Every team in men's college basketball has a potentially fatal flaw, even the ones atop the AP Top 25.

Most of the top-10 teams have more than enough strengths elsewhere to make up for their biggest shortcomings. But those flaws still exist, just waiting to be exploited.

Several have depth/injury-related concerns. Others have three-point woes. One in particular is just plain bad at playing defense. All are issues that could result in an unexpectedly early exit from the NCAA tournament.

As you start thinking about who you can trust next month, keep these Achilles' heels in mind. Because even top-10 teams can run into matchup nightmares in the first round.

Three of these 10 teams played Tuesday night, but all statistics and data are current through the start of play Tuesday morning.


No. 10 Baylor Bears

Achilles' Heel: Health and free throws

This will also come up with Kentucky, but Baylor just about has to be the No. 1 "Imagine If They Could Just Stay Healthy" team.

James Akinjo is finally looking like himself again, but he was in and out of the lineup and playing at less than full strength from mid-January into early February. Jeremy Sochan missed four games in mid-January. LJ Cryer has only played in one game since Sochan returned. Adam Flagler has missed a couple of recent games, and now Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua is surely out for the year following a serious knee injury.

Without "Everyday Jon," we already know Baylor won't have its full nine-man rotation for the NCAA tournament. But will it otherwise get healthy in time for the dance?

Before the injuries piled up, the Bears were 15-0 and felt like the best team in the country. Since then, though, they're 8-5 overall with a 1-4 record against teams likely to receive a No. 8 seed or better in the tournament. If they're still limping into mid-March, it's going to be difficult to trust them to reach the Sweet 16.

One other significant concern even at full strength is free-throw shooting. Akinjo is plenty reliable with an 83 percent stroke, but everyone else is more of an adventure. Baylor shoots 69 percent as a team, and the two primary big men (Sochan and Flo Thamba) are both hovering around 55 percent.

For what it's worth, Baylor was also a slightly below-average free-throw shooting team last year, but winning each of their six tournament games by at least nine points kept that from becoming an issue.


No. 9 Texas Tech Red Raiders

Achilles' Heel: No point guard and poor three-point shooting

Texas Tech is a very good, senior-heavy team that will punch you square in the mouth with its defense. In addition to season sweeps of both Baylor and Texas, the Red Raiders have a neutral-site victory over Tennessee, a home win over Kansas, a double-overtime loss at Kansas and, perhaps most impressive of all, they found a way to hold Gonzaga under 70 points—though they were unable to win that game in Phoenix.

Chris Beard may be gone, but this team feels even more dangerous under first-year head coach Mark Adams.

However, the Red Raiders go through more than their fair share of cold spells on offense, which stems from a combination of not having a true point guard and only having one guy on the roster who shoots 34 percent or better from three-point range (starting center Bryson Williams at 45.2 percent).

In road losses to Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma—all NCAA tournament bubble teams—Texas Tech averaged 51.0 points, 8.7 assists and 14.7 turnovers while shooting a combined 9-of-51 (17.6 percent) from downtown. Because of those far-too-often offensive woes, Texas Tech hasn't had so much as a four-game winning streak since opening the season with six straight Quadrant 4 blowouts.

It's not a question of "if" Texas Tech will have a poor offensive showing in the NCAA tournament, but rather "when" and "will the defense be enough to win the game anyway?" The Red Raiders do have four wins in which they were held to 65 points or fewer, after all.


No. 8 Villanova Wildcats

Achilles' Heel: Lack of size

I will say this is way less of a concern than it was at the start of the season, because Eric Dixon has blossomed into a real force in the paint. Villanova's 6'8" sophomore is one of the better offensive rebounders in the country, and he has averaged 12.0 points over his past 12 games.

Even so, the Wildcats are just OK on the glass as a whole, their two-point percentage ranks well outside the top 100 and they have no shot-blocking presence whatsoever.