USA Today Sports

Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.

Most Underrated Top 25 Team - Miami Hurricanes (17-3, 14-4 ATS)


The Hurricanes have won 10 straight overall, covering the spread in eight of those contests. They upset top-ranked Duke and they handed the N.C. State Wolfpack their first home loss Saturday, scoring the go-ahead bucket with less than a second remaining on the clock in a 79-78 victory.

The toughest stretch of schedule is already behind them, as they don't face any ranked teams until they meet Duke in early March. They face conference rivals UNC at home Saturday and have already defeated North Carolina on the road by a convincing 9-point margin earlier this season. It wouldn't be too much of a shock to see the Hurricanes continue to climb in the rankings over the next few weeks.

Most Overrated Top 25 Team - UNLV Runnin' Rebels (17-5, 8-13 ATS)


The Rebels are coming off a loss to Boise State their last time out and, while they are 6-4 SU in their last 10, they have only covered the spread in two of those contests. Star forward Mike Moser was ejected in the loss to the Broncos for a flagrant foul in the first half. The Rebels are fortunate that Moser did not receive a suspension and will suit up against Fresno State.

Moser still doesn't appear to be 100 percent since returning from injury, averaging fewer than eight points and just under seven boards on the season.  UNLV is just two games back of the Lobos in the Mountain West and they host New Mexico Saturday.

Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked – North Carolina State Wolfpack (16-6, 11-9 ATS)

The Wolfpack lost on their home floor for the first time this season Saturday, but perhaps they deserved better. Already banged up and without their starting PG Lorenzo Brown, the Wolfpack battled hard and took a 6-point lead to the half. They led 74-69 with just over three minutes to play and they held the lead until the final second of the game, with the Hurricanes scoring on a tip-in.

With the loss, the Wolfpack have fallen out of the Top 25 and they have a tough game coming up against Duke Thursday. The rest of the schedule appears to get a little easier, and when Brown returns, they could go on another run with eight straight games versus unranked opponents.

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