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Overrated and Underrated Teams
by ASA - 01/08/2008
Overrated â€“ Virginia â€“ At first glance the Cavs look solid with a 10-3 record. However, they have played one of the weakest schedules in the ACC (218th nationally) and have only beaten one quality opponent (Arizona). They have feasted on poor competition at home (only 3 road games to date). They lost at home to Syracuse and were crushed @ Xavier by 38. Their other loss came on a neutral court to a below average Seton Hall team. Other than that, their schedule has been littered with wins over the likes of Hartford, Elon, Longwood & Howard.
Underrated â€“ UMass â€“ While this team only has two losses as of this writing, they are still not getting the respect they deserve. The Minutemen have beaten both Syracuse and Boston College on the road this year. They are solid on both sides of the ball and have one of the lowest turnover rates in the NCAA (17%). Five of their top seven players are upperclassmen so the experience is there. We will look to play on this team getting points on the road in certain situations.
Underrated â€“ Cincinnati â€“ This team struggled early on but they are really starting to play well as of late. Their 6-7 record doesnâ€™t look impressive, however this team getting points (especially at home) will be worth a look. They are 2-3 their last five but have played five good teams very tough. They lost by 10 to Memphis which is the closest game the Tigers have had besides their battle with USC. They lost to Xavier by just 5 and NC State by 7, both on the road. They beat a very solid Miami (Oh) team and then turned around and beat Louisville on the road. Keep your eye on this team as a dog.
Overrated â€“ Purdue â€“ This team will be up and down all year long. Right now they are on a down turn. They are 2-2 their last four games with losses to Wofford & Iowa State, neither of which is very good. They also got down 16-2 at home to a very poor Florida International team but battled back for a win. They are well coached but struggle shooting the ball (just 42% as a team). They have six players averaging 20 minutes per game or more, four are freshmen and two are sophomores. They will stay close to good teams at times, but will also drop some games they shouldnâ€™t.
Overrated â€“ Nebraska â€“ A simple look at the record might have you believing in this Husker team. Not us. At least not yet. While they are 10-2, they have played one of the worst schedules in America. Their strength of schedule sits at 330th (out of 341 teams). Theyâ€™ve also played just two road games this season, both losses by 12 @ Creighton and by 7 @ Western Kentucky. Their third road game of the season doesnâ€™t come until January 15th. They have a pretty good win in overtime vs. Oregon but thatâ€™s about it. Weâ€™ll see how they do when they play the big boys on the road.
Overrated â€“ Houston â€“ The Cougs are rolling along with an 11-2 record as of this writing. Problem is, they have played just ONE true road game this season. That was @ UMass and a loss 95-89. Houston did play a few â€œneutral siteâ€쳌 games earlier this season but they are definitely not road ready entering Conference USA play. They have also played a very poor schedule ranked 319th in the country. They are not a good shooting team (42%) and will likely struggle even more on the road (if they ever decide leave Houston!). They play weak road games in January before hitting the road vs. solid foes in February. That will be the time to fade this team as their overall record will definitely be over inflated.
Underrated â€“ Illinois-Chicago â€“ We love this Flame squad. While they have had their slip ups, they are a very solid 8-6 team right now. They are young, but head coach Jimmy Collins has said they are coming together as well as any team he has coached. Theyâ€™ve gone on the road and beaten Central Michigan, DePaul and almost beat a very good Akron team. They are very efficient on offense and shoot the 3 as well as anyone (44% which is good for #2 nationally). They will have games where we say, â€œwhat the heck was thatâ€쳌, however we will side with them as underdogs in the right situation.