College Basketball’s Fantastic Four as of Jan. 17

College Basketball’s Fantastic Four

It’s that time again to check up on the best of the best in college basketball. Why are these teams so great or so good? Let’s do a deep dive into the betting ramifications of the top 4 teams in men’s college basketball, not based on any ranking but on personnel strength, injuries, road performances, coaching and more. Who has the best chance of making the Final Four on January 17th?

(Ben’s Power Rating: BPR)

1)Purdue (BPR: 94). NCAA Net Ranking: 3. 16- 2 SU, 11-6-1 ATS. 13-5 O/U. Purdue is 16-2 SU and 5-0 on neutral courts. They are also 4-2 on the road, but to win on neutral courts is where you win the NCAA’s. Purdue is healthy right now and while it’s tough to trust Matt Painter in the NCAA Tournament, and they lost to Fairleigh Dickinson as a No. 1 seed, let’s remember one thing. Virginia lost to UMBC as the No. 1 seed to a No. 16 and the following season won the NCAA Tournament.

2)North Carolina (BPR: 93). NCAA Net Ranking: 7. 13-4 SU, 10-6 ATS, 9-7 O/U. North Carolina leads the ACC at 5-0 and they are 4-2 on the road. They are a much better defensive team at 5th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency on KenPom. The veteran leadership and talent led by R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot along with better chemistry, gives them a legit chance to be a Final Four team.

3)Houston (BPR: 92). NCAA Net Ranking: 1. 14-2 SU, 8-7-1 ATS, 4-12 O/U. Everything has not been flawless for the Cougars' first season in the Big 12. At press time, they lost two straight on the road to TCU and Iowa State by a combined five points. They have the best defensive team in the nation (1st in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency). They also have one of the best players in guard L.J. Cryer (15.6ppg), whose injury last season cost them a chance to go far in the NCAA Tournament.

4)Arizona (BPR: 91). NCAA Net Ranking: 2. 12-4 SU, 12-4 ATS, 8-8 O/U
Here’s the issue with Arizona right now. They have two shaky road losses to Stanford by 18 and at Washington State by 3 as a 9-point favorite. This is an immensely talented team led by UNC transfer Caleb Love, who averages 18.3 points and could see his old team against in the tournament. They also have a big man in Oumar Ballo, who is a 7-foot rebounder and low post scorer. Defensively, they are good, but not great. But man can they rebound as they lead the nation in rebounding margin at +13.7.

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW