Strength of March Madness Teams

Similar to last year and the year before, I will run my NFL model over NCAA men’s basketball teams to show the strength of each team. The model predicts how many more points a team will score than the “average” team, along with how many more points they will give up on defense. The model is only based on the final scores of games during the season. Positive numbers are good for Offensive strength. Negative numbers are good for defensive strength. My model does not discount (late season runs matter no more than early season victories) and does not account for injuries.

Some things to note:
1. 8 tournament teams are worse than an NCAA Division 1 average team.
2. The top 12 teams are within 5 expected points of each other.
3. West Virginia is the 3rd best team (2nd year in a row) and got a 4 seed. Wichita State is the 11th best team and got a 10 seed.
4. The best teams not to make the tournament are Indiana (14.2 points above average, should be an 8 seed), TCU (13.5), Syracuse (13.0), and Texas Tech (12.9). Illinois State, who went 27-6, is only the 13th best team not to make the tournament (10.1).
5. Wichita State, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Marquette, Wake Forest, and Kansas State all deserved seeds that were at least 3 better.
6. Maryland, Minnesota, Arizona, Dayton, and Butler all deserved seeds that were at least 3 worse.

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