College Basketball’s Most Disappointing Teams This Season

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Since we have reached the unofficial midway point of the 2011-2012 college basketball season, we can begin to dissect which teams have gotten off to rather disappointing starts and are struggling as conference play has begun.  Here are some teams who have drastically underachieved and what has been the root of their problems.

UCLA
You could realistically put almost every Pac-12 team in this list, but the Bruins have certainly been the the poster boys of disappointing teams.  The disaster began right out of the gates when UCLA lost their opener at home to Loyola Marymount by 11 points and followed that up with a 20-point home loss to Middle Tennessee (who is actually 14-2 this season but still… twenty points on your home floor???)  The whole Reeves Nelson debacle didn’t help either but still, the Bruins were a preseason top 20 team and only now just moved to five-hundred with a win over Arizona State

Pittsburgh
The home loss to a talented, veteran Long Beach State team was a bit alarming, but the Panthers seemingly figured things out by winning their next nine games.  However, since that streak, Jamie Dixon’s club has lost four in a row including at home to Wagner and on the road at DePaul.  Trevon Woodall has been dinged up so that has certainly played a factor along with the decision to transfer by McDonald’s All-American Khem Birch.  You would still expect a Dixon-led team to overcome that and be better than 0-3 in the Big East, but their defense just lacks the toughness of previous years.

Villanova
With nobody on their roster named Corey, it was expected to be a bit of a down year for ‘Nova… but not THIS down.  The Wildcats won their first four games of the season but since then have dropped eight of their last twelve.  Yes, they are young with no scholarship seniors on their roster, but losing at home to South Florida by 17 is just embarrassing.  At 8-8, they are the only Big East team without an overall winning record.

Xavier
One of the most fascinating stories of the season has been the post-Queen City Brawl collapse of the Musketeers who have lost five of seven since the Cincy game.  Suspensions to Tu Holloway, Mark Lyons, and Dezmine Wells definitely played a part in that slump but even with those guys, Xavier lost by ten at La Salle.  The Atlantic 10 is more competitive than expected with teams like Dayton, Temple, St. Louis, and St. Joseph’s having NCAA Tournament-caliber seasons so Chris Mack needs to get his team back on track… and fast.  (Click here for video of the Xavier-Cincy brawl.)

Texas A&M
The Aggies won seven of their first eight games but with the exception of St. John’s, all of those victories came against cupcakes.  Since then, A&M has lost four of five including home games against Rice and Iowa State (who crushed the Aggies by 24.)  An injury to Kourtney Roberson and the transfer of freshman point guard Jamal Branch are contributing factors, but for a team who was a pre-season pick to win the conference to be 9-5, 0-2 in the Big 12… that defines disappointing.

Florida State
The ‘Noles were supposed to be the clear cut third best team in the ACC, but in the past couple weeks FSU was blown out by Florida and Clemson, and lost in triple overtime to Princeton.  Leonard Hamilton’s team sits at 9-6 with their best non-conference wins coming against Central Florida and Auburn.  Ish.  The ACC is weak this season and might only land four teams in the tourney and the Seminoles will have to finish a few games above five-hundred in conference to be in that discussion.

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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