Defining stat for college basketball’s Final Four contenders

Breaking down the most important stat for 16 college basketball Final Four contenders.

College basketball season is officially heating up. With just one game left in the NFL season, basketball is soon to take the center stage as the race is on for conference tournament seeding and March Madness at-large profiles.

It’s been an unusual season due to the ongoing battle with COVID-19 as well as struggles of the nation’s most prominent programs. Regardless, several teams have asserted themselves as legitimate Final Four candidates as they now work to gain positive momentum between now and March 14’s bracket release.

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Below you will find each of the 16 teams that were slotted in the top four seed lines of our bracketologist Lukas Harkins’ latest bracket.

Wisconsin

40% — Since succeeding Bo Ryan in 2015, Greg Gard’s Badgers have lived and died by 3-point shooting. Dating back to the ’17-18 season, Wisconsin is 36-2 (.947) when it shoots at least 40 percent from deep and 37-42 (.468) when it doesn’t. The Badgers have won their last 22 games dating back to the ’18-19 season when converting at least 40 percent of their 3-pointers.

Tennessee

335th — Following a 52-50 loss to Ole Miss on Tuesday, the Volunteers have plummeted all the way to No. 335 nationally in Haslametrics‘ momentum metric. Rick Barnes’ squad has dropped three of its last five after starting 10-1 and are averaging 59.8 points per game during the skid. Is this a bump or a long-term issue?

Creighton

0.939 — The Bluejays are yielding 0.939 points per possession this season, ranking 42nd nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Despite losing key defender Ty-Shon Alexander to the NBA in the spring, Creighton has its most efficient defense ever under head coach Greg McDermott.

Kansas

2-4 — Road struggles continue to plague KU’s season. Bill Self’s squad has now dropped four away games in a row, including an 80-61 drubbing in a 66-possession game against a lifeless Tennessee offense last Saturday. The Jayhawks are four games back in the loss column in the Big 12 race and only one loss separates the league’s No. 2 team and No. 7 team in the standings. If the road woes aren’t fixed soon, KU could be a trendy one-and-done candidate come March.

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Eli Boettger
Eli Boettger

Heat Check CBB founder, editor



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