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final four 2011

Shared Traits of Tournament Champions

YouWager.com shares with its readers some important statistical characteristics of Final Four participants. It was this list that guided us to selecting Duke as online sports betting fans’ pick to win last year’s title as the Blue Devils were one of six teams with the most statistical “YES” marks in our breakdown.

To determine these “YES” marks, oddsmakers have highlighted stats for the past 12 NCAA Championship teams, dating back to 1999. From there we created statistical ranges to determine where the vast majority of teams need to be for the best chance of winning it all.

The past 10 champions all had season winning streaks of at least eight college basketball games at some point during their year before the NCAA Tournament began. Kentucky is the only Final Four team that did not have an eight-game win streak this season. All stats below are full-season totals unless noted.

SU Won-Lost Record (Entering NCAA Tournament)

– 92% (11) had an SU record of 82% or higher, with the lone exception being 2000 Michigan State who entered with a 79% winning percentage.

– 92% (11) had at least 26 wins heading into the Big Dance with 2003 Syracuse (24 wins) missing this cut by one victory.

ATS Won-Lost Record (Entering NCAA Tournament)

– 75% (9) had a winning ATS record, but only one team had a 60% ATS success rate — 2002 Maryland (64%, 16-9).

– 25% (3) had a losing ATS record, with two of those being Connecticut (46% in 1999 and 41% in 2004). The 2009 North Carolina squad was the only champion below 40% at 39% (12-19 ATS).

Offensive Scoring

– 33% (4) averaged at least 85.0 PPG and finished among the Top 5 scoring teams in the nation. All four of these teams were ACC schools (2005 and 2009 North Carolina, 2001 Duke and 2002 Maryland).

– 92% (11) averaged at least 77.0 PPG and finished among the Top 30 scoring teams in the nation. The only exception here was 2000 Michigan State, which only averaged 74.1 PPG.

Offensive Shooting

– 86% (10) made at least 47% FG and ranked in the Top 30 in national field-goal percentage. Five of these teams ranked in the Top 10.

– 14% (2) made less than 47% FG –- 1999 Connecticut (46.7%) and 2010 Duke (44.2%).

Offensive Three-Point Shooting

– 67% (8) made at least 38% 3-pt FG, and all placed in the Top 30 in the nation in this category.

– 14% (2) shot below 35% 3-pt FG and all did not rank in the Top 60 in the country – 2003 Syracuse 34.4% and 1999 Connecticut, also at 34.4%.

Offensive Free Throw Shooting

– 58% (7) made at least 72.5% FT and ranked in the Top 60 nationally from the charity stripe. Of the four champions that were below this 70% FT, 2004 Connecticut (62.3% FT) was the only team below 69% from the line.

Defensive Scoring

– 58% (7) allowed fewer than 65.0 PPG with both Florida and Connecticut giving up under 65 in both championship seasons. North Carolina allowed 70.3 PPG in 2005 and 72.0 PPG in 2009.

Defensive Shooting

– 92% (11) allowed less than 41% FG with 2001 Duke just missing the cut at 41.6% FG. Four of these champions were among the Top 15 scoring defenses in the nation — 2004 Connecticut ranked 1st, 2008 Kansas ranked 3rd, 2003 Syracuse ranked 5th and 1999 Connecticut ranked 15th.

Turnovers

– 100% (12) averaged more assists than turnovers with 67% (8) averaging at least two more assists than turnovers per game and 33% (4) with at least four more assists than turnovers per NCAAgame, including 2002 Maryland’s impressive +6.1 ratio.

– 75% (9) had a positive turnover margin (more takeaways than giveaways), but only 25% (3) were ranked among the nation’s Top 50 schools in this category. Duke had the top two marks here as its 2001 team was a remarkable +5.5 and last year’s champion was +3.3.

Rebounding Margin

– 67% (8) outrebounded their opponents by at least 6.0 RPG and all of these teams ranked in the Top 20 nationally in this category. 2000 Michigan State (+11.6) and 2004 Connecticut (+14.9) both led the nation in rebounding margin. 2001 Duke was the only champion not ranked in the Top 100 with a mere +1.0 RPG margin.

Scoring Margin

– 92% (11) outscored their opponents by at least 14.0 PPG and all of these teams ranked in the Top 5 nationally in this category. Only 2003 Syracuse (10.0 PPG, 19th in nation) fell short of this baseline.

– 42% (5) outscored their opponents by at least 17.0 PPG and led the country in scoring margin. 2001 Duke won its games by a ridiculous 20.2 PPG.

StatFox Outplay Factor Ratings

– 50% (6) had an Outplay Factor rating of at least 90 and ranked in the Top 2 nationally in this category.

– 92% (11) had an Outplay Factor rating of at least 86 and ranked in the Top 6 nationally in this category. 2003 Syracuse (84.20, 11th in nation) was the lone exception here.

YouWager.com believes that if two-thirds of the teams were in a particular category, it is worth noting for future betting trends. The following information summarizes traits for at least two-thirds of the teams in a particular category along with national rankings.

– 92% SU record of 82% or higher and 26 or more wins entering tournament.

0 YES

4 NO – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

– 75% ATS record of 50% or higher entering tournament.

3 YES – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky

1 NO – VCU

– 92% scored 77.0 PPG or more, and ranked in Top 30.

0 YES

4 NO – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

– 86% shot 47% FG or better, and ranked in Top 30.

0 YES

4 NO – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

– 67% made 38% 3-pt FG or better, and ranked in Top 30.

1 YES – Kentucky

3 NO – Butler, Connecticut, VCU

– 92% allowed 41% FG or less.

2 YES – Connecticut, Kentucky

2 NO – Butler, VCU

– 100% had more assists than turnovers

4 YES – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

0 NO

– 67% averaging at least two more assists than turnovers per game.

2 YES – Kentucky, VCU

2 NO – Butler, Connecticut

– 75% had a positive turnover margin (more takeaways than giveaways).

4 YES – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

0 NO

– 67% had 6.0 RPG margin or better and ranked in Top 20.

0 YES

4 NO – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

– 92% had 14.0 PPG margin or better and ranked in Top 5.

0 YES

4 NO – Butler, Connecticut, Kentucky, VCU

– 92% had Outplay Factor Rating of 86 or better and ranked in Top 6.

1 YES – Kentucky

3 NO – Butler, Connecticut, VCU

And finally sports betting online experts rank teams by the number of “YES” answers they each received in these 12 categories, and see that Kentucky is the statistical national champion.

7 – Kentucky
4 – Connecticut
3 – Butler
3 – VCU