Here's the quick rundown of how I narrow in on the right National Champion picks to consider. First, the champion has been a 1, 2, or 3 seed for 30 of the last 34 years (88%), so that narrows it down to 12 teams. From there, per my post in Part 1, the past 11 National Champions have finished in the top 10 in at least one of the stat categories listed below. I use ESPN's stats, and that's as far back they post stats. Overlap those two and you get the list of teams highlighted in green for who you should consider for your championship pick:
- Indiana (1 seed): 3 top 10 Stat Categories
- Gonzaga (1), Louisville (1), Kansas (1), Duke (2), Florida (3): 1
As I noted last year, this can be just as important to help you weed out picks not to consider. For example this year it might be a Miami, Georgetown or Ohio State.
Just some other interesting notes from this exercise:
- Creighton is tops in the nation shooting both inside and out the arc, and dishes the ball very well. While they won't show up on Peter Keating's and Jordan Brenner's Giant Killer's list, they have the makings to take down a giant. Think Northern Iowa vs. Kansas a few years ago.
- Northwestern State gets up and down the floor and forces turnovers, which will force the Gators to keep on their toes in the round of 64.