Wednesday, March 15, 2006



UConn -- This is tough between Illinois and UConn. UConn gets the edge because they have a better efficiency differential (22.3 to 18.6). UConn is not great offensively. Last year, all Final Four teams were in the top 8 offensively and UConn is 22nd. Also, UConn doesn’t force turnovers. They are the second worst in the tournament at 16.2%. Last year, only 2 of the bottom 22 defensive turnover people made the Sweet Sixteen. This is not a no-brainer.

Illinois -- Another offensively challenged team. Even moreso then Uconn. An offensive efficiency rating of 91.6 and only 7 of the last 44 F4 teams have had a rating under 92. Otherwise, they are nearly perfect. They hit 7 of the 9 rules of a F4 team. They lose to UConn in the Sweet Sixteen. They are a good pick.

Washington -- This is the worst draw in the tournament. They are the third best team in the bracket and they will lose in the second round. They have no fatal flaws. They hit 5 of the 9 rules for F4 teams. They are the 14th best offense and the 9th best differential team. Their Defensive Effective Field Goal% is just 48.2 and only 7 of 44 F4 have been over 47%. They are the 8th best at forcing turnovers and last year 12 of the top 16 made the sweet sixteen. However, Illinois is too good.

UNC -- They turn the ball over 19.4% of their possessions and that is more then any F4 team in the last 11 years. Otherwise, they don’t even buck a trend. They hit on 4 of the 9 rules. Their offense is in the top 16. They fall in the elite eight to UConn but it is a very good match-up for UNC considering how few turnovers UConn forces. UNC may be the pick due to the frailties of UConn and Illinois.

Tennessee -- This team is a joke. Pick Wintrop. Tennessee has three fatal flaws, their defensive efficiency is 87.6, their rebounding is under 50% and they don’t have any field goal differential. They do two things well, they shoot and they force turnovers which are good indicators but this team is too flawed to make a F4 run.

Michigan State -- Similar to Tennessee but they don’t force the turnovers. They score very well and don’t defend.

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