Stats Say Kansas Should Win It All

The above chart, which comes courtesy of an excellent NCAA preview piece at Ballhype, plots college basketball teams based on their offensive and defensive efficiency, based on Ken Pomeroy's ratings. And it shows why people who take a sabermetric approach to college basketball are nearly unanimous when they say Kansas should be the favorite to win it all.

The chart puts teams with better offenses closer to the right, and teams with better defenses closer to the top. Although Ballhype has six charts and analyzes all 64 Tournament teams, (which is why you should click the link), this chart focuses on the upper right quadrant, meaning you won't see the bad offenses to the left and the bad defenses at the bottom.
It really is amazing how efficient Kansas is on both offense and defense. According to the Pomeroy ratings, Kansas has the best offense in the land by a fairly significant margin over the second-best, Texas. And Kansas has the third-best defense in the land, a little behind No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 2 Memphis.

The team that comes closest to Kansas in terms of balance is UCLA, which ranks sixth in offense and fourth in defense. And UCLA is, based as much on a hunch as anything else, my own personal pick to win it all. but the statistical advantage that Kansas has over every other team in the country makes it awfully hard to bet against the Jayhawks.

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