Top NCAA Basketball Defenses: UConn’s Key Role in Title Defense

Many Of The Top Defensive Teams Fell Short in 2023 NCAA Tournament

The rosters are pretty much set, and it will be worth watching to see which NCAAB teams will have the top NCAA basketball defenses during the 2023-24 season.

UConn‘s ability to get after it on the defensive end played a vital role in the Huskies’ national title run and rise through the NCAAB rankings. Gonzaga, Arizona, and Alabama were the top national title contenders who finished in the top 10 in scoring offense, only to fall short when March Madness rolled along.

Teams will look to follow a similar script as the one followed by the Huskies, as UConn took some tough losses during the regular season only to put everything together at the perfect time. Being able to identify those types of teams can help your college basketball picks come March Madness.

Duke and Kansas lead the way at +1000 in the current odds to win the 2023-24 national championship odds. Purdue, which gets 7-foot-4 Zach Edey back, is close behind at +1200, followed by Michigan State at +1400. UConn is among a group of times with +1600 championship odds.

Time to Get Defensive

When looking at the top title contenders, the teams with the top NCAA basketball defenses a season showing up in the championship odds are Houston, Tennessee, UCLA, Saint Mary’s, and Virginia.

Houston comes in tied for seventh at +2000 in the national title odds, followed by Tennessee and UCLA at +3000. Saint Mary’s (+5000) and Virginia (+6000) aren’t far behind.

North Texas led all Division I men’s basketball teams in scoring offense, allowing 55.8 points per game. The Mean Green finished the season with a 31-7 record, including the NIT championship, after falling short in the Conference USA tournament.

When looking at the players from the Power-5 conferences who finished in the top 10 nationally in blocked shots per game, many have embarked on pro careers.

Florida’s Colin Castleton, who was third in Division I with an average of 3 blocked shots per game, was not selected in the 2023 NBA Draft. He was signed by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis is now with the Golden State Warriors after putting up 2.88 blocks per game.

Jesse Edwards transferred from Syracuse to West Virginia, while Duke’s Dereck Lively was a first-round pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder and traded to Dallas.

What A Steal

The story is pretty much the same regarding the Division I steals leaders.

Jaylen Clark, a key reason why UCLA was among the top NCAA basketball defenses, was picked in the second round in the NBA Draft by Minnesota.

Missouri’s D’Moi Hodge signed with the Lakers with Kansas State’s Markquis Nowell getting signed by Toronto.

It will be interesting to see which players emerge as the top players when piling up the steals during the upcoming season.

What About the Defending Champs

UConn will miss its defensive sparkplug, Andre Jackson. Post player Adama Sanogo and top perimeter scoring threat Jordan Hawkins have left to start their professional careers.

One player to keep an eye on is 7-foot-2 Donovan Clingan. He averaged 6.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots in 13.1 minutes per game.

Considering who UConn lost off the title-winning team, he will be averaging significantly more playing time as a sophomore.

A Look At the Early Tests

The games won’t start counting until early November. There could be some heated defensive affairs in the early going.

The Princeton-Rutgers, Arkansas State-Wisconsin, USC-Kansas State, Auburn-Baylor, and Virginia Tech-South Carolina matchups could be a chance for teams to see where they need to tighten things up on the defensive end of the court.

UConn used the strict tests in the Big East as well as some challenging non-conference opponents to get tougher as the season goes on, and teams that are willing to test themselves even if it hurts the win-loss record should benefit when things matter the most.

Crunching the Numbers

Connecticut had 21 games finish under the total a season ago, and that was second in the Big East only to Xavier.

With that in mind, let’s look at the teams from the top conferences who had the most games finish under the total as we look at the teams that might Top NCAA basketball defenses.

Let’s look at the teams from the top conferences who had the most games finished under the total.

Duke led the way in the ACC with 22 games going under the total, followed by Miami, a Final Four team.

Iowa State (22) was the leader in the Big 12, followed by Kansas and Oklahoma State.

Maryland, Purdue, and Rutgers all had at least 20 games finish under the total out of the Big Ten.

Utah, Washington State, and Oregon State were the Pac-12 teams to have at least 20 games go under the total. Tennessee led the way in the SEC with 22 games, finishing under the total.

For NCAAB betting news, analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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