The 10 Most Overrated Teams in the NCAA Tournament
There's something to be said for getting into the final bracket of the NCAA Tournament. Among 350-plus teams, only 68 qualify, so it's tough to hate on any team that earns a bid -- automatic or at-large.
But when it comes down to predicting performance for our brackets, well, we have to take stands. We have to dig into the numbers and figure out which teams may not be deserving of the seeds they received. We need to avoid bust candidates that can ruin our run to greatness.
So that's what we're here to do: to identify the most overrated teams in the final 68. We'll leverage our nERD metric, which indicates expected point differential over an average team on a neutral court. It won't help us too much to figure out which 15 seed with an automatic bid doesn't stack up to historical 15 seeds, so instead, I'm going to look just at 10 seeds or better that could leave us in agony once the tournament gets underway.
10. Marquette Golden Eagles
17th Overall Seed, 27th in nERD
nERD: 12.69 (-0.53 versus seed average)
The Marquette Golden Eagles certainly aren't a bad team by any means, but that doesn't mean they're a strong 5 seed. Marquette ranks 27th in nERD on the season but drew the 17th overall seed with their at-large bid out of the Big East conference. They rank in the 82nd percentile or better in both offensive and defensive rating, via our metrics, yet they're about half a point worse than the average 5 seed since 2000, based on nERD. Led by Markus Howard, a prolific scorer, and with some strong supporting shooters (they're sixth in three-point field goal percentage), they can still be dangerous. Against an exciting Murray State Racers squad, Marquette is still heavily favored to advance to the Round of 32, per our stage odds.
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