- There have been 28 champions in that period; 25 were were seeded in the top 3 of the tournament.
- 18 champions were the 1-seed in their regions.
- 12 of those champions were also ranked number 1 for at least a portion of the season in the AP Top 25 (Top 20 before 1989).
Bottom line: love your aces. There’s a reason why these teams get ranked number 1.
- There have been 28 champions since 1985; the Big Twelve (2 champions), PAC Ten (2 champions), Big Ten (3 champions), Big East (5 champions), SEC (6 champions, and ACC (8 champions) have accounted for 26 of them.
Bottom line: love your major conferences. There’s a reason why the same conferences keep bringing home the cheddar. Big-time conferences are made up of big-time teams. Big-time teams are made up of big-time players. This is the difference between Kentucky and, say, Southern Illinois University (a perennial bracket-buster which manages to hover right around that 60th-to-70th team range): Kentucky gets guys that have a shot at the NBA. SIU gets guys that will only stay in basketball if they start coaching.
- There have been 28 champions since 1985; Kentucky (3 times, 8 overall), North Carolina (3 times, 5 overall), UConn (3 times), and Duke (4 times) account for 13 of them.
Bottom line: love your legacy teams. There’s a reason why the same names continue to show up with trophies. Certain schools do not need to recruit. They only need to have roster space. Using Kevin Durant as an example, he is actually an outlier, having gone to Texas. His teammate, Russel Westbrook, went to UCLA, a school with a significantly higher profile.
- There have been 28 champions since 1985; 19 of those champions were ranked in the top 3 of the AP Top 25 (Top 20 before 1989) for a portion of the season.This season, the teams that have spent at least one week ranked 3 or higher are: Gonzaga, Indiana, Duke, Kansas, Miami, Michigan, Louisville, Florida, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Arizona. Of those teams, Gonzaga, Indiana, Duke, Michigan, and Louisville have spent more than three weeks in the top 3. It sez so right here that your champion will be one of those five teams. In particular, don’t be afraid to pick Gonzaga if they get a number 1 seed; they have moved up in the rankings every week since December 17. That is consistently good basketball, the kind that traditionally does well in the tournament.
Bottom line: trust your eyes. Teams that have been good all year will be good in the tournament, match-ups be damned.