Now that the seeds are announced and the season has played out, we can list our final teams that meet the qualifications that the last dozen champions have possessed:
- A one, two or three seed
- Member of a Power conference: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 or SEC
- Either went to the previous year’s dance or have an All-American
- Led by a coach with more than five tourney trips and at least one Elite Eight run
- Averaging more than 73 points per game
- Allowing fewer than 73 points per game
- An average scoring margin of at least seven points per game
- A schedule among the 75 strongest in the country.
Only four teams meet all these conditions: Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Duke. Not a bad collection of teams to run with.
I also did two different KenPom tests to determine the champ. My first one was based on offensive and defensively efficiency ranking. I had used the thresholds of 17th in OE and 25th in DE—but I realized these rankings were based against the tourney field and not all 247 D-I teams. So I relaxed the criteria slightly to 25/25. On that basis, ten teams make the grade: Florida, Louisville, Indiana, Gonzaga, Ohio State, Duke, Pitt, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse and Miami.
That said, I also went by the raw KenPom numbers. The weakest offensive champ (UConn) had an OE of 115.1 points per 100 possessions and the weakest defender (again, the Huskies) allowed 92.2 points per 100 possessions. If we test the tourney field against these numbers, only Indiana, Gonzaga, Duke, Florida and Pitt make the grade.
So, on the basis of the three tests, here are your lead candidates to cut down the nets:
- Indiana (passes all 3 tests)
- Duke (3)
- Louisville (2)
- Kansas (2)
- Florida (2)
- Pitt (2)
- Gonzaga (2)
- Ohio State (1)
- Michigan State (1)
- Syracuse (1)
- Miami (1)