Most Disappointing College Basketball Teams
by Trevor Whenham - 12/22/2009
Most conferences haven't started league play yet in college basketball, and those that have are only at the beginning. That means that almost all teams in the country are still theoretically in contention for a NCAA Tournament bid. Despite that, there are a lot of teams that are all but eliminated, and several that are a lot further away from a potential tournament spot than they were supposed to be at this point. Others are still in position to make the tournament, but aren't playing nearly as well as people expect them to. Here's a look at five of the most disappointing teams at this point in the college basketball season:
Michigan - This one is a no-brainer. By any measure, Michigan's season has been a total disaster. They started the season ranked 15th in the polls and with hopes of being a team built to go deep in the tournament. Instead, they are sitting at 5-5, and hopes of accomplishing anything - other than 20 losses - are increasingly dim.
Michigan's lone decent win has came against Creighton, and they have lost to every Top 100 team they have played. Against teams like Marquette and Utah they were outclassed. Kansas had such an easy job in the first half of their recent game that they essentially took the second half off and still won by 12.
Michigan is a team that throws up the three at every possible opportunity, so it's obviously a major problem when they can't shoot. Manny Harris has been an unquestioned star - one of the best players in the country - but every other returning player has taken a step back from last year, and the freshmen who were relied upon this year - most significantly point guard Darius Morris - just aren't getting the job done.
Things are bleak in Ann Arbor, and unfortunately the basketball season isn't offering fans any relief from the college football season. I'm a huge fan of the team, and just writing about it now has made me mad.
Oklahoma - The Sooners had a huge hole to fill no thanks to the loss of Blake Griffin, but they still came into the season with reasonable expectations in a conference that looked to have opportunities in the middle of the pile.
The Sooners have some decent wins, but they have also played some truly, unbelievably bad games. They have lost to VCU, San Diego, Houston, and UTEP, and three of those four games have been far more one-sided than they should be.
The biggest single problem the team has had is point guard Willie Warren. The sophomore has lottery talent, but he's wildly inconsistent and has a stunning lack of maturity. Oklahoma Coach Jeff Capel is frustrated by the player, and the team will continue to disappoint until Warren finds a way to grow up in a hurry.
UCLA - We knew that UCLA was going to take a step backwards this year after a solid run over the last few years. Given the talent of coach Ben Howland and their recruiting potential, though, there is no excuse for them to be as bad as they are this year.
They are just 3-7 this year. Their three wins have come against lousy teams, and the losses have often been one-sided blowouts. They started the season by losing at home to Cal State Fullerton, so we knew right away that this team was in trouble. They have done nothing to chance that attitude. It's going to be a long year in Westwood.
Louisville - Like UCLA and Oklahoma, we knew that Louisville was going to take a bit of a step back after losing key players to the draft. Even still, this year has unquestionably been a disappointment so far.
They have had an easy schedule so far - one soft enough that they should be 10-0. They are just 7-3, though, and their losses haven't been great. Losing at UNLV is somewhat acceptable, though it shouldn't happen to a team like Louisville. The other two losses - back-to-back games at home against Charlotte and Western Carolina - are just unacceptable for a Big East team with the talent, coaching, and tradition that Louisville has had.
Given the number of Big East teams that have been impressive so far it could be a rough conference season if they don't get their act together.
Butler - Butler was a popular pick as a potential dark horse Final Four squad before the season. They are still in very good shape to make the tournament because they are the clear class of their conference, but they have failed in a few chances they have had to make the statement that they are for real.
They have played four ranked teams this season, and Ohio State is the only one that they have managed to beat. Some of their wins have been far from impressive as well - they beat UCLA by two, and needed a last second basket to beat Xavier by one at home. They way they have played so far it's hard to imagine Butler as a second weekend tournament team, never mind one of the last four teams standing.
Most Recent College Basketball Handicapping
- College Basketball National Championship Odds and Expert Analysis and Predictions
- 2021 ACC Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- Weekend College Basketball Primer
- 2021 NCAA Tournament Projections and Predictions
- Non Conference College Basketball Betting Loophole
- 2020 Big Ten Basketball Predictions
- 2020 ACC Basketball Predictions
- 2020 Big East Basketball Predictions
- 2020 Big 12 Basketball Predictions
- Doc's Sports 49th year 3 for 1 anniversary college basketball picks special offer