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NCAAB | Feb 02

A Quick NCAA Men’s Basketball Refresher

Who the Best Offensive and Defensive Teams Are, Who Covers the Spread, and Who You Should Look Out For

A Quick NCAA Men’s Basketball Refresher
Josiah-Jordan James #30 of the Tennessee Volunteers/ Carly Mackler/Getty Images/AFP

Move Aside Football, It’s Time for NCAAB 🏀

I think I am finally ready to trust [Tennessee HC] Rick Barnes…

The Super Bowl is just a few days away. Once we determine a winner between the Chiefs and Niners, NCAA men’s basketball will be center stage. As someone who has been knee-deep in college hoops since the season started, I figured you could use a quick primer on what we’ve seen thus far.

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The Best Offensive and Defensive Teams

The five best offensive teams in the country measured by offensive efficiency:

  • Alabama
  • Uconn
  • Baylor
  • Purdue
  • Indiana State

 

The five best defensive teams in the country measured by defensive efficiency:

  • Houston
  • Iowa State
  • Saint Marys
  • UCF
  • Virginia

 

Let’s Talk ATS

In terms of covering the spread, it might come as a surprise but Minnesota leads the country at 17-3 ATS. They have been solid defensively and have covered 85% of the time both as a dog and a favorite.

Other top teams in America ATS include:

  • Richmond 15-4 ATS
  • Southern Utah 14-4 ATS
  • Corpus Christi 13-4 ATS
  • Morehead State 13-4 ATS

 

The worst teams in the country ATS:

  • Old Dominion 4-16 ATS
  • Pacific 4-16 ATS
  • Detroit Mercy 5-17
  • Stonehill 5-16 ATS
  • Missouri 5-15 ATS

 

Free Throw Shooting

One of the most important things when covering the spread and winning long-term in gambling is free throws. FT shooting is so damn important and generally, if you shoot well from the charity stripe, you will cover numbers

The five best teams from the free throw line in the country:

  • Villanova 81.2%
  • Virginia Tech 80.1%
  • Wake Forest 79.8%
  • Montana 79.1%
  • Alabama 79.1%

 

And, the worst teams from the free throw line in the country:

  • Army 60.1%
  • Western Michigan 60.6%
  • Houston Christian 61.1%
  • Rhode Island 62%
  • Loyola Maryland 62%

 

Top Teams to Watch

Tennessee

We know year after year that Tennessee always has an elite defense and that’s no different this year sitting top 5 in adjusted defensive efficiency. The difference with the Vols this year is offensively. They are lethal offensively as on the defensive end.

In case you don’t follow college basketball news, the Vols also possess one of the best players in the country, Dalton Knecht. They are built to last long-term and I think I am finally ready to trust Rick Barnes with what I think is his best team in a long time.

 

Marquette

Shaka Smart’s team is really good and he has one of the most cohesive units in the country led by guard Tyler Kolek. They have a great frontcourt and are top 15 in defensive efficiency and top 40 in offensive efficiency.

The big thing for them is the chip on their shoulder after not making the second weekend last season, bowing out to Michigan State in the 2nd round. I expect a much deeper run this season.

 

Dayton

This is another team that we know every year is elite defensively. Anthony Grant is a hell of a coach and knows how to get his kids to buy into the defensive end. Offense sometimes can be a challenge and we haven’t seen a Flyer offense this good since Obi Toppin was there. Sadly that team, which was 29-2, never got to see how good they were in the NCAA Tourney because the season was canceled due to the C-word. This team is really good and I think they have a shot at making a deep run.

 

Grand Canyon

One final thing I’ll point out is every year we see a team that should make a deep run make a deep run like Florida Atlantic or San Diego State or Loyola Chicago. My mid-major to keep an eye on to make the Final 4 is Grand Canyon.

This starting five is as good as any in the country. Tyon Grant Foster is a MAN who used to play at Kansas. They are long, lengthy, and elite defensively. They aren’t gonna be blown off the court athletically by a high-end D1 team. They’ve already beat San Diego State, a really good Liberty team, and lost a close game to South Carolina. This is a team that could surely make a run and climb the NCAA basketball rankings.

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