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2022 NCAA Tournament
(Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)

2022 NCAA Tournament: Six Untrustworthy Teams

2022 NCAA Tournament
(Carlos Osorio/AP Photo)

2022 NCAA Tournament: Six Untrustworthy Teams

The 2022 NCAA Tournament is right around the corner, and everyone is going to want to know who the sleepers are this season. I decided to go the opposite direction and look at some familiar teams I do not trust in March. So, without knowing their respective tournament draw, here are six teams I am very suspicious of for the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Michigan State Spartans

A team with big-time turnover issues and no real star player? No thanks, I’ll pass. This is a roster of second and third options. If they had a true Johnny Davis-esque star, then it’s a different conversation. People will pick them because of Tom Izzo, but if he gets them to the Sweet Sixteen that should be considered a major accomplishment. Sparty has gone 1-5 in their last six games and their ceiling is severely limited.

Houston Cougars

I have a lot of concerns with Houston, this being the foremost among them:

ZERO QUAD 1 WINS IN LATE FEBRUARY? Also, Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark are out for the year? Kelvin Sampson is a great coach, but only he can do so much with a team that hasn’t really been tested. I’m absolutely putting the Cougars on upset watch.

Loyola Chicago Ramblers

I can see people who don’t know any better picking the Ramblers to go on a run because they have the name recognition and have been one of the more successful mid-majors in the last five years. This Ramblers team is not on the level of past Loyola teams at all. They aren’t even a lock to be the best team in their conference, nor are they safe to make the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Loyola has struggled against a bad Valparaiso team twice, lost to Bradley, and lost to Drake twice. Assuming they make the NCAA Tournament, they are shaky enough that I will be closely eyeing their first-round matchup.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Alabama is definitely talented enough to go on a run, but the range of outcomes for them is enormous. They can beat the Baylors and Gonzagas of the world, but can also lose to teams like Missouri or Georgia. It’s going to feel like every round we pick them to advance will be a gamble. Game-to-game it’s a tossup for which Alabama team we’re going to see. Reminder that this is an article about trustworthiness, and the Crimson Tide’s variance is inherently untrustworthy.

UCLA Bruins

I said this at the beginning of the season, so I have to stick with it now. Yeah, it’s great that UCLA brought back basically the entire team from last year’s Final Four run, but have they really convinced anyone they are ready to run it back? They have a really good record but have some lackluster performances sprinkled in that should make people nervous entering March. Plus they got absolutely dismantled by Gonzaga this season, indicating that they aren’t quite on that level. If they can lose to Arizona State, they can definitely take a loss early in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2021-22 season. New head coach T.J. Otzelberger has done wonders with a program that lost Rasir Bolton, brought in a ton of transfers, and finished with ZERO conference wins last season. However, they are 5-9 in conference play and 9-9 in Quads 1 and 2. Even though the Big 12 is a loaded league, Iowa State would probably have a few more wins against the top programs if they could really be trusted. The analytics really don’t love the Cyclones offense, so if that stalls out in a tournament game, they could be looking at trouble.

Could this all age poorly? Of course, that’s what March is all about.

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