We sometimes write (and give statistics) to show that recent performance is often overvalued by sports fans. Here's an article that backs up this hypothesis -- and might also suggest that teams losing their conference championships might be extra-motivated to perform well in the big NCAA Men's Tournament. From the Wall St. Journal:
For the three No. 1 seeds in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that didn’t win their conference tournaments, there’s good news: History suggests they have as good a chance as No. 1-seeded conference champs of winning it all. Or, more precisely, a better chance. Especially North Carolina and Kentucky.
As Ben Cohen noted in the Wall Street Journal today, NCAA champs generally have won their conference tournament. But a lot of those champs weren’t No. 1 seeds. Among top seeds since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a greater proportion of those No. 1 seeds that have lost in their conference tournaments have gone on to win it all than have those that cut the nets after their conferences’ championship games: six of 26 non-champs vs. eight of 64 champs, nearly twice the percentage (excluding No. 1 seeds that played in conferences without tournaments). Since just one team can win it all each year, average tournament wins also are worth watching. And the non-conference champs rule among top seeds there, too, with an average of 3.69 wins to 3.36 for the conference champs...
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