NCAA Tournament Expectations: Who Was Expected To Fail?

Back when the NCAA tournament bracket was first released, there were high expectations for some teams — and very low expectations for others. It takes a lot of hard work to build a strong team foundation, but sometimes it comes down to plain dumb luck. Here are the college teams that were expected to fall the hardest during that tournament.

Tennessee was expected to stumble when facing Oregon State due to a number of injuries sustained — especially those incurred by forward John Fulkerson, who fractured his face. He suffered a concussion as well. 

One coach said Tennessee would flop because: “They haven’t been able to find consistent outside shooting. They have too many guys who come off the bench and don’t always fit with the other guys, Victor Bailey being one of them. Some of their issues are that they only really have one point guard, Santiago Vescovi. He’s the only one of them who can truly get other guys [the] shots.”

Georgetown “enjoyed” a record of nearly equal victories and defeats, and was matched up against Colorado in the first round. But not everyone is convinced they belong in the tournament. 

Another coach described their vulnerabilities on the field: “I’m always wary of teams that put everything into something. There is a danger of a letdown once they accomplish something. What they did was so rare. I was shocked by what they did….They’ve never been much of a challenge defensively. They’ve been playing with a competitiveness and toughness we haven’t seen.”

USC has a mostly victorious record, but they’re matched up against Drake in the first round. The experts still don’t know what to expect: “They’re like the team that looks the part in the layup line, but if you punch them in the mouth, they’ll fold. They don’t have a point guard, and that prevents them from playing the style they’d like.”