Overrated college basketball teams to fade this season

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While every program in the country is optimistic about their team's outlook to begin the season, preseason rankings show that some squads aren't worth the hype.

Here, we'll look at a few overvalued teams that are prime fade candidates right off the bat.

Villanova (4th in AP Poll, 9th in KenPom)

Villanova has finished in the top 20 of KenPom's rankings in all but one campaign since 2014. In a college basketball landscape filled with transfers and roster changes, the ever-consistent Wildcats have mostly kept their rosters intact - and this season is no different. Jay Wright's bunch deserves a bump for that, but it's not as talented as the teams ranked around them.

Villanova lost Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, the co-Big East Player of the Year and last season's leading scorer. The team does return fellow co-Player of the Year and team leader Collin Gillespie, but he's always been more of a table-setter than an individual playmaker. The worry is there aren't enough elite shotmakers to unlock Gillespie's point guard abilities.

Even still, offense isn't the biggest issue with this group. The Wildcats ranked 215th in 2-point percentage defense last campaign, by far the worst during Wright's tenure. And Villanova did nothing over the offseason to fix its lack of size, length, or athleticism down low.

Steadiness and continuity will keep the Wildcats relevant, but a top-five ranking in betting markets is a stretch given their personnel.

Arkansas (16th in AP Poll, 15th in KenPom)

Arkansas is being ranked in the same vicinity as last season's Elite Eight team despite losing key players. The Razorbacks lost leading scorer Moses Moody, leading rebounder Justin Smith, and assists leader Jalen Tate. Transfers from KenPom's 97th-, 138th-, and 159th-ranked teams last season will likely replace those three in the starting lineup.

Though athletic sophomores Davonte Davis and Jaylin Williams will take the reigns, neither is an outside threat offensively, shooting a collective 9-of-36 from deep last season. No projected rotation player shot over 36% from beyond the arc in 2020-21.

Arkansas' offensive woes could be solved by Miami transfer Chris Lykes, a scintillating scorer who missed all of last season due to injury. Even if Lykes is healthy, though, his diminutive 5-foot-7 frame limits Arkansas' defensive potential.

There are solid pieces across this roster, but the Razorbacks are overrated by last year's success, and their lack of two-way talent makes them a good team to fade.

Maryland (21st in AP Poll, 18th in KenPom)

Maryland somehow jumped 18 spots in KenPom's rankings despite losing NBA draft pick Aaron Wiggins and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Darryl Morsell. The Terrapins are only returning three players who averaged more than 1.4 points per game last season. In terms of newcomers, Maryland's two best transfers come from college basketball's 63rd- and 111th-ranked teams, similar to Arkansas.

The Terrapins found success in 2020-21 with a hard-nosed, switchable defense that featured five starters in the NCAA Tournament that were between 6-5 and 6-7. However, they've lost much of that identity by starting 5-11 Fatts Russell and bulky big Qudus Wahab. Shifting to a more traditional game plan might expose Maryland's lack of high-level wing scorers.

The Terrapins have a talented lineup with Russell, Wahab, and returning players Donta Scott and Eric Ayala. But bettors should pounce all over the fact that this team is being treated like a top-25 group.

Wisconsin (Unranked in AP Poll, 44th in KenPom)

Simply put, Wisconsin is poor in offensive talent, with the Badgers losing four of their top-five leading scorers from last season. Brad Davison is the only remaining member of that group, and he shot a ghastly 27.5% from inside the arc in 2020-21.

Wisconsin will now depend on Chris Vogt (five points per game last season) to man the middle against elite Big Ten post players and freshman Chucky Hepburn to run the offense alongside very few high-major-level scorers. No matter how much the Badgers slow the game down - they haven't finished in the top 300 in pace since 2014 - there are still questions about how this roster can score.

Betting unders should be a top priority with this group. As long as Wisconsin is ranked in the top 50, it'll be a good fade option as well. Keep an eye out for sophomore Jonathan Davis though, because if he becomes an All-Big Ten-caliber player, the outlook changes here.

Overrated college basketball teams to fade this season
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