ESPN released a video a few days ago about how a total beginner can pick a competitive bracket by taking advantage of the underlying math behind March Madness.
It is an interesting idea for a video. One snippet in particular intrigued me. Toward the end, it is said that “16 of the last 17 national champions ranked in the top-20 of adjusted offensive efficiency, and 16 of the last 17 national champions ranked in the top-15 in adjusted defensive efficiency”.
What does this mean? Basically, pick teams that are good at everything. This concept is simple and obvious in theory. I find that when I really dig deep, I realize that I do not know as much about the various teams in college hoops as I thought I did. What about you?
Sure, Duke is good. But are they “good at everything”? Gonzaga … what are their strengths and weaknesses? Who is a better bet to go all the way – Tennessee or Kansas? Try picking between Virginia and Michigan State. It’s tough without some numbers to help back you up.
As the name implies, I am going to illustrate a few of the nation’s best teams who struggle offensively. I will focus on defensive struggles in a sister article. A 68-team free-for-all is sure to expose any soft spots in a team’s attack. Wouldn’t you rather learn about them now than while crying into your crumpled up bracket in early April? Let’s begin.
Ranking Low in Offensive Efficiency
Remember, 16 of the last 17 national champions have ranked inside the top-20 in offensive efficiency. This stat might actually carry some weight … imagine that.
Here are a few very good teams who rank horribly in this metric:
- Kansas State (204th in the nation)
- 24-7 overall, 14-4 in Big 12 play, and tied for the regular season crown. Despite the fact the Wildcats have torched their competition since January, I have a hard time putting faith in them because their offensive is nowhere near championship caliber.
- Washington (152nd in the nation)
- Another first place team who struggles to score. Forget the fact they went 24-7. Forget their regular season Pac-12 title. Washington’s measly output of 70.4 points per game (223rd in the nation) is holding them back from the legit Final Four contender they could otherwise be.
- Wisconsin (127th in the nation)
- 4th place in the B10? Not bad. Beating Michigan and Maryland? Impressive. Wisconsin can certainly hang with anyone and steal a game or two in a tournament. Can they sustain a stretch long enough to win the whole enchilada? The numbers say probably not.
- Kansas (110th in the nation)
- Must be something in the water in the state of Kansas that causes its basketball players to develop a case of the “misses”. The Jayhawks are no slouch. This team flirted with top-5 status before dropping a few February contests and finishing 3rd in the Big 12. Their lack of offensive consistency is cause for some concern.
Stay diligent, boppers. Never put all your eggs in one basket, but especially not before doing your homework. See you on top!
Kreighton loves sports, math, writing, and winning — he combines all of them as a writer for WagerBop. His favorite sports to review and bet are MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAAF, and NCAABB.