NCAA Top 25 Review: Overrated & Underrated

by Power Sports

College Basketball is one of my favorite sports to handicap, so each month I plan on taking a look at who’s underrated and overrated in the Top 25:

Underrated

Houston - The Cougars are currently 15th in the AP Top 25 and 14th in the Coaches Poll. I’ve got them in the top four of my power rankings and ESPN has them third in their BPI. This was a Final Four team last year, remember. The Cougars only loss was by two to Wisconsin in the Maui Invitational. They hold blowout victories over Oregon, Butler and Virginia, all by 18 points or greater. Per KenPom, UH is #1 in the country in defensive efficiency. A team that should clearly be ranked higher. 

Arizona - The Wildcats are 6-0 and have risen to #11 in the poll. BPI is actually a bit lower, but my power ratings are very high on them, calling them one of the top teams in the entire country! Without question, Zona’s most impressive win came against Michigan, who was ranked #4 in the country at the time. The Wildcats won 80-62 (I had them) in Las Vegas, holding the Wolverines to 1 for 14 from three-point range. Their six wins have come by an average of 33.8 points/game. 

Overrated

Duke - The Blue Devils just beat Gonzaga, which was just the second loss for the Zags in the last two years (the other being the National Championship Game). But I do not think Coach K’s team is really the best in the country. I’d say top six, but definitely not first. BPI is even less bullish, putting them at #11. Coming off the huge win over Gonzaga, it might be a good idea to fade Duke their next time out. They play Tuesday at Ohio State as part of the Big 10/ACC Challenge. 

Arkansas - The Razorbacks are considered Top 10 by both the AP and Coaches Polls. I’m not sure they are one of the Top 25 teams. BPI is also unconvinced. The Hogs are 6-0 SU, but have had a couple single digit victories thus far. The upcoming schedule is not all that challenging with games against Central Arkansas, Little Rock and Charlotte. But fading the Razorbacks (who will be big favorites) might be a good idea in those games. You can at least get an ATS win.

Should Be In

LSU - The Tigers are 7-0 SU. They are also 6-1 ATS. They are the team I played against with my *10* Game of the Month (for November) as I took the points in their matchup with Penn State. LSU needed OT to win that game and it’s the only time they didn’t cover. Still, I have much respect for this team, which belongs not just in the Top 25, but the Top 15. 

Iowa - Another team not currently in the Top 25, but they should be. The Hawkeyes moved to 7-0 with a 75-74 win at Virginia on Monday, part of the Big 10/ACC Challenge. There is a huge showdown looming with #2 Purdue this Friday. Win that game and the Hawkeyes are definitely going to be in the Top 25. As long as they aren’t blown out, they still deserve to be in (my view) as my power ratings say they are Top 20 team right now. 



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