Monthly Archives: March, 2012

SIX STATS you might not know about… Final Four teams (the seed history)

SIX STATS is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’

Stretching before the 2006 NCAA Men's Division...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Past history in the NCAA men’s Final Four is pointing to a Kentucky national championship. Here’s a look at some stats from the past 33 tournaments (in 1979 the NCAA went to seeding all the teams) and how team seeds have performed in the past.

1. A number one seed has won the NCAA men’s championship 20 times in the last 33 years. Since 1992 (the last 20 years) a #1 seed has won the tourney 14 times.

2. Kentucky is the only #1 seed in this year’s tournament. In the 11 times when there was only one #1 seed in the Final Four, that number one seed won the championship six times. This is the 31st time in the last 34 years of the tournament that at least one #1 seed has been in the Final Four.

3. This is the fifth time since 1979 that two #2 seeds are in the Final Four (1979, 1994, 1995, 2004). In the four previous times when two #2 seeds made the Final Four, one of those #2 seeds won the title (Michigan State in 1979 and Connecticut in 2004). Six #2 seeds have won the title since 1979, the last being Connecticut in 2004.

4. Louisville is the 12th #4 seed to make it to the Final Four since 1979. Only one #4 seed has ever won the championship: Arizona in 1997.

5. The lowest seeded team of the Final Four teams has won the tournament five times (Indiana as a #3 seed in 1981; North Carolina State as a #6 seed in 1983; Villanova as a #8 seed in 1985; Kansas as a #6 seed in 1988; and Arizona as a #4 seed in 1997).

6. This is only the second time since 1979 that two #2 seeds will face off in a Final Four semi-final game. This is the sixth time that a #1 seed will face a #4 seed in a Final Four semi-final. The #1 seed has won four of those five games.

‘Cinderella’ teams make impact on the road to this year’s Final Four

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Kansas’ defeat of 11th-seeded North Carolina State late Friday night, double-digit seeds have all been eliminated from this year’s tournament. But those teams seeded 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th or 16th again made an impact on this year’s tourney. Double-digit seeds won 12 games this year which was the same number as 2011. Most wins by double-digit seed teams in a tournament was 14 in 1999 and 13 in 2001. Since the NCAA went to a 64-team tournament in 1985, there have been 239 wins by double-digit seed teams, and average of 8.5 per tournament.

Two schools top the list with the most wins by double-digit seeded teams. Gonzaga has won eight games in the tourney as a double-digit seed, winning those eight games as a double-digit seed in four different tourneys. Texas also has eight wins as a double-digit seeded team in the tourney; they have accomplished this feat in five different tournaments.

Following are the schools that have won the most games since 1979 as double-digit seeds (the NCAA went to a seeded format for all teams in 1979).

Tournament wins as a double-digit seed, school

8: Gonzaga, Texas

7: LSU, Richmond

6: Temple, VCU

5: Dayton, North Carolina State

4: Auburn, George Mason*, Kent State, Lamar, Loyola-Marymount, Missouri, Ohio, Tulsa, Xavier, Washington, Western Kentucky

* George Mason won all four of their games in 2006 when as an #11 seed they advanced to the Final Four. In addition to George Mason that year, only two other double-digit seeds have advanced to the Final Four: VCU in 2011 and LSU in 1986.

Did you know? Sixty-six teams that were seeded #10 or lower have made it to the Sweet Sixteen since 1979. This year three double-digit teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen: Xavier, Ohio and North Carolina State. The most double-digit seeds in the Sweet Sixteen was five teams in 1999. Gonzaga is the only school to make the Sweet Sixteen three times as a double-digit seed; they did it three years in a row, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Why has Kentucky lost so many regional finals? Because they’ve played in so many!

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

UK Basketball logo, recreated in SVG format, u...

UK Basketball logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Sunday night, we will know the four teams that will make up this year’s Final Four. In addition, we will have some degree of compassion for those teams that lost those regional final games thus missing out on an opportunity to play in this year’s Final Four.

For any team that loses one game short of reaching their goal of playing in the Final Four, there has to be bitter frustration. Some teams have experienced this more than a handful of times. In fact, Kentucky has lost 19 regional finals, by far the most of any school. The Wildcats will try to avoid #20 when they face off against Baylor in the South Regional final on Sunday.

Here are the teams which have lost the most regional final games in tournament history.

Regional final losses, school, (Final Four appearances)

19: Kentucky (14)

8: Kansas State (4); Villanova (4)

7: North Carolina (18); Kansas (13)

6: Temple (2)

5: Arizona (4); Connecticut (4); Michigan (6); Missouri (0); Oregon State (2); Wake Forest (1); Wyoming (1)

4: Colorado (2); Georgetown (5); Illinois (5); Notre Dame (1); Oklahoma (4); Oregon (1); San Francisco (3); Santa Clara (1); St. John’s (2); Texas (0); UCLA (18)

Note: In looking at regional losses since 1985 (when the NCAA went to a 64-team tournament), Kentucky still tops the list with seven regional final losses. They are followed by North Carolina and Temple with five, and Arizona, Connecticut and Kansas with four.

Most NCAA tournament wins without reaching the Final Four

Xavier Musketeers athletic logo

Xavier Musketeers athletic logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The Xavier Musketeers with two wins in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament became the 49th team in the event’s history to win 20 or more games in tourney. Unfortunately for Xavier, they are one of four schools in this group that have never played in the Final Four. (Two wins this weekend would take them out of this dubious group.)

Following are the schools that have the most NCAA men’s basketball tournament wins but have never played in a Final Four.

Tournament wins, school

22: Boston College, Missouri

21: Xavier

20: Alabama

17: Gonzaga

16: Tennessee

15: Brigham Young University

13: Arizona State

12: Auburn, Tulsa

10: Creighton, Vanderbilt

Note: BYU sits atop the list of schools that have the most NCAA men’s tournament appearances (years in the tournament) without reaching the Final Four with 26. They are followed by Missouri with 25, Xavier with 22 and Utah State with 20.

SIX STATS you might not know about… the Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker during spring...

Former Cubs skipper Dusty Baker... Image via Wikipedia

“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’

1. The Cubs made the playoffs in the first full season of a new manager three times since 1984. They went to the playoffs in 1984 in Jim Frey‘s first year; in 2003 in Dusty Baker‘s first season; and in 2007 in Lou Piniella‘s first year as Cubs’ skipper. Can they do the same in Dale Sveum’s first year at the helm?

2. In the last 28 seasons, the Cubs have won 85 or more games eight times. They made the playoffs in six of those seasons. The two years when they did not make the playoffs after winning 85 or more games? In 2001 they won 88 games; in 2004 they won 89 games.

3. The Cubs are one of only two franchises to have played in 20,000 or more major league games. Can you name the other franchise? Answer at the end of the blog.

4. Five players played 2,000 or more games with the Cubs: Ernie Banks (2528), Cap Anson (2277), Billy Williams (2213), Ryne Sandberg (2151) and Ron Santo (2126).

5. Here’s a few “last times”… Last time Cubs player won the N.L. MVP was 1998 (Sammy Sosa)… Last time a Cubs pitcher won the N.L. Cy Young Award was in 1992 (Greg Maddux)… Last time a Cubs rookie won the N.L. Rookie of the Year Award was 2008 (Geovany Soto)… Last time a Cubs reliever won the N.L Rolaids Relief Pitcher of the Year Award was in 1993 (Randy Myers)… Last time a Cubs manager won the N.L. Manager of the Year Award was in 2008 (Lou Piniella)..

6. The Cubs won 71 games last season. Since 1996, the Cubs have won fewer than 70 games in the season. Here’s how well they did after those five sub-70 win seasons.

1997: 68 wins (they won 90 games the next season)

1999: 67 wins (they won 65 games the next season)

2000: 65 wins (they won 88 games the next season)

2002: 67 wins (they won 88 games the next season)

2006: 66 wins (they won 85 games the next season)

Answer to item #3: The Atlanta Braves franchise has played 20,215 games in the majors. The Cubs have played 20,250. The Cubs and Braves are the two remaining charter members of the National League.