Reseeding the Elite 8: Does upsetting leading teams move FAU,
In some cases, the NCAA competition is full of surprises. And then there are years like this.All of the
1-seeds will watch the Elite 8 from home. All of them.The West Coast
Conference, the Mountain West and Conference U.S.A. are still alive. The Big 10 and SEC, which combined to make 16 bids in the NCAA competition, have actually both been eliminated.The nationwide champ this year will not be higher than a 2-seed and could be as low as a 9-seed. Simply one of the remaining teams has actually won it in the past. Absolutely nothing has actually made sense.With that property, we make our last attempt to reseed the field and all the chaos connected to it. At this moment, we’re adding a lot of weight to the method a group is playing right now. However, please save your DMs. Your group remains in the Elite Eight. Relax.Sixty teams want they were you today. Enjoy the ride. 1. UConn Huskies Original Seed: No. 4. Reseed: No. 1 overall Editor’s Picks 2 Related In one of the most dominant go to the Elite 8 we’ve seen in college basketball over the last 20 years, the 2017-18 Villanova team, which included Wood Award winner Jalen Brunson, won its very first 3 NCAA competition games by 26 points(Radford), 23 points(Alabama)and 12 points (West Virginia )for a combined margin of success of 61 points. Nova remained untouchable, winning each of the rest of its games by double digits, including its second nationwide title in three years.Thus far, UConn has actually won its very first 3 games by 24 points (Iona ), 15 points( Saint Mary’s)and 23 points(Arkansas). That’s a combined margin of triumph of 62 points. While the rest of the field(other than Alabama, naturally)has faced nail-biters and close calls eventually in their NCAA competition experiences, the Huskies have not experienced any real hardship. That’s not due to the competitors they’ve dealt with. Iona possessed the most efficient offense in the MAAC, and both Saint Mary’s and Arkansas were ranked top 15 in adjusted defensive performance on KenPom when they dealt with the Huskies. UConn has actually simply been that good.The chatter getting in the NCAA competition was that if Danny Hurley’s group reached its offending ceiling, it would be challenging to beat. That has actually been true.
However that’s also not the full story of a UConn group balancing 81.6 PPG through three tournament games. The Huskies have also been a major defensive risk. Iona linked on just 36.6 %of its shots inside the arc versus them. Not one Saint Mary’s player completed with double figures against UConn. And Arkansas missed out on 43 of its 63 field goal attempts Thursday night. In the NCAA competition, Adama Sanogo is balancing 23.3 PPG( 75%clip from the field) and 9.6 RPG, while the team has actually made 45%of its 3-point efforts. That’s remarkable. The Huskies appear like serious nationwide title contenders right now.Up next: vs. Gonzaga (Saturday, 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS)< img alt=" "src=" https://a.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=/i/teamlogos/ncaa/500/251.png?w=110&h=110&transparent=true"width="
50 “/ > 2. Texas Longhorns Initial Seed: No. 2. Reseed: 1 Throughout this season, Texas has defied the chances. What are the possibilities an interim coach who ended up 37-48 in 3 years at UTEP could step in after Chris Beardwas fired for domestic abuse accusations, and lead this team to the Elite Eight for
the very first time given that 2008? Rodney Terry did that. What are the chances a stumbling team that went 5-5 getting in the first week of March would in some way figure things out and gain momentum to make this run? Texas beat Kansas twice in 7 days in March and won the Huge 12 tournament. It has actually shattered misconceptions in the NCAA tournament, too. Versus Texas in the preliminary, Colgate– the best 3-point shooting team in the country– went 3-for-15 from beyond the arc. In the second round versus Penn State, the Longhorns handled All-American Jalen Pickett by putting Timmy Allen on him. Pickett finished 5-for-13 with 11 points.Xavier presented an unique variety of obstacles Friday. The Musketeers have size with 7-footer Jack Nunge. Souley Boum is a sixth-year point player who hardly ever dedicates turnovers. And Sean Miller’s group has a 4-1 record this season against fellow Big East and Sugary food 16 groups Creighton and UConn. Texas still led wire to wire, with a 20-point lead midway through the second half. The Longhorns have leadership in veteran Marcus Carr, who’s signed up with by a collection of players who vary from 6 feet to 6-foot-9 however can all play both ways and run opponents off the flooring in transition. And they do not count on one player. On Friday, Tyrese Hunter was one of five Texas players in double figures. The Longhorns might win a nationwide title with an interim. After the season they have actually had, it wouldn’t be shocking.Up next: vs. Miami(Sunday, 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS) 3. Gonzaga Bulldogs Original Seed: No. 3. Reseed: 1 Prior to he launched a clutch 3 from the logo in the last seconds of Gonzaga’s 79-76 win over UCLA in the Sugary Food Sixteen on Thursday, Julian Strawther asked
Mark Few for the thumbs-up to shoot the shot if he had a great look
. Couple of said,”Definitely.”There’s a self-confidence about this Gonzaga team and its offending abilities that shows up in those defining moments. The Bulldogs, ranked initially in adjusted offensive efficiency on KenPom, are a risk to win their very first national championship as an outcome. They made 56 %of their shots inside the arc against GCU in the preliminary. They played TCU in a tight game, but their 11 turnovers(14 %turnover rate)contributed to their triumph. Then, in another close affair versus the Bruins, Gonzaga conquered a double digit deficit and made a 13-2 diminish the stretch to set up a thrilling finish.The Zags have now reached the Elite 8 for the 5th time under Couple of. Drew Timme’s numbers are ridiculous. He’s averaging 28.3 PPG through 3 NCAA tournament games. Opponents need to put extra defenders on him due to the fact that of his adaptability around the rim, which opens the flooring for everyone else. On Strawther’s amazing game winner on Thursday, if
you see it once again, you can see 3 UCLA defenders all expecting the pass within to Timme. They never thought of Strawther would shoot that shot and make it. Which is what makes Gonzaga so dangerous.Up next: vs. UConn (Saturday, 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS) 4. San Diego State Aztecs Original Seed: No. 5. Reseed: 1 As Brian Dutcher’s group chewed up its very first weekend opponents, some didn’t think the metrics that say this has been among the best defenses in America over the last six weeks. Why? San Diego State plays in
the Mountain West, which is ranked 6th in KenPom’s rankings for conferences. But the Mountain West had four teams in the NCAA competition teams– as numerous as the Pac-12 this season. SDSU ended up with the most effectivedefense in league play before
it locked down Charleston and Furman, a couple of double digit seeds, in the very first and 2nd rounds. Entering its matchup against 1-seed Alabama on Friday, however, SDSU was still searching for credibility.It came when the exact same protective fortitude– the team is ranked initially in adjusted protective efficiency because Feb. 1, per barttorvik.com– worked against a Crimson Tide squad with a predicted top-three pick in the NBA draft and the SEC’s finest offense this season. Alabama had defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Maryland by 43 points combined in the very first two rounds. But Brandon Miller made just 15.8%of his shots and devoted six turnovers in the 71-64 loss. SDSU for its part didn’t panic when it was down 48-39 early in the 2nd half, instead releasing a 23-5 run to gain back control of the game. Darrion Trammell led his team with 21 points. He was the 3rd different leading scorer in the NCAA tournament for SDSU. Whatever about this SDSU go to the school’s first males’s Elite 8 appearance is genuine, and anybody who second-guessed them now understands the Aztecs are as hazardous as any team in the field.Up next: vs. Creighton(Sunday, 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS ) 5. Miami Hurricanes Initial Seed: No. 5. Reseed: 2 In 2015, Duke and North Carolina both reached the Last 4, highlighting the expertise of the ACC in Mike Krzyzewski’s last season. When those 2 are good, the ACC gets more nationwide attention than any other league in America. However if they’re struggling, the narrative frequently turns to the ACC frustrating. It impacts the method we see its leading groups. The latter held true this season when Virginia
lost to Furman in the preliminary of the NCAA tournament, and Duke lost to Tennessee
in the second round. Miami was a stylish choice to lose to Drake in the very first round.But the Hurricanes are a challenging match for any opponent. Not just did they beat Drake and Indiana, they steamrolled 1-seed Houston, which went into Friday’s Sugary food 16 game ranked top 15 in changed offensive and protective performance on KenPom. The 89-75 win– which included 11-of-22 from beyond the arc, and Nijel Load scoring 24 points– demonstrated how challenging Jim Larranaga’s team can be to safeguard. The team’s guards are extraordinary and Norchad Omier(12 points, 13 rebounds)continues to serve as an enforcer with a tough 6-foot-7 frame. Houston coach Kelvin Sampson stated his team had more challenges with Omier than it made with the 7-footers they had dealt with previously in the season. Isaiah Wong, the ACC Gamer of the Year, is a versatile inequality for most teams, too.The Hurricanes are stacked with playmakers. However Miami’s defense is still ranked outside the leading 100 in adjusted protective performance– normally a bad indication for a group’s Final 4 hopes. Still, its volatility and effectiveness could carry this program to Houston.Up next: vs. Texas( Sunday, 5:05 p.m. ET, CBS) 6. Creighton Bluejays Initial Seed: No. 6. Reseed: 2 Amid the turmoil, there is a theme in this NCAA competition.
The teams that have actually made it through hit their particular strides late in the season. Whatever they had to figure out before then– well, they finally did, when it mattered most. UConn has actually lost one game given that early February. Florida Atlantic has one of the most wins (34)in America, and has actually won 10 in a row.
Texas won the Big 12 competition title and beat Kansas twice in
the last month. Gonzaga
, SDSU, Kansas State and Miami all had moments
in recent weeks that recommended they were trending in the best instructions too.Creighton, nevertheless, may have made the most abrupt and fortuitous turn. Over their last 19 games, the Bluejays have been a leading 10 group on barttorvik.com, going 15-4. Getting in Friday’s 86-75 Sweet 16 win over Princeton, they had actually made 55%of its shots inside the arc and held their challengers under 45 %since Jan. 11– both leading 30 in the nation. The Bluejays were improving. They just needed the NCAA tournament to display those improvements. They’re now on their method to their very first males’s Elite Eight appearance since 1941, with an offensive effectiveness that needs to be respected. And they can rely on various heroes. It was Ryan Kalkbrenner(31 points )versus NC State in the first round and Ryan Nembhard (30 points)in the win over Baylor in the 2nd. Kalkbrenner (22 points)led all scorers again Friday. In general, Creighton has moved itself to this stage after connecting on 42 %of its 3-point attempts over the last two games and signing up 116 points per 100 belongings in the NCAA tournament.Up next: vs. San Diego State( Sunday, 2:20 p.m. ET, CBS) 7. Kansas State Wildcats Initial Seed: No. 3. Reseed: 2 In the Wildcats ’98-93 overtime win over Michigan State in the Sweet 16 on Thursday– among the greatest games in recent NCAA competition history– it was simple to see the impact of Markquis Nowell, who completed with 20 points and 19 assists(an NCAA tournament record ). There was also the lob to Keyontae Johnson a split second after it appeared Nowell was having a conversation with head coach Jerome Tang. There were Michigan State’s
frenzied protective adjustments in pick-and-roll circumstances as Nowell’s motions and speed confounded defenders who didn’t understand whether to hedge and stay with him or drop and prepare for the pass in the paint.The NCAA competition’s greatest
individual backcourt contributor so far has actually made a quantifiable effect
Per Synergy’s Shot Quality(expected points per shot)metric, which is an “objective way to examine the quality of each shot,”Nowell has actually made 0.24 points per shot above expectation in the NCAA competition. To put that in context, Steph Curry has the leading mark of 0.24 points per shot above expectation in 3-pointers at the top of the key over the last 5 years in the NBA, per Synergy Sports. Nowell also scored or helped on 63 of 98 points (64%), the most because ESPN Stats & Details started tracking that information in 2010. Bottom line, Nowell is doing some absurd stuff on the basketball court right now, whether you believe the eye test or the metrics, and he has a Kemba Walker-like momentum that might end with the program’s first nationwide championship.Up next: vs. FAU( Saturday, 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS) 8. Florida Atlantic Owls Initial Seed: No. 9. Reseed: 2 During the 2007-08 season, the world met a boy named Steph Curry, who led 10-seed Davidson to the Elite 8. Curry had the makings of a future pro at the time, and was the difference-maker for the Wildcats. One of the soon-to-be NBA star’s strengths was his strength: Davidson entered the NCAA tournament on a 22-game winning streak, adding to it with success against Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin prior to being up to the ultimate national champion, Kansas.You can’t compare FAU to that Davidson team relating to personnel. The Owls do not have an NBA lottery choice. But, similar to the Wildcats then, this is a mid-major that has forgotten how to lose. Johnell Davis(18.6 PPG)
and Co. got in the 2023 NCAA
competition with a 30-2 mark in its last 32 games. Their familiarity with winning continues to sustain a program that had not won an NCAA competition game prior to this month. Versus Memphis, FAU held it together and made clutch plays as the Tigers crumbled in the first round. Fairleigh Dickinson, which had actually knocked off 1-seed Purdue in the preliminary, had a five-point lead over FAU midway through the 2nd half in the second round. The Owls responded with a 19-7 run to regain control. Against Tennessee and the No. 1 defense in America on Thursday,
a 10-0 run in the second half altered the tone in favor of Dusty Might’s squad.This FAU run isn’t a fluke. This is a program with a winning pedigree, which has actually continued through the NCAA tournament.Up next: vs. Kansas State (Saturday, 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS )