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Teams That Can Win the 2022 NCAA Tournament

Teams That Can Win the 2022 NCAA Tournament

While upsets happen all the time in the NCAA Tournament, there are usually only a handful of teams that can win the tournament. Here are the teams that can win the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Parameters

These teams are efficient on both ends of the floor and are usually battle-tested as well. The last team to win it all and not be top 25 in both offensive and defensive efficiency (according to kenpom.com) was UConn in 2014. That UConn team is the only team since 2002 not meet those parameters and still win the championship.

Other teams could follow in 2014 UConn’s steps and win it all, but they would be a statistical outlier.

Note: Baylor started the 2021 NCAA Tournament outside of the parameters, but played so efficiently on their road to a championship that they finished in the top 25 for both categories.

Gonzaga Bulldogs

Gonzaga ranks as the most efficient offensive team and seventh-ranked defensive team in the country. Mark Few routinely has good offenses. Although they haven’t won an NCAA Tournament yet, they have been getting closer. With Drew Timme manning the inside and Andrew Nembhard running the point, Gonzaga has leadership. Chet Holmgren is a unicorn of a player who can do a bit of everything. Don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs cut down the nets in April.

Arizona Wildcats

Not many expected Arizona to be a number one seed before the season. They ranked fifth in offensive efficiency and 20th in defensive efficiency. A huge sophomore leap from Bennedict Mathurin has really helped the Wildcats, as he averages 17.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Tommy Lloyd is having a great first season as head coach and could lead the team to some success in the tournament.

Houston Cougars

Houston is probably the least-likely on this list to actually win it all. The Cougars do rank 10th in offensive efficiency and 11th in defensive efficiency, but they have only one quad 1 on the season. Marcus Sasser was injured and out for the season after just 13 games. Former Texas Tech Red Raider Kyler Edwards has helped take over at 13.8 points per game.

Baylor Bears

Baylor got a number one seed after winning the whole thing last season. They rank ninth in offensive efficiency and 14th in defensive efficiency. There are plenty of new faces helping the Bears, including transfer James Akinjo. Adam Flagler and Matthew Mayer have returned in key roles as well.

UCLA Bruins

Mick Cronin led UCLA to the Final Four in 2021 and they could make it again this season. They returned a lot of their key players, including Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez. The Bruins ranke 15th in offensive efficiency and 12th in defensive efficiency. Getting a four seed gives them a much better draw than last season.

Auburn Tigers

Bruce Pearl has Auburn winning SEC titles. This season they ranked 24th in offensive efficiency and eighth in defensive efficiency. Jabari Smith has been a dynamic freshman for the Tigers and when he is used properly, Auburn can beat anyone in the country.

Picks With Risk (These teams currently don’t fit the paramaters, but could by the end of the tournament)

Kentucky Wildcats- The Wildcats rank fourth in offensive efficiency and 27th in defensive efficiency. Locking in defensively could have Kentucky as a threat to win it all, especially with how well Oscar Tshiebwe rebounds.

Kansas Jayhawks- Bill Self‘s squad is 6th in offensive efficiency and 29th in defensive efficiency. Kansas did just get guard Remy Martin healthy, which could help them on their quest for their fourth title.

Tennessee Volunteers- Tennessee had some dominating performances in the SEC Tournament and walked away as champs. They are 36th in offensive efficiency and third in defensive efficiency and have plenty of talent for a long run.

Villanova Wildcats- Jay Wright has another solid squad who are a two-seed. They are eighth in offensive efficiency and 28th in defensive efficiency. Collin Gillespie is one of the most experienced players in the country, which helps their chances.

Duke Blue Devils- Duke’s offense has been great, ranking seventh in efficiency. The problem is their defense, which ranks 44th in efficiency. The Blue Devils will really have to turn it on to fit within the parameters, so it might be best to stay away from picking them on a deep tournament run.

Texas Longhorns- Texas had an up and down season, but rank 32nd in offensive efficiency and 13th in defensive efficiency. Chris Beard always has his defense ready, but can his offense be high-powered enough to win it all.

Illinois Fighting Illini- Illinois dealt with injuries this season to some of their stars, but still managed to rank 23rd in offensive and 30th in defensive efficiency. Kofi Cockburn was a much better rim protector in previous years and will need to step it up for Illinois to make a run.

UConn Huskies- UConn ranks 21st in offensive efficiency and 35th in defensive efficiency. Dan Hurley has done a great job with the school, but the defense may not be good enough to win a National Championship this season.

Arkansas Razorbacks- Arkansas’ offensive efficiency is 40th, while their defensive efficiency is 16th. For the offensive efficiency to improve, the Razorbacks will need star guard J.D. Notae to play out of his mind.

Teams to Avoid Picking to Win it All

Purdue Boilermakers- While the offense is good, Purdue’s defense ranks 100th in efficiency. That won’t get the job done in March.

Texas Tech Red Raiders- The defense is on point, ranking first in the country, but the offense is a problem. They rank 65th in offensive efficiency. Their defense could help them win a few games, but the offense will likely prevent them from winning it all.

Any seeds six or worse- Since the expansion of the tournament to 64 teams, only one six-seed has won it all (Kansas in 1988). One seven seed has also won (2014 UConn) along with one eight seed (Villanova  1985). It is the riskiest of picks taking a team that has been seeded six or worse to win it all.

 

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