The 10 Teams Who Have Overachieved Most in the NCAA Tournament Thus Far

To go on an NCAA Tournament run, a team has to get hot. Which teams have exceeded expectations so far in this year's big dance?

In order for teams to make runs in the NCAA Tournament -- especially lower-seeded ones -- they need to overachieve. They need to play at a higher level than they played at during the regular season.

Naturally, the teams that've made it to this year's Sweet 16 have done just that. According to our nERD metric, which measures the number of points we'd expect a team to win by against an average squad on a neutral court, among the 16 teams still dancing, only North Carolina, Kentucky, and Gonzaga have seen their nERD ratings decrease since the start of the tournament.

As you'd guess, the majority of the teams that have exceeded expectations are still going strong. In fact, among the top-10 teams in nERD increase from the start of the tournament to now, six are in the Sweet 16.

Take a look at those teams below.

Team nERD at Start nERD Now Difference
South Carolina 12.28 13.21 0.93
Xavier 11.06 11.88 0.82
Florida 18.50 19.21 0.71
Kansas 18.33 18.87 0.54
Southern California 8.97 9.44 0.47
Rhode Island 10.66 11.12 0.46
UCLA 16.36 16.78 0.42
Bucknell 6.22 6.57 0.35
Arizona 15.37 15.70 0.33
Northern Kentucky 0.90 1.23 0.33

After beating Marquette and Duke, South Carolina has seen their nERD rating rise nearly a full point since the start of the tournament. Meanwhile, Xavier's not far behind after two straight upsets.

Even with this, both Xavier and South Carolina are underdogs in their upcoming games according to our numbers.