Mini-Champ Check: Then there were five…

I’ve been pre-occupied getting the Pulse Check out, so I’m going to do a super-abbreviated evaluation of potential champs based on our traditional eight stats and KenPom metrics. First, the standard champ check. You know the drill—the last dozen champions have owned these eight stats:

  •  A one, two or three seed (the AP Top 20 make the grade)
  • Member of a Power conference: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 or SEC (CF in the list below)
  • Either went to the previous year’s dance or have an All-American (*/12)
  • Led by a coach with more than five tourney trips and at least one Elite Eight run (CO)
  • Averaging more than 73 points per game (PF>73)
  • Allowing fewer than 73 points per game (PA<73)
  • An average scoring margin of at least seven points per game. (SM>=7)
  • A schedule among the 75 strongest in the country (S<75)

Only five teams make the grade this week: Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan and Kansas. Syracuse dropped off the list when their seasonal scoring average fell below 73 points a game.

As far as KenPom numbers go, nine of the last champions have scored at least 115.2 points per 100 possessions and allowed no more than 92.2 points per possession. Only five teams meet these criteria—but they aren’t the same five as our standard test yielded. Indiana and Duke are repeat stats champs. But Gonzaga, Florida and Pittsburgh are new. We’ll see how these numbers hold up through the course of the conference tourneys.

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6 Responses to Mini-Champ Check: Then there were five…

  1. Ryan Tressler says:

    I am actually starting to get sick of Championship Week, for this reason: I think it sucks we are going to miss out on some mid-major/small school teams in the ncaa’s that won their conferences and are among the best 68 teams in the country, and yet lost their conf tourny and therefor will be left out. So far Middle Tennessee and Stony Brook stand out. Middle Tennessee still might have a shot at the tournament despite their semi-final loss, but Stony Brook has zero shot because they lost one game in the tournament. Both teams are among the top 68 in Pomeroy’s ratings, and yet both teams have slim-to-none chances of making the tournament.

    And the thing is, I don’t think Stony Brook has any argument for an at-large selection and I wouldn’t give them one if I was on the committee (I DO think Middle Tennessee still deserves in). It’s just a bummer for a team, whom are a very good team, from a small conference to earn their conference title over a season’s worth of work, and miss out of the tourny because of one crap-shoot of a game at the end of the year. It just weakens the ncaa tournament’s talent level and makes at least one game less interesting/fun to watch come tourny time.

    • ptiernan says:

      Agree, Ryan. I like the way the Ivy League does it. Win your conference.

      • Ryan Tressler says:

        I am very happy Bucknell won tonight, haha . . . could the Patriot league make it two years in a row with first round upsets??? Mike Muscala is one of the most efficient players in the country (2nd in Hollinger Player Ratings) as C.J. McCollum was last year for Lehigh . . . depending on the matchup, it is being filled in on my bracket right now, haha

  2. P.H. says:

    The way they could solve that is to give any regular season champ with an RPI better than lets say 50 an auto at large spot. We will never see it unless we expand and I would hate that even more.

  3. BobbyBuckets says:

    So who should we believe: Peter Tiernan or Ken Pom?!?!? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

    • ptiernan says:

      I would never deign to contradict Mr. Pomeroy. I’ll say a couple things though: 1) KenPom data doesn’t factor in coaching…and I thinking that’s an important element come tourney time, as the PASE data indicates, and 2) the other thing that KenPom data doesn’t after in is WHEN teams are efficient. I think teams like Wisconsin, who KenPom data historically loves, always seem to underachieve against KPI expectations because, as a slow-paced team, they’re efficient overall–but not when it gets tight at the end of games and they need a bucket.

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