At Armchair All-Americans, we want to help prepare you for March Madness. One of the best ways to do so is introduce the automatic qualifier teams from mid- or low-major conferences. These are the teams that when you see them on your bracket, you say, “Who, in all of God’s green goodness, is that team?” Our goal is to help you pick that perfect team for a 5-12 upset or to put your roommates to shame with your infinite March Madness knowledge.

As each conference tournament ends, we will be updating this article with the newest teams to make the NCAA Tournament, so make sure to check back in throughout championship week. The teams appear in chronological order of when their conference tournament finished.

1. Jacksonville State University

  • Conference: Ohio Valley
  • Nickname: Gamecocks
  • Location: Jacksonville, AL
  • Coach: Ray Harper (1st year, 20-14 record)
  • Famous Alum: Ashley Martin, first female to play and score in an NCAA Division I American football game
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: No postseason appearance
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 20-14
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 9-7
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 152
  • BPI: 170
  • Starters:
    G – Malcolm Drumwright (#21) Jr – 12.6 PPG, 36% 3PT FG
    G – Greg Tucker (#) Sr – 11.3 PPG, 34% 3PT FG
    G – Erik Durham (#15) Sr – 11.1 PPG, 48% 3PT FG
    F – Norbertas Giga (#12) Jr – 10.4 PPG, 8.1 RPG
    F – Christian Cunningham (#31) So – 8.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.6 BPG
  • Key Reserves:
    F – Jacara Cross (#11) Fr – 5.6 PPG
    G – Andre Statam (#33) So – 38% 3PT FG
  • Style of Play: The Gamecocks live and die by the three, especially focusing on the play of Malcolm Drumwright, Greg Tucker, and Erik Durham to share the load. Defensively, the Gamecocks rely on their two big men inside to provide a solid front court, and pull down a significant number of rebounds.
  • Strength: Three pointers and rebounding. Also, relishing the underdog role; this team was picked to finish last in their conference pre-season, and instead they won it.
  • Weakness: Defense. If their shots aren’t falling, they have to hope the other team’s shots aren’t either. Christian Cunningham’s 1.6 blocks per game is the primary source of defense for this unit.

2. Winthrop

  • Conference: Big South
  • Nickname: Eagles
  • Location: Rock Hill, SC
  • Coach: Pat Kelsey (5th Season, 102-58 record)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: No Postseason Appearance
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 26-6
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 15-3
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 69
  • BPI: 100
  • Starters:
    #05- Keon Johnson (22.5 PPG)
    #12- Xavier Cooks (23.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG)
    #01- Roderick Perkins (7.5 PPG)
    #13- Bjorn Broman (35% 3pt Percentage)
    #00- Duby Okeke (47 Blocks)
  • Key Reserves:
    #10- Anders Broman (8.3 PPG)
    #42- Joshua Davenport (5.7 RPG)
  • Style of Play: The Winthrop Eagles are a pretty well balanced team. Nearly all of the scoring comes from 5 foot 7 point guard Keon Johnson and the Australian forward Xavier Cooks. The Eagles are terrific offensively, shooting 45.7% from the field, and over 37% from 3. Winthrop will also guard you on the other end. The Eagles average 6.6 SPG and 5.3 BPG. Teams playing against Winthrop should expect a very high tempo game.
  • Strength: Winthrop’s strength comes in the form of shooting. With a 3 point percentage over 37%, the Eagles could get hot at any time and pull off a major upset.
  • Weakness: There aren’t many weaknesses on paper for Winthrop. One thing that could possibly hurt the Eagles is rebounding. The Eagles do not have a player over 6’8 and could run into some of the bigger teams in the tournament that will kill them on the boards.

3. Wichita State

  • Conference: Missouri Valley
  • Nickname: Shockers
  • Location: Wichita, KS
  • Coach: Greg Marshall (10th year, 260-89 record)
  • Famous Alum: Bill Parcells, Ron Baker (Knicks), Toure’ Murry (Jazz), Fred VanVleet (Raptors)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: Won First Four game against Vanderbilt to earn 11 seed. Beat Arizona in first round, lost to Miami in second round.
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 30-4
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 17-1
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: 20
  • RPI: 29
  • BPI: 16
  • Starters:
    #11 Landry Shamet – 11 points per game, 45 percent three point shooter
    #32 Markis McDuffie – 12 points per game, six rebounds per game
    #33 Conner Frankamp – nine points per game, 45 percent three point shooter
    #5 Zach Brown – seven points per game, three rebounds per game
    #24 Shaquille Morris – nine points per game, five rebounds per game, shoots 52 percent from the field
  • Key Reserves:
    #21 Darral Willis Jr. – 10 points per game, five rebounds per game, shoots 54 percent from the field
    #0 Rashard Kelly – 5.5 points per game, five rebounds per game
  • Style of Play: The shockers play fast-paced, they’re currently averaging over 82 points per game, which is their highest PPG average in 34 years. They shoot an average of 21 three pointers per game, and have outscored opponents by 20 points or more 17 times this season, including a 71-51 victory over Illinois State in the Missouri Valley Conference championship game.
  • Strength: Wichita State is a solid all-around team. They currently rank in the top 25 in the nation in points per game, points allowed per game, rebounds, and assists. They average almost 41 rebounds per game, while shooting 41 percent from three point range as a team, and 47 percent from the field.
  • Weakness: The shockers haven’t been put to the test many times this season, as their only win against a tournament-caliber team came at home against Oklahoma State. Their inexperience in big games could haunt them down the stretch come tournament time.

4. Florida Gulf Coast University

  • Conference: Atlantic Sun
  • Nickname: Eagles
  • Location: Fort Myers, FL
  • Coach: Joe Dooley (4th year, 91-45 record)
  • Famous Alum: Chris Sale (5x All-Star MLB pitcher)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (16 seed, lost to North Carolina)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 26-7
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 13-2
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 86
  • BPI: 80
  • Starters:
    G – Brandon Goodwin (#0) Jr – 18.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.2 SPG
    G – Zach Johnson (#5) So – 11.8 PPG, 1.3 SPG
    G – Christian Terrell (#11) Jr – 10.3 PPG, 35% 3PT FG
    F – Marc-Eddy Norelia (#25) Sr – 8.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG
    F – Demetris Morant (#21) Sr – 10.7 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 75% FG
  • Key Reserves:
    G – Rayjon Tucker (#3) So – 7.7 PPG, 45% 3PT FG
    F – Antravious Simmons (#32) Jr – 5.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG
  • Style of Play: Dunk City!!! The Eagles play a fast-paced, above the rim offense that looks to score through whoever can get a good look, though that’s usually Brandon Goodwin. Their defense is very opportunistic, with active hands that often force turnovers.
  • Strength: Moving the ball around until they get an efficient shot off and, of course, dunking.
  • Weakness: Can be very streaky when shooting the three ball. Three of their last four losses saw them shoot under 23% from the arc as a team.

5. East Tennessee State

  • Conference: Southern
  • Nickname: Buccaneers
  • Location: Johnson City, TN
  • Coach: Steve Forbes (2nd year, 51-19 record)
  • Famous Alum: Keith “Mister” Jennings (Golden State Warriors – 1992-1995), Harley Swift (San Antonio Spurs – 1969-1974), and Kenny Chesney (Country Singer)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: Vegas 16 Semifinalist (lost to Oakland)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 27-7
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 14-4
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 57
  • BPI: 72
  • Starters:
    G – T.J. Cromer (#0) Sr – 19.1 PPG, 3.2 APG, 40% 3PT FG
    G – A.J. Merriweather (#13) Sr – 8.6 PPG, 1.6 SPG
    G – Desonta Bradford (#11) Jr – 10.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 4.0 APG
    F – Tevin Glass (#40) Sr – 8.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG
    F – Hanner Mosquera-Perea (#12) Sr – 8.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG
  • Key Reserves:
    F – David Burrell (#3) Jr – 7.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG
    G – Devontavius Payne (#1) Jr – 6.7 PPG, 40% 3PT FG
  • Style of Play: Offensively, things run through guard T.J. Cromer. He will look to drive and use his great vision to make a decision from there. On the defensive side of the ball, the Buccaneers aren’t afraid to man-up against anyone. Although they are scrappy and tough on defense, they are very susceptible to the three pointer.
  • Strength: Scoring and Athleticism
  • Weakness: Scoring Defense and Staying out of foul trouble

6. UNC-Wilmington

  • Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
  • Nickname: Seahawks
  • Location: Wilmington, NC
  • Coach: Kevin Keatts (3rd year, 72-27 record)
  • Famous Alum: John Calipari (freshman and sophomore years only)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (13 seed, lost to Duke)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 29-5
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 15-3
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR (receiving votes)
  • RPI: 26
  • BPI: 59
  • Starters:
    G- C.J. Bryce (#12) So- 17.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 33.6% 3PT
    G- Chris Flemmings (#1) Sr- 15.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 35.8% 3PT
    G- Denzel Ingram (#10) Sr- 14.5 PPG, 5.5 APG, 36.6% 3PT
    F- Devontae Cacok (#15) So- 12.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 79.9% FG
    F- Ambrose Mosley (#0) Sr- 8.1 PPG, 72.7 FT%
  • Key Reserves:
    G- Jordan Talley (#4) Jr- 7.8 PPG, 2.6 APG, 34.1 3PT%
    G- JaQuel Richmond (#2) So- 4.6 PPG, 25.9 3PT%
  • Style of Play: If there’s one stat that stand out about the Seahawks, it’s this: Davonte Cacok’s 79.9 field-goal percentage is tops in the nation. Cacok is the best player on a team that has multiple starters with tournament experience from last year, and is a very real threat to win a game or two this time around.  Overall, UNCW is a guard-heavy team that does well at spreading the floor and identifying mismatches. And they’re coming from the same conference that produced both George Mason and VCU’s Final Four runs, so you never know…
  • Strength: Forcing turnovers, protecting the ball (they have the lowest offensive turnover percentage in the country)
  • Weakness: They struggle on defense if they can’t force turnovers, so a matchup against a team that can protect the ball will not be favorable for them.

7. Iona

  • Conference: Metro Atlantic Athletic
  • Nickname: Gaels
  • Location: New Rochelle, NY
  • Coach: Tim Cluess (7th year, 162-77 record)
  • Famous Alum: Richie Guerin
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: Lost to Iowa State 94-81 in 1st round of NCAA Tournament
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 22-12
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 12-8
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 97
  • BPI: 137
  • Starters:
    G – Rickey McGill (#0) So – 10.8 ppg, 5.2 apg, 1.8 spg
    G – Sam Cassell, Jr. (#1) Gr – 10.8 ppg, 3.1 apg, 83% FT
    G – Jon Severe (#10) Gr – 11.3 ppg, 2.2 apg, 43% 3FG, 85% FT
    G/F – E.J. Crawford (#2) Fr – 9.4 ppg, 45% 3FG
    F – Jordan Washington (#23) Sr – 17.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 55% FG
  • Key Reserves:
    G – Deyshonee Much (#15) Jr – 9.3 ppg
    G – Schadrac Casimir (#4) So – 7.0 ppg, 94% FT, 43% 3FG
  • Style of Play: High uptempo with lots of threes. Iona play various zone defenses and starts a four-guard line-up similar to Villanova.
  • Strength: Transition game and three-point shooting
  • Weakness: Defense

8. Northern Kentucky University

  • Conference: Horizon League
  • Nickname: The Norse
  • Location: Highland Heights, KY
  • Coach: John Brannen (2nd Season, 33-31 record)
  • Famous Alum: George Clooney
  • 2015-2016 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 24-10
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 12-6
  • Current AP Poll Rankings: NR
  • RPI: 91
  • BPI: 177
  • Starters:
    PG Lavone Holland II (#30) Jr – 14.3 ppg, only player with over 100 assists
    SG Cole Murray (#25) Sr – 10.2 ppg, 41% 3FG
    SF Jordan Garnett (#1) Jr – Best FT shooter on team at 80%, 4.8 ppg
    F Carson Williams (#23) Fr – Best shooter at 60% FG, 10.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg
    F/C Drew McDonald (#34) So – 16.4 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 39% 3FG
  • Key Reserves:
    G Mason Faulkner (#11) Fr – 7.5 ppg, 2nd-leading assist total with 66
    G Dantez Walker (#32) Fr – 4 ppg
  • Style of Play: Northern Kentucky’s best game is in transition. They are one of the better teams in the Horizon League in getting down the court quickly. They want to get the ball down the court quickly and to put up a shot as soon as possible. Its’ other best thing is its 3-point shooting. If NKU gets hot from behind the arc, anything is possible for the Norse. NKU normally takes nearly half its shots from three. They play a stout man-to-man defense that bodes well in its conference.
  • Strengths: Major Strengths are ability to shoot 3-pointers and to move the ball to the open man. Ben McDonald is the guy to watch for NKU as he is the do it all guy. He gets the most points on the team while being the biggest guy. McDonald is the swiss army knife for the Norse and makes sure to make his presence known earlier rather than later. With him and a lethal Lavone Holland II, the Norse can be dangerous.
  • Weaknesses: Shot blocking and interior defense. Offensive rebounding is also an issue because size is an issue for the team. Without the ability to block shots, a team that has talented big men could become a huge problem. Any team that shoots 3-pointers will also have a good day as they don’t defend the perimeter all that well and that could pose a huge problem.

9. Mount St. Mary’s

  • Conference: Northeast
  • Nickname: Mountaineers
  • Location: Emmitsburg, MD
  • Coach: Jamion Christian (5th year, 82-80 record)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A, 14-19 overall record
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 19-15
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 14-4
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 157
  • BPI: 206
  • Starters:
    #0 Junior Robinson – 14 ppg, three apg
    #1 Mawdo Sallah – Six ppg, five rpg
    #5 Chris Wray – Seven ppg, six rpg, 58% FG%
    #10 Miles Wilson – 11 ppg, three rpg
    #55 Elijah Long – 15 ppg, five rpg, five apg, two spg
  • Key Reserve:
    #23 Greg Alexander – Eight ppg, two rpg
  • Style of Play: The Mountaineers run a lot of half-court offense, and aren’t a particularly dangerous one at that. They average just 68 points per game, good enough for 290th in the country.
  • Strength: Mount St. Mary’s has played a lot of close games this season, and that late game experience could be useful if they can manage to keep the game close.
  • Weakness: The Mountaineers are a small team, the biggest player on the roster with significant play time is Chris Wray who is 6-foot-8. Their two best players, Elijah Long and Junior Robinson, are just 5-foot-5 and 6-foot, respectively.

10. Gonzaga University

  • Conference: West Coast
  • Nickname: Bulldogs
  • Location: Spokane, WA
  • Coach: Mark Few (18th season, 497-112)
  • Famous Alum: John Stockton, Adam Morrison and Kelly Olynyk
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NCAA Sweet Sixteen (11 seed)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 32-1
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 17-1
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: 4
  • RPI: 12
  • BPI: 2
  • Starters:
    PG: Nigel Williams-Goss: WCC Player of the Year, 16.9 ppg, 4.8 apg
    G: Josh Perkins: 8.4 ppg and 3.4 apg
    G: Jordan Matthews: 10.4 ppg
    F: Johnathan Williams: 10.2 ppg, leads team with 6.5 rpg, 42% 3PFG
    C: Przemek Karnowski: 12.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg
  • Key Reserves:
    G: Zach Collins: 65% FG, 44.4% 3PFG, 1.5 bpg
    G: Silas Melson: 7.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.5 apg
  • Style of Play: Hardly considered a “mid-major” anymore. With 19 consecutive tournament appearances and an Elite 8 appearance and Sweet Sixteen appearance the last two seasons, Gonzaga might play in a mid major conference but they play like a power five team. They have the size, talent and depth to compete with just about everybody in the country. They carried an undefeated season into late February before losing to BYU (a possible tournament team). Gonzaga has beaten four top 25 teams: St. Mary’s three times, Florida, Iowa State and Arizona. After winning their regular season title and conference tournament title, with only one loss they’re poised to get the nod for a number one seed. They’re a versatile team, but they will only go as far as the former McDonald’s All-American Nigel Williams-Goss takes them. He’s big, athletic and strong which makes him hard to defend. Gonzaga compliments strong guard play with a mammoth in the paint, Karnowski. The Zags play solid defense (8th ranked scoring defense), but have the second best field goal percentage in the country (51.8%) behind UCLA and 13th ranked offense (84.6 PPG). They use their superior athleticism to push the tempo and attack the lesser talented teams.
  • Strength: Field goal shooting is their strength, they use their size and athleticism to get to the hoop and take the high percentage shots. Williams-Goss should be a contender for player of the year, because he facilitates the offense while also getting his own at times. The Zags can pound you inside with the Mountain-looking Karnowski if the guard play has an off night, but the five guards they put on the floor take over the game for the Zags.
  • Weakness: They don’t have a standout rebound machine, but because they make most of their shots it really doesn’t affect their game. Also, because of their lesser talent, they haven’t shown many glaring weaknesses. Their biggest knock is playing in a very weak conference. The only competition in their conference was BYU (who beat them once at BYU) and St. Mary’s (who the Zags beat three times by double digits).

11. South Dakota State

  • Conference: The Summit League
  • Nickname: Jackrabbits
  • Location: Brookings, SD
  • Coach: T.J. Otzelberger (1st year, 18-16 record)
  • Famous Alum: Nate Wolters (2nd-round NBA draft pick and stints with the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans), Adam Vinatieri (NFL kicker for the Indianapolis Colts)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (lost to #5 seed Maryland 79-74)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record:18-16
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 8-8
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 154
  • BPI: 185
  • Starters:
    G Michael Orris (#50) SR – 8.3 PPG, 4.0 APG
    G Chris Howell (#3) SO – 7.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 52% FG
    G/F Reed Tellinghuisen (#23) JR – 11.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.8 APG
    G/F Lane Severyn (#25) JR – 2.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG
    F Mike Daum (#24) SO – 25.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 51.6% FG, 87.1% FT, 41.6% 3PT
  • Key Reserves:
    G Tevin King (#2) SO – 4.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 SPG
    G/F A.J. Hess (#35) SR – 9.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG
    G Skyler Flatten (#1) JR – 5.4 PPG
    F Ian Theisen (#45) JR – 5.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 56.5% FG
  • Style of Play: The offense mainly runs through star forward Mike Daum, who averages 25.3 points per game and over 15 field goal attempts per game. Daum and Reed Tellinghuisen are the only Jackrabbits to average double-digit scoring for the season. 27.7% of their points come from 3-point range (28th in the nation) and another 22.5% of their points come from the charity stripe (38th in the nation).
  • Strength: Mike Daum is the superstar of the team and second in the nation in points per game. Daum has scored in double-digits in all but three games this year and has scored 20+ points in 25 games. The Jackrabbits return four key contributors from last year’s tournament team: Reed Tellinghuisen, Mike Daum, Tevin King, and Ian Theisen. With four juniors and two seniors as starters or reserves, there is clearly no lack of experience.
  • Weakness: Size and rebounding will be a problem for South Dakota State during the tournament. Forwards Daum and Theisen are both 6’9” while wingmen Tellinghuisen and Hess are both 6’7”. If Daum were to get into foul trouble early, the Jackrabbits could be done for. The Jackrabbits are also 309th in the nation in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 112.2 points per 100 possessions. Lastly, the team averages just over two blocks per game and just over five steals per game, which puts them near the bottom of all NCAA Division 1 Basketball teams.

 

12. Bucknell University

  • Conference: Patriot League
  • Nickname: Bisons
  • Location: Lewisburg, PA
  • Coach: Nathan Davis (2nd year, 38-22 record)
  • Famous Alum: Jay Wright (Villanova basketball coach), Mike Muscala (Atlanta Hawks center), Greg Schiano (former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach), Clark Hinkle (NFL Hall of Fame fullback)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NIT 1st round
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 25-8
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 16-3
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 65
  • BPI: 89
  • Starters:
    G – Kimbal Mackenzie (#1) So – 11.3 PPG, 1.2 SPG 40% 3PT FG
    G – Stephen Brown (#2) Jr – 10.9 PPG, 1.6 SPG 40% 3PT FG
    G – Avi Toomer (#11) Fr – 3.2 PPG, 36% 3PT FG
    F – Zach Thomas (#23) Jr – 16.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 42% 3PT FG
    C – Nana Foulland (#20) Jr – 14.9 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.1 BPG
  • Key Reserves:
    G – Nate Jones (#15) So – 3.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 40% 3PT FG
    C – Nate Sestina (#4) So – 4.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG
  • Style of Play: The Bisons really only have true four starters between Zach Thomas, Nana Foulland, Kimbal Mackenzie, and Stephen Brown, as they tend to switch between Nate Jones, Avi Toomer, Nate Sestina, and Bruce Moore for that fifth spot based on the opponent’s lineup. Yet, the four primary starters do a great job of sharing the ball and getting everyone involved, taking the concept of basketball as a team game to another level. Thomas is a do-it-all, Swiss army knife kind of player and Foulland was named the Patriot League Player of the Year for his efficient scoring prowess and stout low-post defense.
  • Strength: Ball movement. The offense doesn’t force anything, but instead moves around until they find a high-percentage shot. It usually ends up being a three pointer or a shot under the basket.
  • Weakness: Rebounding. The most consistent trend in all of the Bisons’ games was being outgained on the backboard, meaning that if they fail to get good shots that go down, they’re bound to be on their heels.

 

13. Vermont

  • Conference: America East
  • Nickname: Catamounts
  • Location: Burlington, VT
  • Coach: John Becker (6th year, 139-68 record)
  • Famous Alum: Rollie Massimino (1985 Villanova Head Coach), Martin St. Louis (6x NHL All-Star), Patrick Sharp (3x Stanley Cup Champion), and Tim Thomas (4x NHL All-Star)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: CBI Semifinalist (lost to Nevada)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 28-5
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 16-0
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 48
  • BPI: 50
  • Starters:
    G Trae Bell-Haynes (#2) Jr – 11.2 PPG, 49.8% FG
    G Ernie Duncan (#20) So – 8.7 PPG, 40.5% 3PT FG
    G Kurt Steidtl (#34) Sr – 8.1 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 38.7% 3PT FG
    F Anthony Lamb (#3) Fr – 12.6 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 1.2 BPG
    F Payton Henson (#35) Jr – 11.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 51.9% FG
  • Key Reserves:
    G Dre Wills (#24) Sr – 6.5 PPG, 61.4% FG
    F Darren Payen (#12) Sr – 7.0 PPG, 71.3% FG
  • Style of Play: The Catamounts’ offense revolves around driving through the lane and finding an open shooter. Their offense is extremely effective as they shoot 50% from the field on the year. Defensively, they rely on their man-to-man defense but are not afraid to throw the zone at you every so often.
  • Strength: Creating open shots and Keeping the offensive end of the floor open though spacing.
  • Weakness: Not great at rebounding or defending on-ball screens

 

14. North Carolina Central

  • Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic
  • Nickname: Wildcats
  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Coach: LeVelle Monton (8th year, 146-100 record)
  • Famous Alum: Sam Jones (Second most NBA Championships of any player)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 27-5
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 18-2
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 213
  • BPI: 149
  • Starters:
    G Patrick Cole (#11) SR – 19.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.7 APG
    G Dajuan Graf (#10) SR – 14.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.3 APG
    G Rashaun Madison (#3) SR – 9.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG
    F Del’Vin Dickerson (#5) SR – 8.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 54% FG
    F Kyle Benton (#25) JR – 8.8 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.2 BPG
  • Key Reserve:
    F Pablo Rivas (#13) JR – 6.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 65% FG
  • Style of Play: Some Zone Defense, Run on the break, Up-Tempo
  • Strength: Defense and Rebounding
  • Weakness: Free Throw Shooting and Three Point Shooting

 

15. Villanova

  • Conference: Big East
  • Nickname: Wildcats
  • Location: Villanova, PA
  • Coach: Jay Wright: (16th year, 373-157 Record)
  • Famous Alum: Kyle Lowry, Randy Foye, Dante Cunningham, Darrun Hilliard
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NCAA National Champion
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 30-3
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 15-3
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: 2
  • RPI: 1
  • BPI: 1
  • Starters:
    G Josh Hart (#3) Sr – 18.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.2 APG
    F Kris Jenkins (#2) Sr – 13.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG .373 3P%
    G Jalen Brunson (#1) So – 14.7 PPG, 4.2 APG, .537 FG%
    F Darryl Reynolds (#45) Sr – 4.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, .688 FG%
    G Mikal Bridges (#25) So – 10.1 PPG, 4.5 RPG, .408 3P%
  • Key Reserve:
    F Eric Paschall (#4) So – 7.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG
  • Style of Play: Villanova is a team that likes to push the tempo. They want to get the rebound and then push the ball up the court to make their opponent guard them in transition. Villanova scores 78 PPG. They also like to attack and kick out to three point shooters. Villanova shot the most threes in the Big East this year.
  • Strength: What can’t this team do? Villanova is arguably the best team in college basketball and they do everything well. The best thing they do is their offensive efficiency. They have the second best offensive efficiency in the country behind only Oklahoma State. They are also very good at the free throw line. They had the best free throw percentage in the Big East at 79.4%.
  • Weakness: Villanova’s biggest weakness would be their lack of depth. They only have a 7-man rotation. They could get in trouble if one of their starters gets in foul trouble. Villanova’s other weakness would be rebounding. Villanova was the second worst rebounding team in the Big East this season with 35.7 RPG.

16. Nevada

  • Conference: Mountain West
  • Nickname: Wolf Pack
  • Location: Reno, NV
  • Coach: Eric Musselman (2nd year, 52-20 record)
  • Famous Alum: Javale McGee, Ramon Sessions, Luke Babbitt
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: CBI Champions
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 28-6
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 16-4
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 30
  • BPI: 47
  • Starters:
    G Marcus Marshall (#1) Sr – 19.8 PPG, 3.7 APG, 39.4% 3P
    G Jordan Caroline (#24) So – 14.6 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG
    F Cameron Oliver (#0) So – 16.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 39.2% 3P, 2.6 BPG
    G D.J. Fenner (#15) Sr – 14.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 44.3% 3P
    G Lindsey Drew (#14) So – 5.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.8 APG
  • Key Reserve:
    F Eric Paschall (#4) So – 7.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG
  • Style of Play: Incredibly adaptive team. However, like to work the ball outside to real give their guards the opportunity to shoot the three. They don’t really operate too effectively from the post, noting the obvious lack of height. Move the ball around very effectively in order to find the open man. Lacking the defensive intensity to really force very many turnovers or corral many defensive rebounds and, in turn, have very few transition opportunities.
  • Strength: 3PT Shooting (38.9% as a team, 28th-T in the nation), Passing (16.2 APG, 29th-T in the nation)
  • Weakness: Defense (70.9 PAPG, 140th in the nation), Free Throw Shooting (70.2%, 170th-T in the nation)

17. Texas Southern

 

  • Conference: Southwestern Athletic
  • Nickname: Tigers
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Coach: Mike Davis (5th year, 99-68 record)
  • Famous Alum: Woody Sauldsberry, Bennie Swain
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NIT First Round (Valparaiso 73-84)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 24-11
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 18-2
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 120
  • BPI: 174
  • Starters:
    G Demontrae Jefferson (#3) Fr – 15.0 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 3.3 APG
    G Zach Lofton (#2) Jr – 17.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.3 SPG
    G Kevin Scott (#4) Jr – 9.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.4 SPG
    G Dulani Robinson (#11) Sr – 6.4 PPG, 2.6 APG, 1.3 SPG
    C Marvin Jones (#24) Sr – 8.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.5 BPG
  • Key Reserve:
    G Jalan McCloud (#1) Jr – 9.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 85.7 FT%
  • Style of Play: Poor three point shooters. The team excels at getting shooters to the free throw line despite only being an average free throw shooting team. Prefers to drive to the basket in an attempt to generate contact. Frequently succeeds, generating 25% of season scoring from free throw line. Relatively average at converting from the floor. In spite of their respectable steal numbers, the team lacks defensive intensity.
  • Strength: Free Throw Shooting (73.8% as a team, 62nd-T in the nation), Steals (7.0 SPG, 72nd-T in the nation)
  • Weakness: Passing (11.7 APG, 290th-T in the nation), 3 Point Shooting  (29.6% 3PT, 342nd in the nation)

18. Kent State

  • Conference: Mid-American
  • Nickname: Golden Flashes
  • Location: Kent, OH
  • Coach: Rob Senderoff (6th year, 122-80 record)
  • Famous Alum: Josh Cribbs, James Harrison, Nick Saban
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 22-13
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 10-8
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 154
  • BPI: 144
  • Starters:
    F Jimmy Hall (#35) Sr – 18.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 51.6% FG
    G Deon Edwin (#30) Sr – 13.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG
    G Jalen Avery (#0) So – 5.2 PPG, 40.2% 3FG
    G Jaylin Walker (#23) So – 15.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 33.2% 3FG
    G Mitch Peterson (#13) Fr – 5.4 PPG, 2.9 RPG
  • Key Reserve:
    G Kevin Zabo (#55) – 5.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.5 APG
  • Style of Play: Kent State is team that does not like to settle for jump shots. They are always trying to slash to the basket and get to the line. Their leading scorer, Jimmy Hall, only shot 15 percent from 3 this season.
  • Strength: Offensive Rebounding. Kent State averages 15.26 offensive rebounds per game for 2nd best in the country. The only team above Kent State in offensive rebounds is North Carolina.
  • Weakness: Kent State’s biggest weakness is their three-point shooting. They shot 31 percent from the field for 312th in the country.

19. Middle Tennessee State

  • Conference: Conference USA
  • Nickname: Blue Raiders
  • Location: Murfreesboro, TN
  • Coach: Kermit Davis (15th year, 306-178 record)
  • Famous Alum: Erik Walden (current Colts linebacker), Al Gore Sr.
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NCAA Tournament Round of 32, lost to 10 seed Syracuse
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 30-4
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 17-1
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: 25
  • RPI: 36
  • BPI: 46
  • Starters:
    G – Giddy Potts (#20) Jr – 15.4 PPG, 1.4 SPG, 39% 3PT FG
    G – Tyrik Dixon (#0) Fr – 5.9 PPG, 1.2 SPG, 40% 3PT FG
    G – Xavier Habersham (#4) Sr – 5.5 PPG, 46% 3PT FG
    F – Reggie Upshaw (#30) Sr – 14.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.9 SPG, 2.5 APG
    F – JaCorey Williams (#22) Sr – 17.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG
  • Key Reserves:
    G – Edward Simpson (#11) Jr – 3.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 36% 3PT FG
    G – Antwain Johnson (#2) So – 4.4 PPG, 35% 3PT FG
  • Style of Play: Their offense flows through Giddy Potts, with big men JaCorey Williams and Reggie Upshaw often getting really good looks at the basket as a result. These three carry the load for the Blue Raiders on most occasions, a formula that has worked very well. Defensively, they focus primarily on getting in position to get rebounds.  
  • Strength: Consistency is their biggest strength. They haven’t lost a game in over a month, and the last loss before that one was in December. Their early-season loss to heavyweight VCU was only by three points. The Blue Raiders are very fundamentally sound, something that helped them knock off 2 seed Michigan State in the Round of 64 last year.
  • Weakness: There are two ways to beat the Blue Raiders: get on a hot streak from the three point line early, or have a very big player or two who can bang it in the paint. Middle Tennessee State does a good job generally of defending the perimeter, but when they give up good shots they tend to give up a very high percentage. Their two big men, Upshaw and Williams, are both only 6’8”, so going up against someone like Arizona’s 7’ Lauri Markkanen or Gonzaga’s 7’1” Przemek Karnowski could spell trouble for the Blue Raiders.

20. North Dakota

  • Conference: Big Sky
  • Nickname: Fighting Hawks
  • Location: Grand Forks, ND
  • Coach: Brian Jones (11th year, 146-175 record)
  • Famous Alum: Phil Jackson (11x NBA champion as head coach, president of New York Knicks), Zach Parise (Minnesota Wild), Jonathan Toews (Chicago Blackhawks)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: CIT (lost in first round to UC Irvine 86-89 in OT)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 22-9
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 14-4
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 153
  • BPI: 146
  • Starters:
    G Quinton Hooker (#21) Sr – 18.8 PPG), 18.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.7 SPG, 88.3% FT, 44.2% 3PT
    G Geno Crandall (#0) So – 15.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.2 APG, 2.0 SPG
    G Corey Baldwin (#1) Sr – 10.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.2 SPG, 41.7% 3PT
    F Conner Avants (#32) So – 9.7 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 57.4% FG
    F Drick Bernstine (#43) Jr – 7.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.5 APG
  • Key Reserves:
    G Cortez Seales (#15) So – 8.5 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.8 APG
    C Carson Shanks (#5) Jr – 5.4 PPG, 2.1 RPG
    F Josh Collins (#2) So – 2.4 PPG, 1.6 RPG
  • Style of Play: The Fighting Hawks are around 20th in the nation in team points from 2 pointers. Most of their shots come inside the three-point line and they tend to drive to the basket and cause a foul call. The offense is predicated on the guards making their shots.
  • Strength: They say guard play wins games in March. The trio of Quinton Hooker, Geno Crandall, and Corey Baldwin each average double-digit scoring per game. Combined, Hooker (18.8 PPG), Crandall (15.6 PPG), and Baldwin (10.3 PPG) average 44.7 points per game (as a team, they average around 78 points per game). The team is experienced and has established chemistry as all five starters started a year ago. Averaging just under eight steals per game (top 25 in the country), North Dakota is able to have more scoring opportunities.
  • Weakness: The Fighting Hawks have a weak bench with the starters doing much of the scoring. Cortez Seales is a quality sixth-man but Shanks and Collins average only a little over ten minutes per game. Also, only three players are above 6’7” (6’7”, 6’8”, and 7’0”) making them at a size disadvantage.

21. New Orleans

  • Conference: Southland
  • Nickname: Privateers
  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Coach: Mark Slessinger (6th year, 77-97 record)
  • Famous Alum: Wayne Cooper (NBA – Golden State, Utah, Dallas, Portland, Denver), Ervin Johnson (NBA – Seattle, Denver, Milwaukee, Minnesota), Ellen DeGeneres, Frank Ocean
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 20-11
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 14-5
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 171
  • BPI: 216
  • Starters:
    G Christavious Gill (#5) Sr – 11.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.4 SPG
    G Tevin Broyles (#1) Sr – 7.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.5 APG
    F Erik Thomas (#14) Sr – 19.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 59.6% FG
    F Makur Puou (#22) Jr – 6.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.3 BPG
    F Travin Thibodeaux (#25) Jr – 8.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.5 SPG
  • Key Reserves:
    G Nate Frye (#3) Sr – 10.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.2 SPG
    G Jorge Rosa (#13) Jr – 4.9 PPG
    G Michael Zeno (#11) Jr – 4.4 PPG, 3.0 RPG
  • Style of Play: Over 58% of the Privateers’ points come from 2 pointers (good for sixth in the nation). On the other hand, they are second to last in the entire NCAA with points from 3 pointers. New Orleans wants to drive the ball to the basket and reach the free throw line or take a two-point shot. They average nearly 23 free throw attempts per game compared to just 13 three-point attempts per game. The offense heavily depends on seniors Erik Thomas (double-digit points in every game this year) and Christavious Gill to score with Nate Frye as the sixth man.
  • Strength: All eight key contributors are upperclassmen (four juniors and four seniors) and any experience counts for a team that has not seen the NCAA Tournament since 1996. The Privateers are top-30 in the nation with under eight steals a game.
  • Weakness: Only two players are taller than 6’6” (both are 6’9”) and as a result, opponents average over ten offensive rebounds per game. Despite stealing the ball nearly eight times a game, the Privateers turn the ball over almost 16 times a game. If they fall behind, expect for them to stay behind as they rarely shoot three-pointers and only shoot 32.8% behind the arc.

22. New Mexico State

  • Conference: Western Athletic
  • Nickname: Aggies
  • Location: Las Cruces, NM
  • Coach: Paul Weir (1st year, 28-5 record)
  • Famous Alum: Sim Bhullar (first player of Indian descent in the NBA. He’s also 7’ 5’’.), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors, taken in the first round of the 2016 draft)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NIT First Round (7 seed, lost to Saint Mary’s)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 27-5
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 11-3
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 59
  • BPI: 98
  • Starters:
    G Ian Baker (#4) Sr – 16.6, 4.3 RPG, 4.1 APG
    G Braxton Huggins (#2) Jr – 13.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 42.2% 3FG
    F Eli Chuha (#22) So- 12.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 60.9% FG
    G Matt Taylor (#24) Jr – 6.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 30.1% 3FG
    F Johnathon Wilkins (#11) Jr  – 5.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 54.8% FG
  • Key Reserves:
    F Jemerrio Jones (#10) Jr – 9.9 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.9 APG
    G Jermaine Haley (#1) Fr – 4.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.5 APG
  • Style of Play: The Aggies are an offensive-minded team. According to KenPom, they are currently ranked 72nd in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, which measures points per 100 possessions. They also rebound very well, ranking in the top 20 nationally in both offensive and total rebounds. Games are won on the glass, so they might be able to pull an upset if they can out-rebound their opponent and turn boards into points.
  • Strength: Rebounding. The Aggies rank 12th in the nation in offensive rebounds, 16th in total rebounds, and 52nd in defensive rebounds.
  • Weakness: 3-point shooting. They are 246th overall in 3-point percentage, so they may not fare well against a team that can shoot the lights out from downtown.

 

23. UC Davis

  • Conference: Big West
  • Nickname: Aggies
  • Location: Davis, CA
  • Coach: Jim Les (6th Year, 86-103 record)
  • Famous Alum: Daniel Descalso (2011 World Series Champ with St. Louis Cardinals), Chris Petersen (Current head football coach at the University of Washington)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 22-12
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 11-5
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 194
  • BPI: 207
  • Starters:
    G Lawrence White (#1) Sr – 7.7 ppg, 31 steals, 3.7 rpg
    G Darius Graham (#2) Sr – 7.8 ppg, 3.3 apg, 39% 3FG
    G Brynton Lemar (#00) Sr – 16 ppg, 2.7 apg, 32.8 mpg
    F J.T. Adenrele (#13) Sr – 5.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 51% FG
    F Chima Moneke (#11) Jr – 14.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 47 blocks, 53% FG
  • Key Reserves:
    G Siler Schneider (#5) So – 10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.1 apg
    F Garrison Goode (#44) So – 2.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 46% FG
  • Style of Play: When possible, the Aggies try to force the ball down low by getting down the floor quickly. UC-Davis also uses its ability to drive to the hoop to kick the ball out to 3-point shooters. Guys like Brynton Lemar and Siler Schneider are bigger guys that can shoot from the outside. They hope to run any team out of the building.
  • Strength: The ability to get to the free throw line more than its opponent. UC-Davis hits over than two more free throws per game more than opponents. Another way the Aggies can beat a team is by scoring early. It has outscored opponents by over 100 points in the first half but is being outscored in the second half. 3-point shooting is another way UC-Davis will try to beat a team because they shoot 35 percent from beyond the arc.
  • Weakness: Turnovers are a problem for the team. When it turns the ball over more, finding good shots is a struggle. Rebounding is also a huge weakness although it averages more than teams it has played. Against larger teams, only Chima Moneke would be able to grab a bunch of rebounds for the Aggies. UC-Davis struggles with getting the ball stolen nearly 1.5 more times per game than what it takes from opponents. Bench depth is also a weakness as the Aggies get next to nothing from everybody not named Siler Schneider.

 

24. Princeton

  • Conference: Ivy League
  • Nickname: Tigers
  • Location: Princeton, NJ
  • Coach: Mitch Henderson (6th year, 117-59 record)
  • Famous Alum: Bill Bradley (basketball hall-of-famer and former US Senator), David Blatt (former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach), Jason Garrett (Dallas Cowboys head coach), John Thompson III (Georgetown head coach)
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: NIT First Round (6 seed, lost to Virginia Tech)
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 23-6
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 14-0
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR (receiving votes)
  • RPI: 49
  • BPI: 56
  • Starters:
    G Devin Cannady (#3) So- 13.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 41.8% 3PT
    F Steven Cook (#25) Sr- 13.6 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 41.4% 3PT
    G Myles Stephens (#12) So- 12.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 40.3% 3PT
    F Spencer Weisz (#10) Sr- 10.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.0 APG, 35.4% 3PT
    F Pete Miller (#31) Sr- 3.5 RPG, 53.3% FG
  • Key Reserve:
    G Amir Bell (#5) Jr- 6.7 PPG, 2.0 APG, 39.3% 3PT
  • Style of Play: The Princeton Offense: made famous by Pete Carril, who coached the Tigers for 29 years, it emphasizes constant motion and teamwork in order to create mismatches, utilizing a lot of passing in order to find the perfect shot. It’s the style that engineered the famous upset of defending champ UCLA back in 1996. It can be seen in high schools, colleges, and professional teams across the country. It’s used to keep games against better opponents low scoring to keep the game from getting out of hand. And since Princeton will be the underdog in their matchup, look for them to use this strategy to gain an advantage. Ivy League schools have won first-round games in three of the last four tournaments, so don’t be surprised to see the Tigers add to those ranks.
  • Strength: 3-point shooting. The Tigers average 10 threes per game and are shooting from beyond the arc at a 38% clip. They can spread the floor with their signature offensive style to create great opportunities from downtown. They could be a nightmare matchup for a team that shoots threes poorly.
  • Weakness: The Tigers don’t have any glaring weaknesses, but if they were to be matched up with a fast-paced team, they might not be able to use the Princeton Offense effectively.

25. Rhode Island

  • Conference: Atlantic 10
  • Nickname: Rams
  • Location: Kingston, RI
  • Coach: Dan Hurley (5th year, 84-73 record)
  • Famous Alum: Lamar Odom
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 21-9
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 13-5
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 37
  • BPI: 33
  • Starters:
    G E.C. Matthews (#0) JR, 14.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.4 APG
    G Jeff Dowtin (#11) FR, 5.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 2.2 APG
    G Jared Terrell (#32) JR, 12.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.9 APG
    F Kuran Iverson (#23) SR, 9.5 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG
    F Hassan Martin (#12) SR, 14.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.6 BPG
  • Key Reserves:
    G Stanford Robinson (#13) JR, 6.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.2 SPG
    G Jarvis Garrett (#1) JR, 6.7 PPG, , 3.2 APG, 74% FT
  • Style of Play: Good amount of zone defense, slower pace
  • Strength: Defense ( 64.9 PPG 32nd in the nation, 6.06 BPG 4th in the nation)
  • Weakness: Passing the ball (13.5 APG tied for 174th in the nation)

26. Troy

  • Conference: Sun Belt
  • Nickname: Trojans
  • Location: Troy, AL
  • Coach: Phil Cunningham (4th year, 51-75 record)
  • Famous Alum: Famous athletes include DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora.
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 22-14
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 11-8
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: NR
  • RPI: 184
  • BPI: 126
  • Starters:
    F DeVon Walker (#25) Sr – 7.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.8 APG
    F Jordan Varnado (#23) So – 16.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.3 SPG
    G Kevin Baker (#0) Jr – 8.4 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.1 SPG
    G Wesley Person (#3) Jr – 14.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 40.9 3PT%
    G Jeremy Hollison (#2) Sr – 12.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 42.9 3PT%
  • Key Reserves:
    F Alex Hicks (#30) So – 4.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 0.6 BPG
    G Daniel Peace (#1) Sr – 2.6 PPG, 2.2 APG, 1.1 SPG
  • Style of Play: Relatively quick offense. Takes a fair number of shots per game, converting at a slightly above average rate. Below average three point shooters. Don’t convert well from the free throw line. Also, lacking in defensive intensity. Don’t force many turnover
  • Strength: Scoring (79 PPG, 49th-T in the nation), Shooting (46.1% as a team, 81st-T in the nation)
  • Weakness: Defense (72.2 PAPG, 179th-T in the nation), Free Throw Shooting  (72.0% FT, 113th-T in the nation)

 

27. SMU

  • Conference: American Athletic
  • Nickname: Mustangs
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Coach: Tim Jankovich (1st full season, 39-4 record)
  • Famous Alum: Jim Krebs, Nic Moore
  • 2015-16 Postseason Results: N/A
  • 2016-17 Overall Record: 27-4
  • 2016-17 Conference Record: 17-1
  • Current AP Poll Ranking: 19
  • RPI: 18
  • BPI: 19
  • Starters:
    G Sterling Brown (#3) SR, 13.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 3.1 APG
    G Shake Miltion (#1) SO, 13.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.5 APG
    G Jarrey Foster (#10) SO, 9.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 2.2 APG
    GF Semi Ojeleye (#33) JR, 19.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.5 APG
    F Ben Moore (#0) SR, 11.6 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 2.5 APG
  • Key Reserve:
    G Ben Emelogu II (#21) JR, 4.4 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.9 APG
  • Style of Play: Three Pointers (Tied for 10th in the nation), Slower pace
  • Strength: Defense (59.9 PPG, 3rd in the nation), Passing (16.4 APG 23rd in the nation)
  • Weakness: Free Throws

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Author Details
I’m a UNC writer for Armchair All-Americans. I grew up in Atlanta knowing that I was going to be the next Maddux or Glavine. Unfortunately, I never hit six feet tall, 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, 90 m.p.h. on the radar gun, or 50 home runs. So I decided to do my sports from my armchair and behind a computer screen. My favorite all-time sports moment? 1992. NLCS. Game 7. Sid Bream. Look it up. Worst sports moment ever? Two words: Kris. Jenkins. I live in the bustling metropolis of Webb City, MO, where ministry is my full-time job. I spend my free time with my beautiful wife, Maggie, and my two children, Pax & Poppy.
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I’m a UNC writer for Armchair All-Americans. I grew up in Atlanta knowing that I was going to be the next Maddux or Glavine. Unfortunately, I never hit six feet tall, 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, 90 m.p.h. on the radar gun, or 50 home runs. So I decided to do my sports from my armchair and behind a computer screen. My favorite all-time sports moment? 1992. NLCS. Game 7. Sid Bream. Look it up. Worst sports moment ever? Two words: Kris. Jenkins. I live in the bustling metropolis of Webb City, MO, where ministry is my full-time job. I spend my free time with my beautiful wife, Maggie, and my two children, Pax & Poppy.

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