What some advanced statistics may tell you about the NCAA field

Two years ago, before the start of the last NCAA tournament, I introduced a system that helps you narrow down your brackets using advanced statistics from recent seasons.

It worked — barely.

Virginia, one of the six teams that passed all the statistical tests, actually won the national championship. It was only the last second shot that forced overtime in the elite eight, the last two free throws in the semifinals three times, and another second half three pointers that forced OT in the title game.

no doubt.

You can quit while you’re on the move, but where’s the fun? Instead, it’s time to revive the same system and make another attempt to narrow the field.

To verify: This method uses six statistics in which all champions since 2008 are ranked in the upper half of Division I. All of these statistics are available at Use this information to narrow down your candidates for this year.


Statistics 1: Overall ranking.

T-rank is a key indicator of the strength of the entire team at Based on the performance of the previous NCAA team, all champions since 2008 have been in the top 23 of this ranking.

This will give you the first list of potential titles. Gonzaga, Houston, Baylor, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Ohio, Alabama, Florida, San Diego, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Loyola Chicago, Villanova, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Texas Tech, Southern California, West Virginia, Colorado, Clayton, Arkansaw.

Stat 2: Adjusted attack efficiency.

Points-based statistics per 100 possessions, adjusted for enemy strength. The last 12 national champions have all been ranked in the top 55.

This means that two teams will be excluded from this year’s list. Loyola Chicago (65th in this statistic) and Tennessee (56th).

Stat 3: Adjusted defense efficiency.

Each national champion in our sample was in the top 40, so that’s the cutoff point. It takes several teams, including the No. 1 seed.


Baylor (47th), Iowa (61st), Ohio (78th), Villanova (72nd), West Virginia (60th), and Clayton (42nd) are all excluded.

Stat 4: Defensive eFG%.

The Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%) is a measure of the Field Goal Percentage that gives the three pointers additional weight. Since 2008, each national champion has participated in the top 102 tournaments with defensive eFG%.

This statistic doesn’t really change anything this year. All teams that do not meet that criterion have already been removed for stats 2.

Statistics number 5: TO%.

Turnover measures how often a team spins a ball, taking into account the number of possessions. You don’t have to be good in this category to win everything, but each of the last 12 champions is at least in the top 125.

Therefore, we nervously say goodbye to Illinois (129th), Alabama (157th), Florida (231st), and Texas (239th).


USC (124th) barely stays.

Stat 6: Defensive free throw rate.

A measure of how often a team puts an opponent on the line. All champions since 2008 have been in the Top 121.

This will knock out Houston (333th), San Diego (198th), Connecticut (292th) and Texas Tech (284th).

It is also worth pointing out that if Baylor (175th) and Illinois (152nd) had not yet been dropped, they would have fallen below this threshold. While these two No. 1 seeds do have many advantages, there are some areas that can be vulnerable.

No one needs to be told that this tournament can have strange consequences. In this difficult season, advanced stats can be a bit less reliable than usual, but the seven teams that passed this process without failing the test are: Gonzaga, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, USC, Colorado, Arkansas.

Michigan could be limited by Isaia Rivers injuries, and Virginia has been working on the COVID-19 issue. Maybe this year is really Gonzaga’s year.


Especially if you’re lucky enough to smile at a bulldog, like the Virginia Cavalier a few years ago.


Follow Noah Trister on


Other Associated Press Basketball: https: // and

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

What some advanced statistics may tell you about the NCAA field

Source link What some advanced statistics may tell you about the NCAA field

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button