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Neon Tommy Bracketology: UCLA Surging, Zona Flailing

Jordan Schuchmann |
March 6, 2014 | 12:38 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Michigan made the NCAA Finals last year, and is a dark horse to repeat behind Nik Stauskas. (Twitter/@umichbball)
Michigan made the NCAA Finals last year, and is a dark horse to repeat behind Nik Stauskas. (Twitter/@umichbball)
Selection Sunday is just 10 days away. Click here to see Jordan's latest projected bracket.

All Eyes on the Shockers

On Saturday, Wichita State found themselves a perfect 31-0. Their undefeated record makes the Shockers the only unbeaten in college basketball, and everyone will be watching them in March. Will the Shockers win it all and remain unbeaten? Or will the Shockers be shocked by an early departure?

Though they have the best record in college basketball, the Shockers are ranked second behind two-loss Florida. Why aren’t they No. 1? They have no resume. In the crazy world of college basketball, a undefeated record is impressive; however, their 31 wins aren’t convincing enough to name them the best team in the nation. In those wins, they have not beaten a ranked team, and only three of their opponents have an opportunity to be playing in late March, and only as a low seed. 

So what will happen to the Shockers when they finally go head-to-head with better teams? Can they continue their run? Don’t be surprised to see the Shockers knocked out early. 

Who to Watch: Sleepers

After a rough 6-4 start that included losses to Iowa State and Charlotte, the young Michigan Wolverines have turned things around. Led by sophomore Nik Stauskas, Michigan earned its first Big Ten regular season title Tuesday, and have shown they can beat top teams. They’ve proven why they are a force to be reckoned with. Don’t be surprised to see them as far as the Elite Eight or Final Four. 

The Iowa Hawkeyes left the gates running with a 10-1 start, with their only loss being to now-No. 6 Villanova in overtime. As of late, things are looking a little worrisome for Iowa. However, they’ve become one of the top scoring, rebounding and assisting teams in the country, and have been able to win big games. Watch out for a Big Ten Tournament run, and momentum carrying into the NCAA tournament. 

UCLA is a team back on the rise. Currently 22-7, the Bruins are a team that can torch their opponent when they’re hot from downtown. If their outside shooting game is on come late March, this Bruin squad could make a statement in the tournament. 

Iowa State is a team to watch in March. The Cyclones got off to the best start in the team’s recent years, not losing their first game until January 11.  Though they are coming off of back-to-back road losses to Kansas State and Baylor, Melvin Ejim and Georges Niang are going to be two of the best big men playing in the tournament, and if opponents don’t find a way to slow them down, Iowa State could easily find its way to the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight. 

Who’s On Upset Alert

Led by Aaron Gordon, the Arizona Wildcats started off strong with 21 straight wins, and found themselves as the No. 1 team in the country. Their first loss came on the road against Cal, and they have only lost one more time since on the road against Arizona State. Though they are 27-2, with both losses coming to teams who will most likely find themselves part of the madness in March, their lack of production on the offensive end could prove fatal for them in the tournament. Teams that can score on their defense could find themselves pulling off an upset. It wouldn’t be surprising if they get knocked out of the Pac-12 Tournament and again in the NCAA Tourney. 

Syracuse started off well and quickly set themselves apart as one of the best teams in the country. After being 25-0 and becoming the No. 1 team in the country, the Orange have lost four of their last five, including losses to teams like Boston College, and most recently, Georgia Tech. Syracuse is a good team that has the potential to win it all, but if they don’t find their footing soon, they’ll be watching most of the tournament from home. 

Reach Staff Writer Jordan Schuchmann here or follow him here



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