Let’s take a look at each region, starting with our own Midwest Region. I realize some of the team names run together, but I think you can make them out.
Louisville leads the nation in defensive efficiency by a pretty solid margin, so it’s not surprising to see them all alone out there on the east side of the chart. Given that defense tends to win in the NCAA tournament, OSU would normally be well-positioned to make a run. But here’s the problem: while OSU is a very good defensive team, but so is Oregon. And Saint Louis. And Louisville. Seven teams in this region have a top 20 Pomeroy defense.
In the South region, it’s Florida that stands out the most. Pomeroy has been high on them all year long (they are currently ranked 1st in his system). OU has a tough matchup against a solid defense in San Diego State. If you don’t like KU or Florida to get to Atlanta, pick Georgetown if you like defense or Michigan if you like offense.
This one will be interesting. Pomeroy says Gonzaga is the best team in the West region, but not by a wide margin. Gonzaga is rated 4th, Ohio State is 5th, Pitt is 7th, and Wisconsin is 9th. I think we’ll have some serious battles in this region. I like K-State’s team a lot, but I don’t know if they can make it through this gauntlet.
In the East region, Indiana leads the nation in offensive efficiency by a healthy margin, so they really stand out at the top.
Finally, let’s take a look at the top 20 teams – those seeded 1 through 5. Because all of these teams would be bunched up towards the top right portion of the chart, I changed the scale in order to make it more easy to read. Think of this chart as a version of all of the others where you zoomed in to the NE corner:
Here’s where OSU’s offensive weakness is really clear. We are a very good defensive team, but there are others out there who are as good or better on defense – with a better offense to boot. According to Pomeroy, Florida has the best combination of offense and defense to win it all, but in a single elimination tournament, it all comes down to matchups and a little bit of luck.