Here were the 4 major themes that I think came from this weekend:
1. How in the hell did Butler make the Final Four AGAIN?
2. How in the hell did UCONN make the Final Four with just 1 player?
3. How in the hell did VCU make the Final Four by beating Kansas by 10?
4. How in the hell did Kentucky make the Final Four with their draw?
Whether or not it has been the best NCAA Tournament in history is up for debate. But, there can be no dispute about it being the most improbable tournament in history. Never has there been a Final 4 with no 1 or 2 seeds. It is the highest cumulative seed total for any Final Four in history. And as amazing as this seems, none of the Final 4 participants won their conference in the regular season. But, even though Kentucky is the betting favorite in Houston, their run might be the most improbable, when you consider the opponents.
For comparisons sake, compare some of these past Final 4 teams to the 2011 version (since the tourney expanded in 1985):
COMBINED SEEDS BEATEN TO REACH THE FINAL FOUR
2011: 21 (13, 5, 1, 2)
1997: 30 (16, 8, 4, 2)
1996: 31 (16, 9, 4, 2)
1993: 32 (16, 8, 5, 3)
1998: 32 (15, 10, 6, 1)
COMBINED MARGIN OF VICTORY TO REACH FINAL FOUR
2011: 19 points
1998: 70 points
1997: 72 points
1996: 113 points
1993: 124 points
-Kentucky had NEVER even reached the Elite 8 as anything worse than a 3-seed since the tournament expanded in 1985.
-Kentucky had NEVER reached the Final Four as anything worse than a 2-seed since seeding began in 1979.
-Kentucky had NEVER won an NCAA Tournament game with a basket inside of 10 seconds. They have done it twice in 2011.
-Kentucky had NEVER beaten Ohio State or North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, a total of 7 losses.
And despite all of that above being against the Cats, and they overcame it, the most improbable statement of them all is this:
KENTUCKY IS FAVORED TO WIN THE TITLE!!!
Personally, I like “The Improbables” for this team. I know “The Avengers” has gained some steam, but if this team wins it all, IMPROBABLE is the most accurate word to describe them.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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