Saturday, March 30, 2024

Scheyer Leads List of 125 Greatest 21st Century Players as He Leads Duke to Elite 8

Scroll down for the best 125 college players of this century:

In this 2011 piece, Sports Illustrated featured the Value Add Basketball rating system which I had developed. The system was designed to determine how many points each college basketball player was worth as opposed to a replacement player - defined as a 7th or 8th man on a mid-level team.

As I stated in a 2024 TV interview, while Anthony Davis was the greatest all-around college player of the century in my view, the most valuable college players are often not the one-and-done freshman like Davis, because all players improve so much between freshman and sophomore seasons, and continue to improve a little bit after that. By our calculations, Jon Scheyer was the most valuable college player from the seasons in which we had the stats necessary to calculate the figures (2002-2023, and the stats are no longer available so 2023 will be the last season).

These stats indicated that if Scheyer missed his whole season, and a standard mid-level college 7th man took his place in a 7-man rotation, then Duke would have scored 9 points fewer a game (AdjO of 9.11) and allowed two points more per game (-2.03) and after a couple of other minor adjustments shift each score by 14 points. Now in fact, Scheyer would not have been replaced by the 7th man from a mid-level team - the 7th man for Duke was a freshman Mason Plumlee who was worth 2 points per game already, and by the next year was worth 5 points a game and by his senior year 9.66 points a game. So probably if Scheyer had not been able to play Duke's replacement would have been strong enough that they would have been closer to 10 points a game worse.

If that played out then Duke without Scheyer would have still been elite, but probably 27-11 instead of 35-5, because they would have then also lost in the semifinal of the ACC tournament and then lose in the Elite 8 to Baylor rather than winning both.

Because the website and the 4,000+ players it ranked every year is starting to have some glitches I wanted to post the most valuable 125 players from 2002 to 2023. One great testimony to how well Duke has always been coached by Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and now Scheyer himself is that Duke has an incredible nine of the most valuable 125 players from these 22 seasons – more than twice any other school. The only other schools with more than one are:

4 of greatest 125 players from 2002 to 2023 – Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Marquette.

3 of greatest 125 - Georgetown, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Providence, Utah, Villanova, Wisconsin.

2 of greatest 125 – Alabama, Boston College, Cincinnati, Creighton, Michigan St., North Carolina, North Carolina St., Notre Dame, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Oregon, San Diego St., UCLA, Utah St., Wake Forest, Washington.

The Big East does nudge out the ACC 23 to 20 on the top 125 list - fitting for the two conferences whose teams have won 16 of the 22 titles this Century and have half of the Elite 8 teams this season.

Ryan Gomes of Providence is the only player to be worth more than 10 points per game in three different seasons, and the following players were worth more than 10 points in two separate seasons - Delon Wright (Utah), JJ Redick (Duke),  Luka Garza (Iowa), Shelden Williams (Duke) and Troy Bell (Boston College).

This also led to the free Value Add Basketball Game with player cards from more than 200 men's and women's teams from the 1943 Wyoming squad to the 2024 James Madison team - with Bill Walton's UCLA team beating Michael Jordan's UNC team in our first all-time tournament championship.

Scheyer starts with the most important martin for any player - getting tons of steals and almost never turning the ball over in the other end.

The “dunk” range on the card is really an adjustment for level of competition played and the differences in eras, and the calculations showed how many ways Scheyer dominated even though he wouldn’t jump off the chart of leader boards in pure points and rebounds per game, avoiding fouling, and drawing fouls.

Overall Pomeroy calculates he was the third best offensive player that year behind only Jimmy Butler of Marquette and Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame – AND he stayed on the court for an incredible 91.7% of all minutes. Also while his 3-pointers made range of 1-3 (out of 20 on which something can happen, a shot or being fouled) might not seem that high, for 2010 it was because teams shot far fewer 3-pointers. 

In fact, in 2010 he was one of only six players to hit 110 three-pointers – and no power conference player hit more than 116 (Donald Sims - Appalachian State 123, LaceDarius Dunn – Baylor  116, Jon Diebler - Ohio State 116, Chris Warren – Mississippi 111 and Jacob Pullen - K-State 110. Put it all together, and Scheyer had the best college season of the century as he and Kyle Singler led Duke to the title.

When he was announced as the successor to the legend Coach K, my immediate reaction was that Duke was bound to continue on deep runs now that they had tapped the most valuable player of the century to teach a new generation of Duke players to be the most efficient players they could be.

After the Sweet 16 win over Houston, I was able to quickly tell him he topped our ratings for the first time in person.

Rank  Year   MVP 2002-2023HtCl Team                                   AdjOAdjDValueConf
12010Jon Scheyer6'5SrDuke9.11-2.0314.35ACC
22019Zion Williamson 6'7FrDuke10.53-3.5514.08ACC
32012Anthony Davis6'10FrKentucky7.29-5.0613.81SEC
42004Devin Harris6'3JrWisconsin7.83-1.8213.48B10
52003Mike Sweetney6'8JrGeorgetown11.8-4.2113.45BE
62008Michael Beasley6'9FrKansas St.8.43-3.9913.25B12
72023Zach Edey7'4JrPurdue125.994.513.17B10
82014Shabazz Napier6'1SrConnecticut5.37-2.1613.05Amer
92015Delon Wright6'5SrUtah6.84-4.213.04P12
102014Delon Wright 6'5JrUtah4.99-2.412.83P12
112003David West6'9SrXavier10.39-4.7812.74A10
122011Jordan Taylor6'1JrWisconsin9.56012.71B10
132015Karl-Anthony Towns6'11FrKentucky5.92-5.3812.5SEC
142005Andrew Bogut6'1SoUtah7.13-3.3212.44MWC
152012Jae Crowder6'6SrMarquette6.24-4.8912.43BE
162017Sindarius Thornwell 6'5SrSouth Carolina10.13-4.0412.37SEC
172022Keegan Murray 6'8SoIowa9.77-2.5412.31B10
182019Dedric Lawson 6'9JrKansas8.93-3.2812.21B12
192013Trey Burke6'0SoMichigan8.61-0.8212.19B10
202011Kemba Walker6'1JrConnecticut8.41-2.1912.19BE
212015Frank Kaminsky 7'0SrWisconsin8.41-2.9212.18B10
222006Shelden Williams6'9FrDuke6.67-5.2712.17ACC
232022Oscar Tshiebwe 6'9JrKentucky7.66-4.4712.13SEC
242008Kevin Love6'10FrUCLA7.99-3.3312.08P10
252019Matt Rafferty 6'8SrFurman8.61-3.4612.07SC
262002Steve Logan6'1SrCincinnati12.62-2.1312.06CUSA
272007Kevin Durant6'9FrTexas7.41-4.0112.04B12
282009Ty Lawson5'11JrNorth Carolina7.55-1.411.74ACC
292019Cassius Winston 6'1JrMichigan St.10.38-1.3511.74B10
302003Troy Bell6'1SrBoston College12.54-1.411.71BE
312009Blake Griffin6'10SoOklahoma7-3.7811.59B12
322003Dwyane Wade6'4SoMarquette10.42-3.3711.59CUSA
332017Frank Mason5'11SrKansas11.87-1.2511.51B12
342002Reece Gaines6'6JrLouisville12.63-1.4111.48CUSA
352020Malachi Flynn 6'1JrSan Diego St.9.18-2.2411.42MWC
362003Josh Howard6'6SrWake Forest10.06-3.4911.38ACC
372023Adama Sanogo6'9JrConnecticut122.690.911.37BE
382008Tyler Hansbrough6'9JrNorth Carolina8.72-1.9411.37ACC
392003Ryan Gomes6'7SoProvidence9.86-3.6111.31BE
402005Spencer Nelson6'1SrUtah St.6.91-1.5911.3WAC
412019Brandon Clarke 6'8JrGonzaga7.97-3.3311.3WCC
422003Carmelo Anthony6'8FrSyracuse9.77-3.6211.26BE
432023Marcus Sasser6'2SrHouston123.490.411.25Amer
442021Evan Mobley 7'0FrUSC7.72-3.4411.16P12
452004Luke Jackson6'7SrOregon7.08-1.1611.16P10
462003Brett Blizzard6'3SrNorth Carolina Wilmington11.05-2.2211.14CAA
472017Josh Hart 6'5SrVillanova9.59-2.9811.1BE
482021Luka Garza 6'11SrIowa9.86-1.2311.09B10
492009DeJuan Blair6'7SoPittsburgh7-3.3211.08BE
502003Adam Hess6'7JrWilliam & Mary14.050.8611.08CAA
512019CJ Massinburg 6'3SrBuffalo9.81-1.2511.06MAC
522016Thomas Walkup 6'4SrStephen F. Austin11.24-3.1811.05Slnd
532014Jordan Adams6'5SoUCLA4.99-1.2311.04P12
542014Sean Kilpatrick6'4SrCincinnati5.75-0.6311.03Amer
552019Grant Williams 6'7JrTennessee8.8-2.2311.03SEC
562021Kendric Davis 5'11JrSMU9.19-1.8211.01Amer
572004Chris Paul6'1FrWake Forest6.61-0.9610.97ACC
582014TJ Warren6'8SoNorth Carolina St.5.59-1.1810.96ACC
592014Billy Baron6'2SrCanisius7.010.8510.95MAAC
602019Ja Morant 6'3SoMurray St.9.39-1.5110.9OVC
612013Otto Porter6'8SoGeorgetown5.91-3.8510.89BE
622005Mike Harris6'1SrRice6.53-2.610.87WAC
632015Gary Payton 6'3JrOregon St.2.63-6.5710.87P12
642014Doug McDermott6'8SrCreighton8.31.6310.81BE
652023Ryan Kalkbrenner7'1JrCreighton133.493.210.8BE
662020Payton Pritchard 6'2SrOregon9.9-0.8810.78P12
672011Norris Cole6'2SrCleveland St.6.13-2.1810.78Horz
682004Ryan Gomes6'7JrProvidence6.57-2.3210.75BE
692019Ty Jerome 6'5JrVirginia8.01-2.7410.75ACC
702006JJ Redick6'5SrDuke9.33-0.710.74ACC
712023Steven Ashworth6'1JrUtah St.127.798.910.72MWC
722020Devon Dotson 6'2SoKansas8-2.7110.7B12
732014Trevor Releford6'0SrAlabama5.06-0.9110.66SEC
742003Jameer Nelson6'0JrSt. Joseph's9.07-3.6310.66A10
752004Julius Hodge6'7JrNorth Carolina St.6.05-1.7310.61ACC
762006Nick Fazekas6'11JrNevada7.25-3.1210.56WAC
772014Xavier Thames6'3SrSan Diego St.5.37-0.5310.56MWC
782019Myles Powell 6'2JrSeton Hall9.07-1.4910.56BE
792013Victor Oladipo6'5JrIndiana5.71-3.2310.53B10
802014Marcus Smart6'4SoOklahoma St.3.38-2.4810.48B12
812018Jevon Carter 6'2SrWest Virginia8.97-3.1210.47B12
822017Monte Morris 6'3SrIowa St.10.56-1.5310.47B12
832018Mikal Bridges 6'7JrVillanova9.01-2.6610.46BE
842022Collin Gillespie 6' 3SrVillanova8.45-1.7410.42BE
852006Brandon Roy6'6SrWashington7.81-1.3910.4P10
862011Jared Sullinger6'9FrOhio St.6.81-2.6510.4B10
872016Buddy Hield 6'4SrOklahoma11.81-1.7410.39B12
882020Luka Garza 6'11JrIowa8.53-1.8410.38B10
892004David Hawkins6'1SrTemple5.97-1.1110.37A10
902023Tylor Perry5'11SrNorth Texas124.394.110.37CUSA
912008Mario Chalmers6'1JrKansas5.34-2.8510.35B12
922015Jerian Grant 6'5SrNotre Dame7.12-1.4510.33ACC
932017Bonzie Colson 6'5JrNotre Dame9.2-3.2310.33ACC
942015Aaron White 6'9SrIowa6.55-2.7810.33B10
952005Danny Granger6'1SrNew Mexico4.83-3.8410.32MWC
962004Travis Diener6'1JrMarquette7.430.910.32BE
972003Chris Williams6'3SrBall St.12.90.6110.32MAC
982005Shelden Williams6'9FrDuke4.13-4.5210.3ACC
992022Terrell Brown 6'3SrWashington8.55-1.7410.29P12
1002015Corey Walden 6'2SrEastern Kentucky5.12-3.410.28OVC
1012020Markus Howard 5'11SrMarquette10.13-0.1210.25BE
1022005JJ Redick6'5JrDuke7.04-0.5710.25ACC
1032018Yante Maten 6'8SrGeorgia10.52-2.1110.24SEC
1042006Quincy Douby6'1JrRutgers7.67-1.3610.23BE
1052006Adam Morrison6'1JrGonzaga9.03010.23WCC
1062023Brandon Miller6'9FrAlabama11788.210.23SEC
1072019RJ Barrett 6'7FrDuke8.05-2.1910.23ACC
1082007Roy Hibbert7'2JrGeorgetown6.77-2.9310.22BE
1092019Shamorie Ponds 6'1JrSt. John's8.91-1.3110.22BE
1102012Draymond Green6'7SrMichigan St.4.11-410.19B10
1112002Carlos Boozer6'9JrDuke10.27-3.0110.17ACC
1122017Nigel Williams-Goss 6'3JrGonzaga7.93-3.4510.16WCC
1132002Troy Bell6'1JrBoston College10.62-1.7910.15BE
1142006Paul Millsap6'1JrLouisiana Tech5.26-4.6810.13WAC
1152014KJ McDaniels6'6JrClemson3.47-2.7510.13ACC
1162013Erick Green6'3SrVirginia Tech8.510.9310.12ACC
1172008Stephen Curry6'2SoDavidson7.59-1.8910.12SC
1182004Anthony Dobbins6'1SrRichmond3.16-4.7210.12A10
1192018Keita Bates-Diop 6'7JrOhio St.8.25-3.4610.06B10
1202020Christian Vital 6'2SrConnecticut7.01-3.0510.06Amer
1212005Ryan Gomes6'7SrProvidence6.61-1.3210.05BE
1222020Jordan Ford 6'1SrSaint Mary's9.95-0.0810.03WCC
1232019Jordan Murphy 6'7SrMinnesota7.02-310.02B10
1242017Luke Kennard 6'6SoDuke10.64-0.8910.01ACC
1252020Jalen Smith 6'10SoMaryland6.85-3.1610.01B10

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

John Pudner, Sports Writer - Contact Information and Background

This is the link to the business card of John Pudner, Sports Writer

Text/Cell: 404.606.3163


Address: 1100 W. Wells Street, Suite 1406

Milwaukee, WI 53211

Work is primarily featured on:

CBS Sports247 Site - Marquette Hoops

College Basketball Reference Player Overview Pages with hundreds of links to stories from

Member, United States Basketball Writers Association

Inventor of Value Add Basketball Rankings (2002 to 2023 seasons), debuted in Sports Illustrated.

Inventor of Historic Value Add Basketball Game featured in SIMS Magazine with 200+ Men’s/Women’s all-time great teams from 1943 Wyoming to 2024 James Madison. Click for our first simulated all-time title game between Bill Walton’s UCLA and Michael Jordan’s UNC, while Pat Summitt’s Tennessee beat Kim Mulkey when she was a point guard at LSU.

Former Virginia Press Association Award for Best Sports News Writing.

Ran Column Rating Baseball Pitchers for the New York Post.

News Editor of Top Junior Achievement Newspaper and No. 2 JA Company in America.

Author, the Ultimate Hoops Guide: Marquette Basketball

Non-journalism work includes running two public policy groups - Wisconsin Faith & Freedom Coalition and Take Back Our Republic Action.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

ACC and Big East Only 2 To Overperform Based on Seeds Making Sweet 16

The following is a breakdown of every multi-bid conference who overperformed or underperformed the number of Sweet 16 teams they produced based on the seeds of teams that were invited from their conference. The percentages were calculated in this great study of all results from the 1985 through 2023 brackets.

We rounded the percent chance by each team to the nearest 10% based on the study.

1-seeds (80%) through 4-seeds (50%) all have at least an even chance of winning their first two games and going to the Sweet 16 - but it is much less likely after that.

The 5-seeds and 6-seeds both have a 30 percent chance.

The trick is then something most basketball fans know, if you fall to an 8- or 9-seed you hope to fall even further to a 10-seed so you do not need to play a 1-seed if you win your first game, since the 1-seed almost always wins but the 2- 3- and 4-seeds are much more beatable most years..

An 11-seed or a 10-seed has the same 20% chance of making the Sweet 16 - the same chance as a 7-seed. However, the 8- and 9-seeds have only the same 10% chance as the 12-seed. We also note that this year the First 4 teams were 10-seeds, so those 10-seeds actually had only half the chance of other 10-seeds since they had to play another 10-seed in a game before going onto play a 7-seed.

It is very rare for a 13- 14- or 15-seed to make the Sweet 16, and on 16-seed has ever done so.

The following is the breakdown for 2024. It is no surprise the ACC and Big East are the only two overperforming conferences, since the teams in those conferences have won 16 of 22 national titles this century.

Conferences that outperformed their seeding

ACC (4 of 4 Teams, +2.1 MORE than expected): Clemson 6-seed (30%), Duke 4-seed (50%), N.C. State 11-seed (20%), , North Carolina 1-seed (80%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Virginia 10-First 4-seed (10%), , 

Big East (3 of 3 Teams, +1.1 MORE than expected): Connecticut 1-seed (80%), Creighton 3-seed (50%), Marquette 2-seed (60%), All Teams Made Sweet 16.

Conferences that lived up to Expectations

Big Ten (2 of 6 Teams, -0.2 BASICALLY as expected): Illinois 3-seed (50%), Purdue 1-seed (80%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Michigan St. 9-seed (10%), Nebraska 8-seed (10%), Northwestern 9-seed (10%), Wisconsin 5-seed (30%).

Pac-12 (1 of 4 Teams, -0.1 BASICALLY as expected): Arizona 2-seed (60%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Colorado 10-First 4-seed (10%), , Oregon 11-seed (80%), Washington St. 7-seed (20%).

Mountain West Conference (1 of 6 Teams, 0.0 BASICALLY as expected): San Diego St. 5-seed (30%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Boise St. 10-First 4-seed (10%), Colorado St. 10-First 4-seed (50%), Nevada 10-seed (20%), New Mexico 11-seed (20%), San Diego St. 5-seed (30%), Utah St. 8-seed (10%), 

West Coast Conference (1 of 2 Teams, 0.0 BASICALLY as expected): Gonzaga 5-seed (30%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Saint Mary's 5-seed (30%), 

American (0 of 2 Teams, -0.2 BASICALLY as expected): DID NOT MAKE IT: Florida Atlantic 8-seed (10%), UAB 12-seed (10%), 

Conferences that received too many invites based on results

SEC (2 of 8 Teams, -0.8 FEWER than expected): Alabama 4-seed (50%), Tennessee 2-seed (60%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Auburn 4-seed (50%), Florida 7-seed (20%), Kentucky 3-seed (50%), Mississippi St. 8-seed (10%), South Carolina 6-seed (30%), Texas A&M 9-seed (10%), 

Big 12 (2 of 8 Teams, -1.3 FEWER than expected): Houston 1-seed (80%), Iowa St. 2-seed (60%), DID NOT MAKE IT: Baylor 3-seed (50%), Kansas 4-seed (50%), TCU 9-seed (10%), Texas 7-seed (20%), Texas Tech 6-seed (30%), BYU 6-seed (30%).

Atlantic 10 (0 of 2 Teams, -0.4 FEWER than expected): DID NOT MAKE IT: Dayton 7-seed (20%), Duquesne (11-seed, 20%).

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Brackets in 99th & 93rd percentile pick UConn & Marquette to Win Title - Click for CBS Stories

Here is the interesting thing on the brackets we published. The "Sr. Guards Bracket" got as high as being ranked 7,000th of 22 million but actually had UAB grabbing the 16th and last spot and since they were our only Sweet 16 not to make the second round that dropped it to 32,000th - but still in the 99.9th percentile.  UAB almost pulled off that upset, and if they had that bracket would likely be in the top 2000 of 22 million brackets.

However, the bracket we did based on teams with a top offense and defense at Pomeroy has been almost as good - in the 92.7th percentile. Amazingly, seven of the eight teams we reported in that blog as having the best chance at the national title are still alive - only BYU has lost.

The interesting thing you will note is the first one calculated a UConn national title, while the 2nd one predicted a Marquette national title. 

I am in the background to the left on the CBS interview with Tyler Kolek after Marquette beat Colorado today - and you can click here for my stories on their CBS 247Sports site or here for the interview on CBS from that photo.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Click on my CBS Sports Site Story on the 8 Predicted Upsets

 Please click on my story on this CBS 247 Sports Site (Marquette Hoops) that details the bracket that is now in the 99th percentile ... after after predicting opening round upsets of Auburn, FAU, BYU, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Texas Tech and Saint Mary’s - and that Kentucky would be gone the first weekend with a second round loss to NC State. That bracket is now 25-7 in the 99th percentile.

It also details how experience backcourts like Marquette's stayed cool and were not upset.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Conference Records in Average Score

 Before the conference we noted that four conferences (BE, ACC, B12 and SEC) had won all 22 titles this century, asking if one of the four main conferences chasing them (P12, B10, MWC, WCC) could or one of the other 23 teams could break the streak.

So far those four have had an edge with a 15-8 mark, but the four chasing them have been almost as good at 12-9. The other 23 conferences are 5-15. We do not count the First 4 in these totals.

We put each conference in order of average margin of victory or defeat so far in the tournament.

Conf             Wins   Losses  Ave Score   Ave Opp   Margin

Sr. Guards Bracket (99th%) Picks upsets of Auburn, BYU, Florida, Texas Tech and S. Carolina - Picks JMU

 The Sr. Guards Pull Upsets Bracket continued to be the best methodology this year, in the 94th percentile and if Nevada and UAB had pulled off their the system would be 24-4 so far. I noted in that preview that while UConn had two senior guards to counter the two great guards for 16-seed Stetson, that I could have picked even Stetson against Auburn. In fact, this was the system that picked Yale against Auburn among the big upsets. ("Thus against this years young UNC or Auburn I could see Stetson winning a stunner.")

SEC teams do tend to be the most vulnerable when this happens, with plenty of projected NBA players who don't stay the whole four years. With this being the trend, the SEC is now 1-5 while Texas A&M has an big lead and Alabama is down just a few early. In any even, the Big East has all experienced back courts and with only three teams invited is 3-0 - all three wins being among the 10 most lopsided games so far (17 or more point win).

We will see if it keeps up, as the big upset it picks that has not been played yet is James Madison University pulling the upset tonight. So far, 22-6 in the first round with 6 games to go.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Great Coaches Threaten to Hand Sr. Guards Bracket Its 1st Loss to Tie it at 6-1

It looks like this will be the last perfect bracket we show, as the following is the updated top half of the Sr. Guards Pull Upset Bracket (bottom half included on the bottom half of the previous blog. That makes this bracket one of the 2.3 million of 22 million brackets to start 6-0.

However, it would take South Carolina rallying from down double digits against Oregon to make it 7-0.

As long as Oregon holds on for the win over South Carolina - then great coach Dana Altman will give the great coaches bracket a 6-1 mark as well to tie the Sr. Guards. We are hitting the road so no more updates tonight - but this is probably the last perfect bracket update regardless.

And here is the coaches bracket - Oregon on pace to make it 6-1.

Sr. Guards Pull Upset Picks Duquesne to be one of 12% of 5-0 Brackets

As the name suggests, the "Sr. Guards Pull Upsets" was on top of the Duquesne upset as one of only 12% of all perfect brackets to start 5-0 of the 21 million submitted.

Perfection doesn't last for long though - Illinois will need to pull off a close game in the second half against Morehead State, and South Carolina will need to come back from a few down against Oregon for it to start 7-0.

This bracket is often one of the weakest by the end, but can be the best at picking some first round upsets like this. This may be my last chance to post on a perfect bracket since most don't last long - so here it is!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

FINAL 2024 BRACKET BLOG - Links to each bracket with the winners and paragraph on history of successs

We’ve made the eight brackets public. You can click on each bracket by name below to see how all 63 games were picked using that criteria - or you can scroll to the bottom of the blog to see the list of teams with a number from 0 to 6 to indicate the number of lines you should put them on if you want to follow that methodology.

We suggest you give a quick read through this, pick the one bracket option that sounds good to you, then click and focus on that bracket but pick a few extra upsets to make it fun and give yourself a chance. At the bottom we list the chance we believe each team has of winning it all or at least making the Final 4.

  1. Offense AND Def KenPom -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Marquette defeats Auburn. Other Final 4 Teams - Arizona and Purdue. Big upset Seed 5) St. Mary's.

Since 2002, every single national champion has been one of the few teams who ranks in the top 40 in offense and the top 25 in defense based on Unless history is made, that means one of the 10 teams listed in this blog will be the national champion. Only two teams finished in the top 10 in both non-conference play - Marquette and Purdue. If this holds true then they are the best two and meet in the Final 4.

  1. Conference -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Connecticut defeats Marquette. Other Final 4 Teams - Baylor and Creighton. Big upset Seed None.

All 22 Champions this century have come from the ACC, Big 12, Big East or SEC, and we believe there is an 81% chance it will be one of those 24 teams again - so be careful picking one of the other 44 teams. Maybe Purdue breaks through like Michigan did in football to give the Big Ten their first title since 2000 (Michigan State). Maybe Arizona gets the Pac-12 a going away present its first title since they won it for the Pac-12 in 1997. Maybe one of the record six Mountain West teams in the tourney builds on San Diego State’s Final 4 last year to win it, or maybe we finally have Gonzaga win from the West Coast Conference. But before going against the four conferences who’ve won every one - consider that two Gonzaga teams made the title game as the No. 1 team having dominated all other conferences only to then be destroyed by the Big 12 (Baylor) and ACC (UNC). 

  1. NBA -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Kentucky defeats Arizona. Other Final 4 Teams - Purdue and Illinois. Big upset Seed None. Some years the elite players about to go to the NBA take over, and if that happens consider that Kentucky has three players on the bench about to go to the NBA - since the rules only allow five players on the court at a time. We list all the NBA players for all 26 teams that have at least one - but 42 teams in the tourney do not have any players good enough to make the NBA.

  1. Healthy and Injured Teams -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Connecticut defeats Tennessee. Other Final 4 Teams - Kentucky and Arizona. Big upset Seed 2) Marquette, 4) Kansas.. The one thing you need to watch in case you need to make any changes to your bracket is this injury report. If 2-seed Marquette’s best two players Tyler Kolek and Oso Ighodaro are not healed then the fastest pace team in the country Western Kentucky could run a short-handed Marquette off the court. Same for Kansas top two players. It looks like Kevin McCullar Jr. is out Thursday against 13-seed Samford so if their other best player Hunter Dickinson can not recover from the shoulder injury, Samford could be taking their first NCAA tournament win back to Alabama.

  1. Coach -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Kentucky defeats Baylor. Other Final 4 Teams - Tennessee and Auburn. Big upset Seed none. We provide a list of all 68 coaches and their best March Madness runs. If great coaches pull out the tight games in this one look for and SEC flavor with former Texas coach Rick Barnes having a shot with Tennessee, former Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl looking for his first title for Auburn as well. However, if that’s how it plays out we believe it will be John Calipari winning his second title with Kentucky unless Scott Drew can beat him to give Baylor their second title in four years.

  1. Hottest -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Auburn defeats Wisconsin. Other Final 4 Teams - Arizona and Gonzaga. Big upset Seeds None. No team is hotter that Auburn, and if the same teams that were hot at the end of the year keep up the pace, then the Auburn vs. Connecticut Sweet 16 game could determine the eventual national champ.

  1. Sr. Guards -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Connecticut defeats Houston. Other Final 4 Teams Creighton and Alabama. Big upset Seed 4) Auburn, 5) San Diego State, St. Mary's, Wisconsin, 6) BYU Texas Tech.. Often the big upsets occur when a team with excellent senior guards beats a younger more talented team. If that happens this year, Auburn and San Diego State could be first game victims - and North Carolina could be vulnerable as well. However this year many of the top teams also have senior guards.

Overall -  bracket could indicate a title game in which Connecticut defeats Houston. Other Final 4 Teams - Purdue and Arizona. Big upset Seed 6) South Carolina, Clemson. The bracket that takes everything into account is this overall bracket. It is always hard to win 5 or 6 games in a row because you are going to play poorly in one of those six games and you will need to survive. However, Connecticut is the best team in the country by far this year - and Houston is the best overall team they could meet in the title game so if you don’t want to guess at the upsets - go with those two.

Here are the tables noting the dominance of the ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC - so first decide if you believe that continues or believe this is the breakthrough year.  Here are the number of teams in the tournament from each of the eight conferences with the most teams - and the number of them we expect will make the Final 4 and the chance their conference will win the title. Then just one more reminder it is 22-0 for the four conferences this century, so 0-22 for the other 27 conferences combined.

4 Conf          Tourney Teams     Final 4 Teams   Win Title%    21st Cent Titles
SEC8 0.9 25%3
B128 0.8 18%3
BE3 0.7 30%8
ACC5 0.4 9%8
Total 424 2.7 82%22
All otherTourney TeamsFinal 4 TeamsWin Title%21st Cent Titles
B106 0.6 13%0
P124 0.3 5%0
MWC6 0.2 0%0
WCC3 0.2 0%0
Other 2325 0.2 0%0
Total 2744 1.3 18%0

Here are the chances we are giving each team to take the title. The ones that could end the ACC, Big 12, Big East, SEC string of 22 straight titles are Arizona of the Pac-12 (5%) or any of three Big aten teams - Purdue  (9% chance), Illinois or maybe Wisconsin.

A couple of possible title game rematches from these groups could be Marquette against Purdue (who beat them by 3) or Illinois (who lost to Marquette at home).
Possible ChampConfChance
North CarolinaACC6%
Iowa St.B124%
Texas A&MSEC1%

Buyer beware - the only nice thing about us providing these brackets is that they let you fill out your bracket in minutes and get it off your desk or submitted so that your one friend who actually cares will stop bothering you - you are required to take an oath you will not spend two days cursing at me for incorrect picks that break your bracket in a few days LOL.

This time of year all stat geeks from me to Nate Silver remind all of you that we HATE picking brackets because anyone can get hot in basketball and win one game to send the better team home. if these were all 7-game series we could pick them all for you - but one out of every three games the winner will not make any sense, so good luck!