ranked Indiana on the road and have the experience to make a run. With a team that runs efficient half court offense a concern with the Bulldogs is their assist production only delving out twelve a game.
These are just three teams to watch as the season develops as there are several other teams that will be difficult outs in March Madness.