March Madness Expectations: Ranking Teams’ Player Efficiency Ratings

March Madness Expectations: Ranking Teams’ Player Efficiency Ratings
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Two Big 12 programs in Texas are among the nation’s most efficient teams in the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament. The Texas Tech Red Raiders and Baylor Bears hope to ride that efficiency towards successful seasons for their fans in Lubbock and Waco. March Madness 2024 will be the biggest betting event of the year nationwide but there are no legal Texas sports betting options yet.

The Red Raiders have found their way back into the field of 68 in Year 1 of the Grant McCasland era, going 23-10 and 11-7 in Big 12 play to secure a sixth seed in the first round. Texas Tech has a showdown against 11th seed North Carolina State on Thursday evening.

In Waco, Scott Drew has once again led the Bears back to the Big Dance, with Baylor going 23-10 and 11-7 in conference play to grab the third seed in the West region. Baylor has a first-round clash against 14th seed Colgate on Friday afternoon.

The brackets have been set for March Madness, a keen event of interest for folks in the Lone Star State who await legal Texas sportsbook apps. averaged out each team’s 2023-24 player efficiency ratings (PER) and ranked the 68 teams in the Men’s NCAA Tournament based on highest average team PER. Based on this, the McNeese Cowboys have the most efficient team with an average PER of 20.36. Both Texas Tech and Baylor are in the top 15:

Highest Average PER In NCAA Tournament

RankTeamAvg. Player Efficiency Rating
1McNeese Cowboys20.36
2St. Mary’s Gaels19.82
3Montana State Bobcats19.10
4Alabama Crimson Tide19.09
5Gonzaga Bulldogs18.96
6Grand Canyon Antelopes18.22
7Stetson Hatters17.51
8Arizona Wildcats17.42
9 Texas Tech Red Raiders 17.28
10 Baylor Bears 16.87
11Colorado State Rams16.57
12UConn Huskies16.56
13Iowa State Cyclones16.18
14UAB Blazers16.15
15Florida Atlantic Owls16.03

Where Texas’ Two PER Leaders Rank

For the Red Raiders and Bears, 2023-24 represented a golden year of men’s basketball. Among this year’s March Madness tournament teams, the former ranks ninth nationally in average PER, at 17.28, according to the College Basketball Reference site. Baylor was right behind at No. 10, at 16.87.

Nationally, the leaders in PER that are competing in first-round games over Thursday and Friday are McNeese (20.36), St. Mary’s (19.82), Montana State (19.10), Alabama (19.09) and Gonzaga (18.96). Grand Canyon (18.22) and Stetson (17.51) were the next closest nationally, stoking their March Madness expectations.

This spring represents an opportunity for Texas Tech to pull down its first national title in men’s hoops, after coming so close in 2019, when they lost to Virginia in the national title game. Baylor seeks its second title in four years, having won it all in 2021.

NCAA Tournament Odds

The team at ESPN BET Sportsbook gives Drew’s bunch better odds at winning the NCAA Tournament than McCasland’s Red Raiders team. As of Wednesday morning, Baylor was tied with Alabama for 14th nationally at +4000 odds, while Texas Tech was listed at +10000. There are six teams from the Lone Star State in the tournament, the most of any state. Houston is the No. 1 seed in the South Region and Texas is A&M is No. 9 there. In the Midwest Region, Texas is the No. 7 seed and TCU is No. 9.

As for the two teams high in average PER, both are heavy favorites to win in the first round. ESPN BET lists Baylor as a 13.5-point favorite over Colgate and Texas Tech comes in as a 4.5-point favorite over N.C. State as of Wednesday morning.

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Christopher Boan is a writer with, covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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