Virginia leads surprise team candidates

Updated: May 2, 2013, 6:55 PM ET
By Seth Greenberg

Every season, a few teams emerge and make noise in the NCAA tournament. Most times, these teams laid a foundation in the previous season like the Miami Hurricanes of a season ago. Others, in contrast, add a missing piece, like Oklahoma State did with freshman guard Marcus Smart.

Which teams are poised to make a breakthrough in 2013-14? For me, it looks to be Virginia, LSU, Tennessee, St. John's and Arizona State. Although each team still has question marks, I feel they all have the talent and intangibles to emerge, and I'm confident that they will do well this season.

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia has the potential to be one of the elite teams in the country. It has a veteran squad that is invested in winning. This is even more important in coach Tony Bennett's motion offense and "pack line" defensive system. It takes time to play on instinct and react in both. The Cavaliers' roles are well-defined, and the personnel fit the system well. The players take care of the ball, have shot discipline and are tough to score against.