Back in March, I studied past champions to see what they had in common. Most shared these characteristics:
- Efficient on both ends.
- Good three-point shooting. (Louisville ends up as an exception in this category.)
- A future pro in the post. Assuming Gorgui Dieng is drafted in the first round, nine of the last 11 champs will have produced a big man who was taken in the first round of the NBA draft.
- Balanced scoring
- Good offensive rebounding.
- Limits opponents' free throws.
- Good two-point defense—holds opponents to below 45 percent inside the arc.
- A coach with postseason success
It's that simple!
It's not easy to project how some teams will do in these area—that's why preseason rankings are a crapshoot—but this is an attempt to project five rosters equipped to win the title in 2014. If your team is not included, I obviously think your team has no shot at winning a title whatsoever. (Relax. I'm kidding!)
Note: All advanced statistics used in this piece come from KenPom.com (subscription needed).