March Madness Watch: Start Looking These Three Teams Before March Madness

March Madness Watch: Start Looking These Three Teams Before March Madness

Cole Paganelli
9 months ago
3 min read
KJ Williams (0) of Murray State and Coach Matt McMahon (right) celebrate a big win over Tennessee State at the Gentry Complex.

We are drawing nearer to the men's NCAA basketball tournament and there are teams that are starting to separate themselves from the pack. There are also a few teams that are sitting back and waiting in the shadows ready to strike. Below we look at three teams that aren’t tabbed as favorites to win March Madness but could have a real chance come March.

Villanova Wildcats

The Wildcats aren't necessarily my favorite to win the championship. They're still a good choice, especially because the team looks to be nearing its peak and their odds may not be available for much longer. Villanova has been favored by the computers throughout the season, despite a few setbacks. They are now in a position to win another Big East championship and to be on a shortlist of teams that no one wants to face in March.

Villanova possesses all of the characteristics of a championship squad. Coach Jay Wright has led his team to a championship in two of the last five tournaments, so he understands how to get his squad ready for March Madness. 

The Wildcats are very comfortable doing what they do, and they are the best free-throw shooters in the country, which might be the difference between an early March Madness departure and a Final Four run. This group just can't seem to lose. 

They have quality players, particularly in the backcourt, where Collin Gillespie is an All-American and NBA-caliber player. Justin Moore provides them with another guard who can score and create for teammates while also being tough as a Villanova player. Their games may not be flashy, but it's difficult to find a stronger backcourt.

Murray State Racers

The Murray State Racers are an intriguing team to watch. Murray State has two straight years of being a sub-100 Pomeroy club after entering the round of 32 as a 12 seed in 2019 thanks to Ja Morant's heroics. 

It began the year ranked No. 128 in the Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings, but has now moved to No. 29 in the Pomeroy rankings and is even ranked No. 19 in the AP poll. It beat a bubble team on the road in Memphis and nearly fell to No. 2 Auburn on the road as well. 

The one oddity on their resume is a neutral-floor loss to ETSU, which is now ranked No. 176 in the Pomeroy rankings, but everything else matches their profile. If they need to make a run, they have the guard play to do it.

San Francisco Dons

In their third year under head coach Todd Golden, the San Francisco Dons appeared out of n owhere this season and are fast creating what appears to be a dream season. San Francisco is now ranked No. 24 in the Pomeroy rankings after a lengthy stretch of mediocrity and hardship for a team that hasn't finished a season in the top 65 in the Pomeroy era. 

The Dons, led by Jamaree Bouyea (17.9 points, 3.8 assists), have won multiple games, including against Power Five Arizona State and UAB, both of which are top 50 Pomeroy teams. They also remained competitive with No. 1 Gonzaga in a game determined by only 16 points, which the Bulldogs eventually won late.

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