For some, the past doesn’t dictate anything that will happen in this year’s tournament. I get the point but my argument is, why do we often see the same coaches (Tom Izzo, Mike Kryzewski, Bill Self, John Calipari, Roy Williams and company) year after year.
For other’s it’s all about what’s happened this year. There are some dandies this year that I couldn’t ignore.
Finally, a few don’t care about anything other than the seeds and what history dictates. A sprinkling of those as well.
Coach/Team History Facts (15 of them)
1. Gonzaga has made 20 consecutive tournaments. They are 29-20 over those 20 years. That means they win on average over the last 20 years, they have 1.5 wins per tournament.
2. Kansas, despite being one of the ‘power house’ names in College Basketball, has 3 National Championships (1952, 1988, 2008), that’s half of what UNC has.
3. Arizona (who might have the best player in the country right now) has one National Championships (1997) and 4 Final Four appearances.
4. In the last 20 years, Michigan State has made the final four 8 times. That means 40% of the time, Sparty is making it out of their region.
5. To put this in perspective, over that same time period Duke has made the final four 5 times. The big difference is that Duke has 3 wins to Michigan States 1 over those final four appearances.
6. Wichita State has gone from a #1 seed to a #11 seed over the last 6 seasons. Removing 2012 and 2013 where they were ousted in the first round then made it to the final four, the last 4 straight years, they have finished in the round of 32 or Elite Eight.
7. Kentucky might end up facing off against Arizona in the round of 32 if both teams win. John Calipari’s team has been ousted once in the first weekend in 6 of the 7 years he’s made the tournament since joining Kentucky (loss to Indiana in 2015-2016 season). Beyond that, he’s made it to the Elite Eight every year.
8. Shaka Smart’s Tournament Resume (notice a downward trend)
2010-2011 (VCU) – Final Four
2011-2012 (VCU) – Round of 32
2012-2013 (VCU) – Round of 32
2013 -2014 (VCU) – Round of 64
2014-2015 (VCU) – Round of 64
2015-2016 (Texas) – Round of 64
2016-2017 (Texas) – Missed the Tournament
9. This is ‘gimme’ fact but given the dynamic of March Madness, good to know. Over the last 20 years, Virginia ALWAYS makes it past the first weekend as a #1 seed. Michigan State ousted them 2 of the last 4 years (good thing they are in opposite corners of the bracket).
10. Florida State has won their first game the last 3 times they were in the Tournament but Kim Johnson and Missouri are a wildcard. This is one of the 1st round matchups I’m very intrigued with.
11. Michigan’s John Beilein has made it to the Sweet Sixteen 3 of the last 4 appearances he’s had in the tournament.
12. The last three times UNC won the Tournament they either missed the big dance the next year or didn’t make it out of the first weekend.
13. I want to believe in Villanova this year, recent trend tells me otherwise, as a #1 or #2 seed, they have been ousted the first weekend 3 of the last 4 years (the one exception being their 2016 National Championship).
14. This is Auburn’s first March Madness in 15 years, head coach Bruce Pearl is no stranger to this as he made it every season from 2005-2011 with Tennessee making it past the first round in 5 of those 6 seasons but never past the elite eight.
15. The last 4 straight times NC State made the big dance with Mark Gottfried they made it past the first matchup.
Facts about the 2018 season (15 of them)
1. Loyola- Chicago Ramblers made 40 percent of their 3 point shots this seasons (live by the three….)
2. Arkansas tops Butler in PPG (81 vs. 78) Blocks (4 vs. 3) Turnovers (11 vs. 12) FG% (47% vs. 46%) and 3 Pointers (40% vs. 36%)
3. Virginia Tech has beaten Virginia, Duke AND UNC this season. They also lost to St. Louis and Miami.
4. Only one team tops Cincinnati’s defense – Virginia.
5. UNC averages more rebounds per game than any team in D1 this year. (42 per game)
6. Xavier’s offense is ranked in the top 10 in efficiency.
7. Michigan State averages the most assists per game than any D1 team this year (19 per game)
8. Creighton is 3-9 over its last 9 games. Injuries have really hurt them.
9. Purdue has the 2nd highest % of 3 pointers made (.420).
10. Steven F. Austin averages 10 steals per game, the most in D1 basketball this year.
11. Florida ended their season with wins over Auburn, Alabama and Kentucky)
12. Arizona ranks 4th in FG efficiency (.505)
13. Nevada has 4 players averaging over 10 PPG.
14. Marshall’s Ajdin Penava leads NCAA basketball with over 4 blocks per game.
15. Gonzaga’s 14 game winning streak is the longest active streak in NCAA
Facts about the History of the Tournament (5 of them)
1. The play-in game was introduced 7 years ago. A qualifier has advanced an additional game 43% of the 7 years.
2. Only 3 times since 1980 has no No.1 seeds made the final four
3. The odds of filling out a perfect Bracket are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808:1 (A quintillion)
4. Six out of seven years since 2012 at least one 14 seed beat a 3 seed.
5. 7 seeds topped 10 seeds 75% of the time four of the last five years.