March Madness: Ranking the Four Most Overrated Teams in the Sweet 16

College basketball expert Mike Spector ranks his top four most overrated teams entering the Sweet 16.
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March Madness: Ranking the Four Most Overrated Teams in the Sweet 16

There is no such thing as a "bad" team still alive in the Sweet 16, as making the NCAA Tournament and winning the first two games is a tremendous accomplishment. However, there are certainly more "overrated" teams than others entering this round and teams that should not have the steep futures odds that they do.

Here are the top four most overrated teams entering the Sweet 16.

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1. Duke Blue Devils (+450 To Make the Final Four, +1500 To Win the Championship)

At many sportsbooks, Duke is the biggest liability in the futures markets, as the sportsbooks would reportedly take huge losses would the Blue Devils go on to win the championship in Coach K's last season. It's a good thing they do not have much to worry about since we do not see Duke advancing out of its own region.

As we get further along into the tournament, the pressure on Duke's players not to be playing in their iconic head coach's last game mounts. And if you are a believer that experience wins out in March, Texas Tech has a significant advantage in its Sweet 16 matchup.

The Red Raiders are the 34th-most experienced team in Division I, while Duke is the 13th-youngest. And while the ACC has had a tremendous showing so far in the tournament, the Big 12 is the only conference with three teams in the Sweet 16, which also enhances the fact that Texas Tech is the more battle-tested team.

Texas Tech's "no-middle" defense will consistently force the Blue Devils to hit perimeter shots. That is the best way to defend Paolo Banchero of late, as he is just 4-for-15 over the last five games from 3-point range. Duke is at its best when they can consistently get into the lane, but the Red Raiders will not allow them to do so. 

And in Duke's 11 games against tournament teams this season, they have allowed 82 ppg, which brings into question if they can get enough stops against the highest-quality competition. Duke's path only gets more challenging if it were to defeat Texas Tech, so we want no part in backing the Blue Devils at their current odds.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (-180 To Make the Final Four, +200 To Win the Championship)

While Gonzaga is the tournament's top overall seed, and with good reason, their odds to make the Final Four and win the national championship are much too short. First off, the West Region is the only region where all top four seeds advanced to the Sweet 16. In addition, if Gonzaga gets by Arkansas in the Sweet 16, they would face either Texas Tech or Duke for a second time this season, and their opponent's familiarity with their unique style may make winning in the Elite Eight difficult.

Gonzaga has similar odds to last year's undefeated team at this point in the tournament, but not many would argue last year's team was more talented and had better guard play. We have seen many instances where athletic and physical teams have given the Bulldogs issues this year, which Memphis nearly exposed in their upset of Gonzaga in the last round. 

The Bulldogs may very well go on to win the national championship, but we would want much better odds to think about backing them.

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3. Arizona Wildcats (+140 To Make the Final Four, +550 To Win the Championship)

Arizona is fortunate to be playing in the Sweet 16, as they needed a late 3-pointer from Bennedict Mathurin to even force overtime against an inferior TCU squad. Oddsmakers believe the No. 1 seed Wildcats' season has a decent chance of ending in the Sweet 16, as they are just two-point favorites over Houston. However, even if they advance, Arizona's guard play has been its biggest question mark all season, and Kerr Kriisa does not appear 100% healthy even though he gutted out 27 minutes against the Horned Frogs.

4. Villanova Wildcats (+230 To Make the Final Four, +1400 To Win the Championship)

Outside of top overall seed Gonzaga and Purdue, who faces Saint Peter's, Villanova is the third-biggest favorite in the Sweet 16. However, the Wildcats have been playing with fire of late, as four of its last seven wins (including all three in the Big East Tournament) have been by six or fewer points. Villanova's Division I-best 82.6% free-throw percentage has helped them close out many tight games, but that is a dangerous way to play going forward. 

Jay Wright had plenty of NBA talent on his 2016 and 2018 national championship rosters, but this team does not have the same elite talent. There is no denying that the Wildcats may be the smartest and most mentally tough team left in the tournament. Still, it is awfully difficult to win a national championship without many guys who can play at the next level.

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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