Hits and misses are sure to be experienced when trying to forecast how a college basketball season will unfold, especially in the unpredictable nature of the men’s NCAA Tournament.
When looking at the Sweet 16 this season, there’s certainly more misses than hits from the preseason polls from the respective conferences of the teams remaining from the field of 68. While they may not be the most scientific process to determining who will win the league, polls certainly give a good idea of which teams will be near the top. The panels for those polls vary across the country. Some use just league coaches. Others use exclusively media. Some are a combination of both.
Let’s start with the good news. Five schools were picked to win their league — Baylor, Gonzaga, Villanova, Houston and UCLA — with the first three finishing first and the Cougars and Bruins ending in second and fourth, respectively.
Now for the not-so-good-news. An equal number of the remaining teams were picked to finish sixth or lower — Arkansas, Michigan, Oregon State, Southern California and Syracuse. Each had varying degrees of success in the regular season. Michigan won the Big Ten and Arkansas and USC were runners-up in the SEC and Pac-12, respectively.
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