How to Sound Smart With your Friends: NCAA Tournament Edition

By Chris Havlicek

Want to be that guy or that girl?  You know, the one who absolutely nails a few facts around the NCAA Tournament and shuts down the lunch room?  Yeah,  me too.  Here are three zingers that will have people checking your bracket and whispering behind your back:

1.  Paging Rain-Man

In the last 20 years, 19 of the champions had one thing in common: Their cumulative ranking in the Ken Pom offensive and defensive efficiency rankings did not exceed 50. So essentially, they were excellent and efficient on both sides of the floor. The exception was UConn in 2014 who won it all as 100-1 longshots – but most of us have blocked that out..

The teams that qualify in that category this year are:

Houston (6-1)
Alabama (7-1)
Kansas (10-1)
Purdue (10-1)
Arizona (12-1)
Texas (12-1)
UCLA (12-1)
UConn (15-1)
Creighton (40-1)
Saint Mary’s (50-1)

We can apply some stats to help further pare down this list.

There have only been four champions in the history of the tournament that have had 25-1 or longer odds so we can cross off mid-majors Creighton and Saint Mary’s.

2.  East Coast Is KING

The last team to win from Mountain or Pacific time zone was Arizona in 1997. With this in mind, you might want to cross off Pac-12 rivals UCLA and Arizona.  Too many mango smoothies with avocado toast can hurt a team come March.

3.  Small Ten?

The Big Ten’s last national champion was Michigan State in 2000 but the conference has had 14 teams reach the men’s Final Four since 2001. In that span, they are 0-7 in the title game.  That’s the most losses without a win by a conference this century. So have some caution when choosing Purdue, who last made the Final Four in 1980.

Start with these and set the tone.  More to come on “How to Sound Smart With Your Friends”.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts