NCAA tournament underdog teams

All the focus may be on the teams resting at the top of the standings, but the beauty of college basketball is no one is ever out of it until they're, well, out of it. Underdog stories are the ones we love to tell over and over and the ones that make March so exciting. Ask VCU and Butler.

Our panel of Inside College Basketball experts dished out some local love for underdog teams that may not grab headlines but should grab your attention going down the stretch.

Mateen Cleaves: University of Detroit (18-10), Horizon League

The Titans have Ray McCallum, the best point guard in the country, according to Cleaves. McCallum, the junior guard from Beverly Hills, Mich., averages 19 points and 4.6 assists per game while going 71 percent from the free-throw line. Detroit has Loyola at home then road games at Temple and Illinois-Chicago before heading to the Horizon League playoffs, where it needs a championship to buy a ticket to the tournament.

Wally Szczerbiak: Akron (22-4), Mid-American Conference

With 18 consecutive victories, the Zips are tied for the longest winning streak in the nation. That type of consistency helped them sneak into the USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll at No. 24. They’ve also had quality wins against Middle Tennessee and conference foe Ohio.

Gary Parrish: Middle Tennessee State (25-4), Sun Belt Conference

The Blue Raiders are 25-4 with losses to Belmont, Akron and Florida. An OT loss at Arkansas State is the biggest of their worries on a pretty good-looking resume.

Who are your underdogs right now? Make your voice heard in the comment section below or on Twitter @Hoopsoncbs. You can also follow Adena Andrews on Twitter @adena_andrews.

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