NCAA tournament underdog teams
Look for these teams to sneak into the NCAA tournament and possibly cause some upsets.
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.
The red-hot Boilermakers are a projected No. 1 seed in Jerry Palm's latest bracket
The Gaels are back in the Top 25 (and 1) after taking down the Zags
The selection committee will again reveal what it is thinking ahead of Selection Sunday
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