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2019-20 Media Hate Thread

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  • 2019-20 Media Hate Thread

    Why Duke, Gonzaga and 19 other ranked teams won't win the NCAA tournament - ESPN

    By Kyle Soppe
    Posted: Jan 7, 2020

    "From roster construction to style of play, things are always changing in college basketball and the only thing we can realistically do is try to track the trends. Virginia's run to glory last season helped shine a spotlight on the value of defense, and the numbers suggest that mentality is here to stay. Over the past decade (2010-2019), the average champion has ranked 56th in the country in terms of scoring defense, with the majority of champions ranking inside the top 35. In the decade prior (2000-2009), the average ranking was 118th, with half of those champions ranking 150th or worse. Think about that: Defense was a bonus in the first part of the millennium, but since, it's been a requirement.

    As you might expect, the increased attention on the defensive end has resulted in less pressure to score at a crazy rate. From 2001 to 2009, every champion posted a top-25 scoring offense, something that only four of the past 10 champions have done. While you could argue that the importance in scoring volume has declined with time, the ability to make free throws has become more important. Seven of the past 11 champions ranked 51st or better in free throw percentage at season's end, something that was true for just one of the previous eight winners.

    Defense and fundamentals. Boring, right? Well, I'd rather pick boring winners than exciting losers in March.

    So, who fails to check the right boxes? To allow for the possibility that teams can improve in given areas over the next two months, we've lowered the thresholds to a top-100 scoring defense (something 10 of the past 14 champions have had) and a top-125 team in terms of free throw percentage (something 11 of the past 15 champions have been). Given those criteria, these are the teams you should consider removing from your NCAA tournament title pool:...

    Memphis Tigers
    The Tigers have avoided disaster, but they've missed at least 12 free throws three times. They aren't as bad as the Derrick Rose team from the line, but they also aren't nearly as talented and may have trouble outrunning this flaw come March.

    Wichita State Shockers
    Four times this season have the Shockers failed to make even 59% of their freebies. That said, they did cash in on 18 of 20 against Oklahoma and 34 of 42 against Texas Southern. A lack of consistency at something that isn't impacted by defense is a major concern. How can you feel good about advancing them in your bracket when you have no idea which version will show up?"

  • #2
    I'm not sure this qualifies as media hate, the author is only reporting the facts which anyone of us would agree free throws is an opportunity for this team to improve on.