Monday, May 20, 2013

Surprise Candidates in the NCAA

Each and every season we have a few teams that emerge and make a noise in the NCAA that you would not have considered as contenders but when you look back the signs are there; they may have laid good foundations the year before and built on those or they may have added a missing piece of the jigsaw.

So are there any teams that meet that criteria this year, we think there are, and although you could have some question marks over these three that we have selected they do have the talent to emerge and thrive.

As NCAAB betting fans know, the Virginia Cavaliers have the potential to be one of the elite teams in the country with a team that has experience and well defined roles and most important the players take care of the ball, have shot discipline and are tough to score against.

The Cavaliers also have one of the best players in the ACC in Joe Harris and he is the fulcrum of the side that they can play around although they will need to find a replacement for point guard Jontel Evans who was the heartbeat of the side defensively. If the Cavaliers get consistent point guard play, we feel they will finish in the top four in the ACC and be a dangerous team in the NCAA tournament.

LSU look like a side that has momentum, they had 19 wins last season with 9 coming in the SEC; their victories against Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama sent a message that these were no paper Tigers but a young and talented team that is athletic enough to compete within the conference.

They have a good anchor offensively in Johnny O’Bryant and he was playing as well as anyone in the SEC at the end of last season. Around him he has plenty of talent in Anthony Hickey, Andre Stringer and Shavon Coleman and the Tigers’ top-10-ranked freshman class will provide even further strength in depth and this team has the potential to go to the Sweet 16.

If you are looking for a side that could really breakthrough then look no further than the Arizona State Sun Devils especially after they won 22 games last year. ASU are one of the fastest-playing teams in the West.

The Sun Devils averaged 72 points per game last season, and we expect them to play even faster next season especially with explosive players like Jahii Carson on the court, and his dynamic skill set is backed up by a good supporting cast plus the Sun Devils have two transfers they expect to contribute; Brandan Kearney from Michigan State and Richie Edwards from Valparaiso.

Both are skilled and can make shots, fitting perfectly into the Sun Devils' system. We would expect the Sun Devils to make the NCAA tournament this season and cause a few surprises when they get there especially with Carson, one of the best point guards in the country.

We are sure that there will be other surprise teams to emerge over the season but as things stand these three have as good a chance as any of breaking the out when the new season starts.

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