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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Ten teams with the potential to win it all: Why they can and why they can’t

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The Dagger takes a look at 10 teams that have the potential to win the NCAA tournament. We tell you why they can and why they can't make it happen.

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Louisville (No. 1 seed, Midwest Region)
Odds to win the title: 19/4
Why they can win it: When they're on their game, there isn't a better back court in the nation than Peyton Siva and Russ Smith. These guys were in the Final Four last year and the experience will help.
Why they can't win it: The Cardinals have had some issues executing down the stretch in close games. They will certainly be forced to do so again and it could be their undoing.

Gonzaga (No. 1 seed, West Region)
Odds to win the title: 10/1
Why they can win it: Great guard play surrounding a dominant big man in Kelly Olynyk has proven difficult to stop all season. That won't change now.
Why they can't win it: History isn't on their side. A program from a mid-major conference hasn't won the national title since UNLV in 1990.

[AccuScore computer projections: Midwest Region | West]

Indiana (No. 1 seed, East Region)
Odds to win the title: 5/1
Why they can win it: A team loaded with scoring options. Shutting down one or two guys doesn't stop them from putting the ball in the basket. Victor Oladipo is can generally limit the opponent's best scorer.
Why they can't win it: The Hoosiers go into the tournament with a 3-3 record in their final six games and could be wearing down from a brutal Big Ten season. This isn't the best defensive team around and gritty, grind-it-out teams can upset the Hoosiers.

Kansas (No. 1 seed, South Region)
Odds to win the title: 10/1
Why they can win it: Similar to Indiana, this team has a lot of different offensive weapons and is rarely prevented from doing what it wants.
Why they can't win it: Point guard play has been an issue all season and the Jayhawks will have to pass the ball-handling and decision-making tests at some point in the tournament.

[Related: Kentucky leads list of NCAA tourney snubs]

Duke (No. 2 seed, Midwest Region)
Odds to win the title: 12/1
Why they can win it: Ryan Kelly's shooting and passing ability on the perimeter makes the Blue Devils one of the most difficult teams to guard in the nation. Coach K finds a way to win at this time of year.
Why they can't win it: Duke's losses have come when confronted by more physical, athletic teams. It will have to win multiple games in the tournament against that kind of opponent.

Florida (No. 3 seed, South Region)

Odds to win the title: 7/1
Why they can win it: A strong defensive team with scoring inside and out. They have plenty of experience, having played in the Elite Eight the past two years.
Why they can't win it: The Gators have struggled to beat good, and some not-so-good, opponents away from home. Tough to see them winning five straight neutral-court games given that history.

[Related: Breaking down the South Region]

Georgetown (No. 2 seed, South Region)
Odds to win the title: 20/1
Why they can win it: Otto Porter is one of the elite players in the nation and is capable of taking over games. This is one of the best defensive teams in the nation. The Hoyas frustrate you.
Why they can't win it: Porter is human. He can't be great every game and when he's not Georgetown usually struggles to fill the hole.

Miami (No. 2 seed, East Region)
Odds to win the title: 14/1
Why they can win it: Great point guard play, plenty of size and scoring inside and a defensive mentality. Plus, a lot of people continue to doubt this veteran team despite its resume.
Why they can't win it: Other coach Jim Larranaga, no one here has any experience making a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Heck, this is the first NCAA appearance for the program since 2008.

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New Mexico (No. 3 seed, West Region)
Odds to win the title: 25/1
Why they can win it: Battle-tested and balanced. The Lobos can play up-tempo or a slower pace in the half-court. They won't be caught off guard by anyone.
Why they can't win it: This is a team that has failed to reach the 50-point mark in several of its losses. It's prone to poor shooting performances especially against exceptional defensive teams.

Saint Louis (No. 4 seed, Midwest Region)
Odds to win the title: 25/1
Why they can win it: Being the sentimental favorite because of the death of former coach Rick Majerus will have crowds at neutral court sites on their side. An excellent defensive team hungry for more.
Why they can't win it: The Billikens sometimes struggle to score and that could be deadly when matched against teams some of the elite teams they will have to beat to get through the region.

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