2012-2013's Surprise/Underrated Teams posted February 8, 2017 at 10:16 AM
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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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It wouldn't be college hoops without smaller and/or underrated schools showing they are great.  And coincidentally, it wouldn't be a fair discussion of college basketball if you don't pay any mind to those smaller programs that can make a big impact.  We've already seen NCAA Division 2's Chaminade stun the Texas Longhorns 30 years after their historic upset of (then) #1 Virginia.

 

So this is the thread devoted to those mid-majors, little-knowns, and underrated teams.  It doesn't mean such teams will have any hope at a National Championship, but they shouldn't be left out entirely.  I'm putting this thread on here for discussion of those smaller/underrated programs in both men's and women's hoops for this season.  You're welcome.

 

 

Have at it, Fans25.com!  :)

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TopJTimm

Macon, GA

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Mercer Bears. Defending CIT champs headed for the big dance this year!

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TheTopFan

Greenville, SC

Fans25 Staff

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Always good to have you back on here, John!

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Prozach

Bellingham, WA

Fans25 Staff

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Can you be underrated if you're from a (supposed) major conference? Because Wazzu might be a darkhorse to sneak into the tournament this year. They've got an extremely underrated Brock Motum at the forefront of the team, and thus far have played...ok. A combined 3 points in the losses to Texas A&M and Pepperdine (and a blowout against Kansas), plus blowing out the teams we're supposed to blow out, and the season has some semblance of hope for something bigger.

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HuskerChamp1

Omaha, NE

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Oregon, Creighton's old coach Dana Altman (Whom I strongly dislike) has put together a really good team up there. Watch out for the Ducks and that creepy court.

 

And NEVER sleep on my Blue Jays. Creighton is currently ranked 11th. The highest they've ever been ranked is 9th and that was when they had Kyle Korver a few years ago. I think they can top that

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Last season, not many people expected Murray State to have as much of a ballin' season as they had.  The Racers had that sad first loss when they played Tennessee State (not sure if it was vs. Tenn. State or at Tenn. State).  Some teams may just come out of nowhere and show they belong.  Underrated is underrated.  You could be from a low-major conference and show you're among the nation's best.

 

As much as I love college football, college basketball is really a sport where you can really have motivation and determination to emerge as a contender.  When I first got into sports around 2002, I learned of all the different college football schools.  When I learned of college basketball, there were a number of non-football schools I had to learn of.  You have about 120 or so schools in NCAA FBS.  You have about (give or take) 340 NCAA D1 schools.  Trying to prove you are among the top percentile when March Madness comes along is worth plenty of motivation to show you're among the best in the nation.

 

That's why it's good being underrated especially in college hoops.  You can be a non-major football school, a non-football school, a small school in a major conference, or whatever- if you have talent, you deserve to have at least a chance to get into the tournament and go far into the tournament.  So all you can do is play hard and turn heads all the while.  Who are those teams?  We'll find out as this season goes along.

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Let me name some teams with pretty good records so far (all records accurate as the time of this post was made):

* Radford (5-3)
* Ohio (6-0)
* Western Michigan (5-1)
* Eastern Michigan (5-1)
* Charlotte (6-0)
* Temple (4-0)
* New Mexico (7-0)
* Wyoming (7-0)
* Colorado (6-0)
* North Dakota State (6-2)
* Louisiana Tech (7-1)
* Sacramento State (5-1)
* Southern Mississippi (6-0)
* East Carolina (5-0)
* Bucknell (6-1)


It's early, but we may be talking about some of these teams come March.

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HerkyOnPot

Iowa City, IA

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Northern Iowa, should have beaten Louisville last week.  They got robbed by the officials.

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HuskerChamp1

Omaha, NE

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Everyone in the Mo Valley has been looking pretty good so far this year Illinois St is playing it close with Louisville right now

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awbasketball48

aaa, TN

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One to watch for tonight is VCU vs Belmont. VCU is sitting at 4-3, but the three losses come to very good Witchita State, Duke, and Mizzou (mizzou was a 3 point loss and Duke was 9, and Wich St. was 2 point loss). They have also beaten Memphis thi s year.

 

Belmont is sitting at 5-1 and have always been tough under Rick Bryd. 

 

If you are in to bracket busters, this should be a good one to watch.

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HerkyOnPot

Iowa City, IA

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Also Iowa not really a small school but we havnt been good for years.  (6-2) right now losses to Witchita State in a close game and Virginia Tech who looks great this year, leading #15 Okie State right now.

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HuskerChamp1

Omaha, NE

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Illinios St, another mo valley team, lost to Lou'ville by only 3. Indiana St, another mo vally team, trails by three to the 25th ranked New Mexico Lobos. Creighton is beating St Joe's by 30. St Joes beat ND. ND beat Kentucky. I like drawing dots in Basketball. +Never forget those good for nothing Shockers in Witchita St. Mo Valley is very strong this year.

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Usually, the Missouri Valley in basketball is like the MAC in NCAA FBS football. It sort of comes to the point where you shouldn't really be surprised about a Missouri Valley school making noise. At least, on the men's side.

I would make mention to my beloved Houston Cougars, but they lost two straight. My boys lost to Texas A&M 70-59; but before that, they lost at Prairie View A&M 81-80. UH Coogs are 5-2 so far.


When college basketball is the talk, I try to infuse both men's and women's action. Women's hoops usually isn't as competitive as men's hoops. However, I don't want to leave the ladies hanging.  So let me shine the spotlight on some women's teams.  And without sounding too much like a ladies' man ;), here are some unlikely women's teams with good records (all as accurate as the time I recorded these):

--- Women's Teams ---
* Hartford (6-1)
* #23 Dayton (8-0)
* Campbell (5-2)
* Coastal Carolina (5-2)
* Pacific (6-0)
* Youngstown State (5-1)
* Wisconsin-Green Bay (5-1)
* Fairfield (5-1)
* Missouri State (5-2)
* Gonzaga (6-1)
* San Diego (5-1)
* Georgia State (4-1)
* Montana State (5-1)
* UAB (7-1)
* UTEP 6-1)
* Harvard (6-2)
* Hampton (5-3)
* Quinnipiac (5-0)
* Army (7-1)
* Nicholls State (6-2)
* Lamar (5-2) < I used to be a Lamar U. student, so I cheer them on.
* Arkansas-Little Rock (6-1)

Again- these are how some of the women's teams are playing. These may be some schools we may be talking about in the NCAA D1 Women's bracket come March.

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TopJTimm

Macon, GA

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Mercer beat FSU today. Go Bears!

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Do you think Mercer could possibly make the tournament this season?

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TopJTimm

Macon, GA

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Yep because Belmont left the A-Sun! They've been dominating that conference but left for greener pastures

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Wyoming. I was watching a little of the Indiana State vs. Miami game, and I noticed that Wyoming is among one of about five teams that are unbeaten up to this point. The other unbeaten teams so far (up to the time of this post)? Duke, Michigan, Cincinnati, and Arizona. Wyoming is unranked.

 

I probably wouldn't be surprised if the Wyoming Cowboys get into the NCAA Tourney this season.  Oh... and Happy Holidays, Fans25.com!  :D

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Samurai328

Eugene, OR

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Oregon.

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Here are a bunch of teams ready to screw your bracket up. It's Bracketbusters, baby! The games will tip off on February 22 and February 23. Here are this season's Bracketbuster matches (dates played not listed, and games are not listed in any specific order):

* Iona vs. Indiana State
* North Dakota State at Akron
* Northwestern State at Niagara
* Montana at Davidson
* Detroit at Wichita State
* #16 Creighton at St. Mary's
* South Dakota State at Murray State
* Denver at Northern Iowa
* Ohio at Belmont
* Eastern Kentucky at Valparaiso
* Canisius at Vermont
* Pacific at Western Michigan
* Stephen F. Austin State at Long Beach State

Bracketbusters bring out the underrated programs. You know it's tough to follow college basketball with (on the NCAA D1 level) 330+ schools. That's really the beauty of college basketball- 330+ schools, 68 make the tournament, numbers of schools feel deserving of attention and respect.

If there's a team I think deserves a little more respect, it's here in Houston. Not the U. of Houston (sadly), not Rice, but Texas Southern. They can bank the three-point shot very well. I saw a bit of a game when Alabama State played at Texas Southern. The TexSU (to prevent confusion with Tennessee State) Tigers can drain the rock from deep. If it happens that Texas Southern makes the tournament this season, perimeter defense for the other team will need to be on alert.

 

 

That's all.  Have yourself a lovely day/night!  :)

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Just a little reminder... this weekend is Bracketbusters weekend.  Some of these names could be the ones who may make some tournament noise and screw up peoples' brackets.  One of those games is tonight- North Dakota State at Akron.  This should be a great weekend to see whom all could be those mid-majors who could shock the college hoops world come March.

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Among major schools, one of the biggest surprises is the University of Miami.  I think Miami will take on Duke AT Duke next Saturday or something like that.  Sadly... Miami got smashed 80-65 at Wake Forest today.

 

Good times keep on rolling for Texas Southern here in Houston.  Haven't heard much from the men's side, but when I was listening to the radio today, the Lady Tigers of Texas Southern University got their 13th straight win of the season.  Reeling off a double-digit winning streak in any sport is always worthy of praise.  I have to wonder if Texas Southern can be contenders in March Madness should either or both the men's and women's teams make the Dance.

 

 

Among the many Bracketbuster games, Saint Louis went up to Butler and took down the Butler Bulldogs 65-61 back on Friday (or was it Thursday?).  The Billikens pulled off a big one.

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HerkyOnPot

Iowa City, IA

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Any hopes Iowa still had of making the dance fading last night with a mind boggling loss to Nebraska.  All we had to do was take care of business. We had no bad losses on the resume, but no good wins either.  Now we finally got that bad loss.  I hate you Nebraska...

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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When you look at so many big schools, smaller ones go unnoticed.  So is the case for...

 

...the University of Akron.

 

Did you know they are currently on a... what, 16 or 18 game winning streak?  The Zips are pretty talented to reel off this many wins.  As far as mid-majors are concerned, Akron may just be this season's version of last season's Murray State.

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HuskerChamp1

Omaha, NE

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Herky I know a Nebrasketball fan and he is the most annoying person in the world. Creighton beat them by 20 and he still claims that Nebraska's better only because they are in the Big 10. (Even though they have been AWFUL the past few weeks) I hate Nebrasketball for that reason only. (And their coach is a little dork)

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Someone mentioned Mercer earlier in this thread.  Well, they just lost the A-Sun Championship to the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast.  It was 88-75 in favor of FGCU in beating Mercer at Mercer for the Atlantic Sun championship.  This will be FGCU's first NCAA D1 tournament appareance come Selection Sunday.

 

With a lot of conference champions to be decided, all games between now and the final conference championship games will help set up the ones we should keep an eye on besides the powerhouse schools.  Also be on the lookout for the "Last Four In," "Last Four Out" teams, and also the potential at-large schools.

 

 

College hoops is heating up with the tournament coming up.

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TopJTimm

Macon, GA

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I know, I was there Sir John. Highly depressing!

Oh well, we've got the NIT, at least.

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John_M-01

Houston, TX

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Even though they have a 15-20 record, could you imagine the Flames of Liberty University being a surprise team in the tournament?  They did win their conference championship, after all.

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