Note: Calculations and statistics based on games through March 2.
The 2012 Missouri Tigers finished the season on a roll, winning the Big 12 postseason title and claiming a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Led by first-year coach Frank Haith, the Tigers overwhelmed opponents with the most productive offense in college basketball, scoring 1.21 points per possession.
We all know what happened next. Missouri lost to Norfolk State in its first tournament game. Although no one predicted the Tigers would lose to the MEAC champions, Haith's team suffered from a major flaw that made a title unlikely. The Tigers' defense allowed 1.00 points per possession on the season, and 156 Division I teams allowed fewer points per trip.
At TeamRankings.com, we project the likely NCAA tournament seeds for each team in the nation and the probability of each team winning it all. Our projections favor teams that amass large point differentials over the course of the year. One-dimensional teams such as the 2012 Tigers have a harder time racking up large point differentials, making them unlikely champions. And we could see something similar play out this season.
The following are three NCAA tournament-bound teams that have been ranked highly in the AP poll yet are likely to disappoint in the bracket. In all three cases, our models project shockingly low chances for an NCAA championship.