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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Who has a legit shot at the Final Four?

What does it take to make a Final Four, and does Kentucky have it?  Well, if you go by Ken Pomeroy and his ratings, you must have a Top 50 offense and a Top 30 defense in his rankings.  Over the last 7 Final Fours, no team has not had BOTH and reached the Final Four.  In fact, of the 28 teams listed below, only THREE had an offense that ranked over 30th nationally in efficiency (2010 Butler, 2006 George Mason and LSU).  So, if you really want to pinpoint likely Final Four teams, look for teams in the Top 30 in both.    

2010
Duke (Offense: 1, Defense: 4)
Butler (Offense: 50, Defense: 5)
Michigan State (Offense: 28, Defense: 30)
West Virginia  (Offense: 11, Defense: 22)

2009
North Carolina (Offense: 1, Defense: 16)
Michigan State (Offense: 20, Defense: 10)
Villanova (Offense: 22, Defense: 15)
UCONN (Offense: 15, Defense: 3)

2008
Kansas (Offense: 2, Defense: 1)
Memphis (Offense: 4, Defense: 4)
UCLA (Offense: 7, Defense: 3)
North Carolina (Offense: 1, Defense: 19)

2007
Florida (Offense: 1, Defense: 12) 
Ohio State (Offense: 4, Defense: 15)
UCLA (Offense: 23, Defense: 2)
Georgetown (Offense: 2, Defense: 20)

2006
Florida (Offense: 2, Defense: 5)
UCLA (Offense: 28, Defense: 3)
George Mason (Offense: 49, Defense: 18)
LSU (Offense: 50, Defense: 4)

2005
North Carolina (Offense: 1, Defense: 5
Illinois (Offense: 3, Defense: 11)
Louisville (Offense: 7, Defense: 14)
Michigan State (Offense: 6, Defense: 25)

2004
UCONN (Offense: 4, Defense: 5) 
Georgia Tech (Offense: 25, Defense: 3)
Duke (Offense: 2, Defense: 4)
Oklahoma State (Offense: 5, Defense: 12)

So, who fits the category this season?  A total of 9 teams currently have a Top 30 offense and defense.  And look who one of those teams happens to be: 

Ohio State (Offense: 1, Defense: 10)
Kansas (Offense: 4, Defense: 12)
Duke (Offense: 5, Defense: 5)
Pittsburgh (Offense: 6, Defense: 21)
Kentucky (Offense: 7, Defense: 27)
Syracuse (Offense: 17, Defense: 16)
Purdue (Offense: 18, Defense: 8 )
Texas (Offense: 19, Defense: 1)
San Diego State (Offense: 24, Defense: 3)

Who is the biggest lock to make the Final Four, in my opinion?  That would be Pittsburgh, who doesn’t have any of the other 8 teams above in its bracket.  And while people would love to say Duke got an easy draw, the numbers don’t back that up.  They have Texas and San Diego State in their bracket, and those who think SDSU is an easy draw hasn’t seen them play.  They are a LEGIT Final Four contender. 

And then there is Kentucky.  They have all the pieces to make a run statistically.  Unfortunately, they also have a very tough draw.  Ohio State is a nightmare matchup and has the numbers to back it up.  But really look out for Syracuse.  They have tournament experience, and solid play both on the wings and the post.  Either way Kentucky is going to need a lot of luck and good play to have any shot in the East.  Just happy they have a shot, something that Pomeroy would say 59 of the 68 teams don’t have.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

40 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Who has a legit shot at the Final Four?



  1. gameday
    9:12 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    But Ohio State and Syracuse are on that list as well, and they happen to be in our bracket…wooo



  2. JonHoodsNipples
    9:14 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve seen SDSU play and no, they are not a Final Four contender. Butler wasn’t last year, so it doesn’t mean they won’t make it. If SDSU is a Final Four contender then so are another 40 or so teams.



  3. Daggumit Larry
    9:14 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Wonder where the 96 team ranked? I’ll bet top 5 in both.



  4. me
    9:16 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Does anyone expect Syracuse to lose in Newark?



  5. UK_Fan
    9:20 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    #4 – They have to make out of Cleveland first.



  6. SeoulCat
    9:27 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    BIT, you’re on crack if you think San Diego St. is a legit contender.



  7. Ohio State
    9:36 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I can be beat by anyone….. NO FEAR!



  8. Bryan the Intern
    9:36 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    6) Yeah, because college basketball has such good teams this year. They are better than Butler was last year. How did that turn out?



  9. owensborocatfan
    9:37 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I woke up this morning thinking that I would have calmed down over the NCAA completely screwing us.. However, I think I am more annoyed today than last night.. I still do not see how there is a reasonable explanation for us not getting a three seed..



  10. bung
    9:39 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    what are our players individual shooting stats and # of shots taken last 4 or 5 games? Do we still pass it to the guy with the hot hand?



  11. Not Gene Smith
    9:39 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Very unfortunate assignment. I know UofL plays Morehead in first round, and UK took on EKU a couple of years ago. How many schools from the same state have played each other in first round in past years? Typed, double spaced please.



  12. ace883
    9:42 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I think my major frustration isn’t that we didn’t get a 3…although we deserved it..it’s that we got the freakin bottom 4…gotham I am mad about that…and then a top 10 rank today…chaps my arse something terrible..and if we hadn’t been playin like giant killers I wouldn’t be so mad…but we have…fricka fracken……and then they tell us we slipped…you gotta be kidding me….I am not a violent man, but I would like to bust some heads…and there ain’t a damn thing we can do about it…aarrrrggggghhh



  13. bung
    9:42 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    9)nc2a Smith said we slid…?



  14. NegativeForNoReason
    9:44 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I like the positive spin attempts this morning.



  15. ace883
    9:45 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    yup sure did…pisses me off…how the hell do you slide winning your last 6 games and a tourney championship?



  16. John
    9:47 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    So you’re sayin’ there’s a chance?!



  17. owensborocatfan
    9:50 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    After getting over the frustration of the draw… WE have to beat the good teams in order to win a national championship anyways.. Why not take Ohio state out in the sweet sixteen rather than the elite eight.. Nobody in the country wants to play us right now…

  18. The committee obviously didn’t care about the conference tournaments. It shows even more that these conference tourneys are about making money and not about basketball. It seems to me if you’re not going to consider them, then the conferences shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

    Another factor may be that the SEC ends on Sunday rather than Saturday, so the committee doesn’t have as much time to give the same consideration to our champion as the Big East and others that finish on Saturday.



  19. miller time
    9:54 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    man i hope everyone sleeps on kentucky like the ncaa did



  20. hoofhearted
    9:54 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Hey… if Northwestern can take Ohio State to the wire, then UK could certainly win that game… assuming we get that far.



  21. bung
    9:55 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    i think the nc2a should just draw straws



  22. barn
    9:59 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    bti–why do you think we don’t match up with osu? i like our chances against them than any other of the #1s



  23. Indyblueblood
    9:59 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    The worst our boys will face is Ohio State and either Syracuse or North Carolina, but not both. They should be able to get to Ohio State. If they don’t, then the “draw” meant nothing. If they beat Ohio State, then they should fear no one. I remember many times when we’ve been a number 1 seed, I have often sweated the four seed. Honestly, we have nothing to lose. Ohio State has everything to lose. The monkey is on their back. The way UNC played during their ACC tourney, they are ripe for the picking by just about anybody. If we are healthy, we have zone buster’s for Syracuse’s zone. Personally, this is not a bad draw. I am convinced that someone is going to have to beat Ohio State and/or Kansas to win it this year. It might as well be UK! Go big blue!



  24. Jorts the BWK
    10:02 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    I was upset about the four until looking at the threes and can’t find one that we have a clear cut better resume than. Really, the other fours are pretty close too.

    Tough, tough road. Beat Princeton.



  25. barn
    10:04 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    -13-heard on cirrius (sp) radio that committee chair smith said brackets were in place saturday nite. so all games played sunday were irrellavent. what a jackass



  26. bigbluedomination
    10:06 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    we are going to stomp ohio st.



  27. kyrobman
    10:12 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    As long as we play like we have and can do we will be okay. I would rather win it all from a hard road than an easy road. I think this team can beat anyone, playing like they have been.



  28. Roach K
    10:15 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    The weird thing is, all the fours are better than all the three’s (and one of the two’s).



  29. Ben Dover
    10:20 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Good post.



  30. 2020
    10:22 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    UK #7 in RPI rankings… http://www.realtimerpi.com

  31. 21: they could also flip a coin, roll dice, pitch pennies, cast lots, take bribes, etc……



  32. eastky
    10:27 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    San Diego State got an early lucky win against Gonzaga and haven’t played ANYBODY other then an overrated BYU team (who also hasn’t really played anybody other then SDSU.) I mean really? Any major confrence team would absolutley destroy, what the selection commitee and everyone else believes, is the power house of the the Mountain West Confrence..ridiculous



  33. bung
    10:31 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    .



  34. Oh well
    10:33 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Sec champ game was meaningless in the eyes of the commitee! Need to start our tourney a day early and finish on sat! Uconn went from a 5/6 seed up to a three and we won three games by a double digit average including spanking the so called 2 seed twice in as many weeks!! But at the same time Texas (ranked 10, fla 12) lost their tourney champ to a legit 1 seed and they dropped to a 4??? By far the worst comittee selection process ever!! Completely inconsistent all across the board except for the #1 seeds. That’s the only thing this comittee got right! Also I feel bad for bama cuz georgia gets in and the tide beat them twice in the last week! Not to mention that no team in the sec has ever won 12 conference games and win their div and get left out!! I agree with digger that they shouldn’t even have been on the bubble! UAB and Clemson are a Combined 1-10 against top 50 teams and that was VCU??? Speaking of VCU, how do you go 23-11 in the colonial league and get an at large??? There is no argument for these selections and is completely absurd!!



  35. Oh well
    10:45 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    This is by far the worst the selection comittee has ever done! VCU, UAB, and Clemson getting in is completely inexcusable and absurd!! VCU goes 23-11 in the colonial league!!! Clemson goes 0-6 vs top 50! And UAB lone top 50 win was VCU!! While Bama and Colorado go 11-11 vs top 50 and get left out??? I don’t even want to get into us and Florida cuz we all know how absurd that is! The comittee should be embarassed and I wonder if any of them watched a single game after December! Ridiculous!! If we can stay out of foul trouble we have a legit shot at beat OSU!! Go cats!!!



  36. Oh well
    10:47 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Sorry didn’t realize my first comment went through. Lol



  37. TreyDay
    11:03 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Princeton will be just like Cornell. Solid foundation but we are too talented to give that game up. WVU is nothing like last year, first Desean Butler is gone, and Mazzulo played the game of his career. OSU has their own pressure points. If we defend well we have a fighting chance. Sullinger in foul trouble and/or Eloy sacrificing fouls in the paint we can contain him. Liggins can take Diebler easily. “Defense wins championships” – Orlando Smith.
    May be the worst draw we could have received, but the cats ALWAYS have a chance to do something great. Don’t lose faith!



  38. quick question BTI
    11:29 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    So BTI..
    can we re-work your terrible piece on getting bad draws in the tourney??



  39. Jorts the BWK
    11:52 am March 14, 2011 Permalink

    Rick Barnes should be a little pissed, but they fold in the tourney anyway.



  40. Not Gene Smith
    1:29 pm March 14, 2011 Permalink

    15) you tell em.