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Betting On March Madness - The Underrated Teams

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/10/2014 4:34:53 AM

March Madness betting lines or various other metrics of favorability in online sportsbooks might not be able to fully characterize the extent to which the Shockers are an underrated team heading into March Madness. It is the teams that the experts are forgetting that could wind up doing the most damage in the NCAA Tournament.

Wichita State

Coach Gregg Marshall clearly looks like one of the rising stars in his profession, a man who will have a job at a high-major program before too long. Secondly, Wichita State has inside-outside balance and, accordingly, the ability to play slowly or quickly. The Shockers can run and play 94-feet games, but they can also run crisp, disciplined halfcourt sets and hammer out possessions in a physical manner. This team has the versatility, depth and cohesion needed to make a deep March run. It’s definitely on par with the recent Butler and Virginia Commonwealth teams that made runs to the Final Four last season. Don’t let the mid-major label or identity fool you. This is a legitimately strong team that will likely make the Sweet 16 and gain a chance to make noise on the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Michigan

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this year’s NCAA Tournament, you will definitely want to pay attention to the Wolverines. Michigan coach John Beilein has developed a reputation in the profession for being one of the better bench coaches in the United States. Beilein’s use of varying defenses, the 1-3-1 zone being the centerpiece, confuse opponents and cause point guards to freeze up when making decisions at or near the top of the key. Beilein has produced in the NCAA Tournament as well. He won as a lower seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, and he won an 8-versus-9 game last season when Michigan crushed Tennessee by 30 points.
Michigan followed that romp by nearly upsetting top-seeded Duke in the round of 32. Before doing great work at Michigan with underdog teams, Beilein carried West Virginia to the Sweet 16 as a No. 6 seed in 2006 before barely losing to second-seeded Texas in a razor-close regional semifinal. In 2005, Beilein took West Virginia to the Elite Eight as a No. 7 seed before losing in overtime to Louisville in the regional final. This year’s Michigan team has a little more backcourt athleticism than previous Beilein-coached squads, giving opponents even more to think about. Michigan can spread the court with a bunch of shooters and create tough matchups at multiple positions. This team is a dangerous Final Four threat.

Memphis

The college basketball betting experts who are preparing to break down brackets might consider the Memphis Tigers as an underrated team. This is not the high-powered Memphis team you might be accustomed to, but the Tigers have quietly become a better team than they were last year, when they had to win the Conference USA Tournament to make the field of 68 teams. This year, Memphis is safely in the field, a team that could not only win a game in the round of 64, but strongly push a high seed in the round of 32. This team is athletic and muscular, especially near the basket. It doesn’t play elegantly, but could be very dangerous if it shoots well from long distance.

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