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  • Issue # 25.2 “25 Years: The Teams”

    Posted on March 25th, 2020 - 2:30 am Scott No comments


    Tuesday, March 24, 2020
    Ignoring Opening Round and First Four losers, we have seen at least one new team each year

    EL SEGUNDO, CA (smt)- In the final AP pool, teams 2 through 7 are not your usual suspects with only Florida St (ACC), Baylor (Big 12), and Creighton (Big East) coming from the Power 5 conferences.  Gonzaga (WCC), Dayton (Atlantic 10), and San Diego St (Mountain West) would have provided some much needed parity.  But alas, none of those teams will count.  So without a tournament, here is another 25 Year retrospective, this time focusing on the teams who have made the tournament (the proper 64 that is). 

    Top Seed in NCAA Tournament
    Top Ranked Team to Win it All

    So when the NCAA tried to mess up brackets by adding a 65th team (Opening Round 64v65) in 2001 due to the new Mountain West Conference taking away an at-large bid or when they added three more at-large teams to create the First Four (well, the First Round until 2016) in 2011, we ignored them.  The proper 64 bracket that starts Thursday at 9:15 am is what matters in this pool.  If you pick your bracket early you’ll just select “Team A/Team B” to advance and as always, you can change your picks up until the deadline.

    Duke has been the top seed (#1 overall) 6 times including four in a row from ’99-’02  with Kentucky (4) and Kansas (3) right behind as shown in the table on the left.  From ’95-’03 the top seed was determined by the final AP pool before the tournament and from ’04-present the top seed is announced as part the NCAA’s ranked seeds listing.  UMass (’96) is probably the oddest top seed and local favorite UCLA was only the top seed in our first pool in ’95.  Five top seeds went on to win the tournament (’95 UCLA, ’01 Duke, ’07 Florida, ’12 Kentucky, ’13 Louisville).  Only twice did the top 2 seeds make the final (’99 Duke v UConn, ’05 Illinois v UNC) and twice did none of the top 4 seeds make the Final Four (’06, ’11).   UConn, however, has won the most titles (4) with Duke, UNC, and Kentucky winning 3 each in the past 25 years.  A #1 seed has won the title 17 times with UConn (#7E) the worst seed to win the title. 

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  • Newbie vs Newbie

    Posted on March 13th, 2015 - 4:32 pm Scott No comments

    One of things I like to track are the new teams that enter our pool.  Since we started (64 teams) in 1995, every year has had at least one new team we haven’t seen before (and every year at least one team that had never qualified for the tourney before).  This year, another handful of teams were poised to make the tournament either for the first time or the first time since before 1995.  Of the five charter members who have not made the tourney (The Citadel, Army, and Northwestern being the others), two were in great position and both failed (at home) with #1 CAA seed William & Mary losing in the title game for the fourth time in 8 years and #1 NEC seed St. Francis (NY) choking (down by 3 with free throws, missed the first 2 and then intentionally missed the 3rd but forgot to hit the rim resulting in a turnover).  #10 SoCon seed Furman (last appeared in ’80) nearly pulled off the upset in the title match.

    NEAST UNFSo in order to get a new team, we needed two teams to face each other in the final!  And we got two, guaranteeing two new teams as North Florida beat USC Upstate (also trying to make the tourney for the 1st time) in the A-Sun final and Northeastern (1st since ’91) beating said St. Francis.  In a rejiggered WAC where 6 of the 8 teams haven’t made the tourney and Seattle having not made it since ’69, it looks like the lone veteran New Mexico, the #1 seed, is likely to win the WAC tourney.  Those still fighting for the first bid are Stony Brook, UC Davis, UC Irvine, Buffalo, Sac State, CS-Bakersfield, Buffalo, and UMKC with Seattle (’69), SMU (’93), Louisiana Tech (’91), Yale (’62), Toledo (’80), and Georgia Southern (’92) still alive to return for the first time in at least 21 years.