5 Hot College Basketball Teams Gaining Momentum for March Madness

Check out these five college basketball teams that are picking up momentum at the right time and could make deep runs in March Madness.

Ohio State Buckeyes: Gaining Momentum in Big Ten Play

Fresh off their first Elite Eight appearance in 30 years, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been picking up steam in Big Ten play. Despite a slow start in nonconference games, they have been dominant in the 2024 calendar year, going undefeated and securing a 13-game win streak.

5 Hot College Basketball Teams Gaining Momentum for March Madness - -655583946

( Credit to: Espn )

The Buckeyes have climbed to the No. 2 ranking in the Associated Press poll and have taken a commanding lead in the Big Ten standings. With key victories over conference rivals, including an overtime win against Iowa, they are proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with.

Ohio State’s success can be attributed to the return of Jacy Sheldon, who missed most of last season due to injury. Alongside Cotie McMahon, who dropped 33 points against Iowa, the Buckeyes have a formidable scoring duo. Additionally, their strong defense, forcing turnovers and limiting opponents’ scoring, has been a key factor in their success.

Oregon State Beavers: Surprising Rise in the Pac-12

The Oregon State Beavers have defied expectations this season, surpassing their predicted 10th-place finish in the Pac-12. Led by coach Scott Rueck, they currently hold a tie for second place in the conference standings and a No. 2 seed in Bracketology.

After a slow start with losses to the L.A. schools, the Beavers have turned things around with 9 wins in their last 11 games. Their recent thrilling victory over UCLA showcased their resilience and ability to compete against top teams.

The Beavers’ success can be attributed to their balanced scoring and strong defense. Raegan Beers provides a presence inside the paint, while players like Timea Gardiner and Talia von Oelhoffen have been consistent threats from beyond the arc. With their tough defense, holding opponents to a league-best effective field goal percentage, they are a team to watch out for in the NCAA tournament.

Virginia Tech Hokies: Building on Final Four Success

The Virginia Tech Hokies are on a nine-game win streak, reminiscent of their impressive run to the Final Four last season. After early losses in nonconference play, they have found their stride in the ACC, currently leading the conference standings.

Key players Elizabeth Kitley and Georgia Amoore have been instrumental in the Hokies’ success, putting up impressive numbers and establishing themselves as one of the best duos in the country. With a strong supporting cast and improved defense, the Hokies are poised for another deep postseason run.

Virginia Tech’s ability to sweep the regular-season series against NC State and win road games against ranked ACC teams demonstrates their competitiveness and potential to make noise in March Madness.

Oklahoma Sooners: Defying Expectations in the Big 12

The Oklahoma Sooners were not expected to have a strong season after losing several key players from last year’s team. However, they have proven the doubters wrong, currently sitting atop the Big 12 standings with a 10-5 conference record.

Skylar Vann and Payton Verhulst have emerged as the team’s top scorers, but the Sooners’ success goes beyond their individual performances. Their ability to share the ball, leading the nation in assist rate, has been a key factor in their offensive efficiency.

Defensively, the Sooners have improved throughout the season and currently rank among the top in the Big 12. With their balanced scoring and solid defense, they have the potential to win back-to-back Big 12 titles.

Fairfield Stags: A Dominant Force in the MAAC

The Fairfield Stags have been on an impressive 21-game win streak, establishing themselves as the favorites to represent the MAAC in the NCAA tournament. Under the guidance of coach Carly Thibault-DuDonis, they have been a dominant force in their conference.

Despite a loss to Vanderbilt early in the season, the Stags have been nearly unstoppable, garnering attention and votes in the AP poll. Led by freshman standout Meghan Andersen, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocks, they have a well-rounded roster that can compete with anyone.

With their strong performances and consistent winning, the Fairfield Stags are a team to watch out for in March Madness.

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