Monthly Archives: March 2015

Regular Season and Conference Tourney Champions, since 2000

Thesis: Regular season conference titles are far more valuable than conference tournament titles at predicting success. In fact, winning the conference tournament, especially without a regular season title, actually seems to hurt.

—Of the 60 Final Four teams since 2000, 17 (29 percent) won both the regular season and conference tournament titles, 15 (25.4 percent) won neither title, 20 (33.3 percent) won only the regular season title, and only seven (11.9 percent) won just the conference tournament.

—Of the 30 teams to make the title game since 2000, 22 have won their regular-season conference championship, for a solid 73.3 percent.

—Just 13 of the 29 (the Pac-12 had no conference championship in 2000) won the conference tournament title — 45 percent.

—Eleven of the 29 won both titles, 11 won just the regular-season title, and only three won just the conference tournament title. Three teams made the championship game in that time span without winning at least one of the two titles—all in the last three years.

Conclusion: In terms of making the championship game, winning neither the conference regular season or tournament is just as valuable as winning only the tournament. In terms of making the Final Four, twice as many teams who win neither title make it as teams who won only the conference tournament. When picking your brackets, avoid trendy conference tournament titleists.

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Results of Imbalanced Teams, Since 2004

Criteria: Top 10 offense or defense by KenPom rankings, worse than 70th on the other side of the ball.

2014: Michigan (Elite 8), Duke (Round of 64), Creighton (Round of 32), Iowa (Round of 64), Iona (First Round minor tourney), Baylor (Sweet 16), Ohio State (Round of 64), VCU (Round of 64), Saint Louis (Round of 32), Cincinnati (Round of 64), San Diego State (Sweet 16)
: Iowa State (Round of 32), Colorado State (Round of 32), Creighton (Round of 32), N.C. State (Round of 64), Wisconsin (Round of 64), Georgetown (Round of 64), Saint Louis (Round of 32), Stephen F. Austin (First round NIT), Oregon (Sweet 16)
: Missouri (Round of 64), Creighton (Round of 32), Florida (Elite 8), Indiana (Sweet 16), Purdue (Round of 32), Duke (Round of 64), Louisville (Final 4), South Florida (Round of 32), Alabama (Round of 64), Virginia (Round of 64)
2011: Notre Dame (Round of 32), Oakland (Round of 64), Arizona (Elite 8), Colorado (NIT semifinals), FSU (Sweet 16), St. Peter’s (Round of 64), Alabama (NIT finals), Seton Hall (no tournament)
2010: Notre Dame (Round of 64), Cornell (Sweet 16), Cal (Round of 32), USC (no tournament), FSU (Round of 64), Purdue (Sweet 16), Temple (Round of 64), Dayton (NIT champions)
2009: Arizona (Sweet 16), Illinois (Round of 64), Stephen F. Austin (Round of 64), FSU (Round of 64)
2008: Oregon (Round of 64), Drake (Round of 64), IUPUI (no tournament), Virginia Tech (NIT third round), Miss. St. (Round of 32)
2007: Arizona (Round of 64), Notre Dame (Round of 64), BYU (Round of 64), Southern Illinois (Sweet 16), Illinois (Round of 64), UConn (no tournament)
2006: Gonzaga (Sweet 16), Notre Dame (2nd round NIT), Boston College (Sweet 16), Tennessee (Round of 32), Iowa (Round of 64), Southern Illinois (Round of 64), Washington State (no tournament), Texas A&M (Round of 32), Bradley (Sweet 16)
2005: Gonzaga (Round of 32), Wake Forest (Round of 32), Washington (Sweet 16), Arizona (Round of 64), Oklahoma State (Sweet 16), Washington State (no tourney), Minnesota (Round of 64), Iowa State (Round of 32), Nevada (Round of 32)
2004: Arizona (Round of 64), Wake Forest (Sweet 16), Michigan State (Round of 64), Louisville (Round of 64), Richmond (Round of 64)

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