When attempting to gauge where the highly competitive mid-major and above average power five programs belong in the final NCAA Tournament bracket, it can be an arduous endeavor that is more based on subjective guesswork than objective analytics. However, even if these projected seventh seeds are being underrated or overrated, they will usually succumb or persevere depending on their competitive natures and dynamic skill sets. In terms of how far any of these programs can go in the tournament, the possibilities run the gamut of losing in the first round to making it to and winning the National Title game. Although there will be many matchups to consider when projecting which underrated program will make it the farthest, do not overlook any of the following teams that have shown glimpses of greatness and could very well be sleeping giants that are waiting for the right moment to assert themselves.
1. Seton Hall Pirates
Despite never playing consistent defense or offense this season, the scrappy Pirates have proven that they are capable of taking down ranked opponents thanks to their underrated physicality. In order for this program to go far in the tournament, they will need to establish a strong presence underneath the basket to garner rebounds that will be vital in helping their offense produce at a higher level than it did in the regular season.
1. Nevada Wolf Pack
When Wolf Pack are able to hit their shots, they are one of the most dynamic and intimidating offensive programs in the country. Shooting 40.1% from the three-point range, the Wolfpack are capable of scoring points quickly and efficiently, which is further helped by the fact that they rarely turn the ball over. While their shaky defense leaves a lot to be desired, they have the fast and precise shooters to go far in the tournament.
1. Arkansas Razorbacks
Shamelessly, the Razorbacks have lived and died by how productive their offense is on the court (82 PPG) as their dreadful defense rarely shows up to save the day (75.7 PAPG). Luckily, the Razorbacks are highly accurate when shooting from anywhere on the court (48.1 FG%, 40.2 3P%), but they will need to improve their consistency from the free throw line if they hope to grind out wins against defensively superior opponents (67 FT%).
1. Miami Hurricanes
Although the Hurricanes struggled mightily on offense throughout the majority of the regular season, they have looked far better in their last four games in this regard (scored 77 points or more in three of their last four games). If the Hurricanes can improve their poor shooting from the free throw line (66.6 FT%), they may just have enough going for them to surprise fans and critics in the tournament.