NCAA Basketball: 11 high-major teams exceeding expectations so far

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COLUMBUS, OH – NOVEMBER 13: Buckeyes players celebrate. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The 2019-20 NCAA basketball is only two weeks in but a few teams have already emerged as those exceeding expectations compared to preseason KenPom rankings.

The first two weeks of 2019-20 NCAA basketball season are now complete and several programs have shown their worth on the court. As is the case every single year, many teams have emerged as early-season surprises. These squads have already shown that they are capable of exceeding low (or even high) preseason expectations as they have played exceptionally well through their first few games.

While it is impossible to use statistics as the sole descriptor of performance, advanced metrics have taken center stage in recent years with regard to ranking college basketball teams. The most notable of these ranking systems is, of course, KenPom, which is centered around adjusted efficiency margin as its main metric. From the opening day of the season until now, there have been plenty of teams that have seen significant movement in their KenPom ranking.

For the sake of transparency, this article will take a look at the 11 high-major teams that have exhibited the biggest positive adjusted efficiency margin change since opening day on KenPom. The piece is designed to dive a bit deeper into each of those squads to determine *how* they have been able to outperform the system’s preseason expectations. KenPom is well-regarded as a ranking system both with regard to preseason and in-season adjustments.

While some potential breakout programs such as DePaul have clearly performed well to begin this season, their adjusted margins have not changed as positively as the teams that will be discussed in this article. Basing this list solely off a computer metric certainly leaves some programs on the outside-looking-in, but it is an objective way to create the piece.

Now, without any further ado, let’s dive into the 11 high-major teams that have exceeded metric expectations most to begin this season and analyze how they have been able to become an early-season surprise.

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