Miscellany

Best Way to Pick Final Four Teams? Look at Ken Pomeroy's Defensive Efficiency Numbers

Whether you’re pro stats (see, Jason Lisk & Mark Bashuk) or anti-stats (see, SI’s Seth Davis), there’s one set of numbers that, over the last five years, has been very predictive when it comes to finding out who will reach the Final Four: Ken Pomeroy’s defensive efficiency numbers. Here’s a breakdown from 2008-2012:

Of the last 20 Final Four teams …

* 9 of 20 (45%) have been in Ken Pom’s Top 5 for defensive efficiency
* 16 of 20 (80%) have been in Ken Pom’s Top 20 for defensive efficiency
* 18 of 20 (90%) have been in Ken Pom’s Top 30 for defensive efficiency

This is good news for Louisville, Florida, Wisconsin, Stephen F. Austin and Georgetown, who are all in the Top 5 right now.

[RELATED: The Florida Gators Are the Best Defensive Team College Basketball Has Had Since 2003]

Miami, Kansas, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State and New Mexico round out the Top 10.

Best teams outside the Top 20? Duke (23), Gonzaga (24), Michigan (43), Butler (64), Notre Dame (112) and NC State (132).

Indiana, widely considered the best team in the country, is 13th.

Final Four teams over the last five years, followed by then Ken Pom defensive efficiency rating:

2012
Kentucky – 9
Louisville – 1
Kansas – 4
Ohio State – 2

2011
Connecticut – 14
Butler – 49
Kentucky – 15
VCU – 86

2010
Duke – 4
Butler – 5
West Virginia – 22
Michigan State – 30

2009
North Carolina – 16
Michigan State – 10
Connecticut – 3
Villanova – 15

2008
Kansas – 1
Memphis – 4
North Carolina – 19
UCLA – 3

Related: Ken Pomeroy Has Written About Fouling Up Three, and He Says Defend

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