This research goes back to 1985 when the NCAA Tournament went to its current format.
In a close game, free throws can make the difference between winning and losing a championship. The team with a better free throw percentage has won 73 percent of national title games since this data became available.
This factor favors Connecticut and its 77.4 free throw percentage over the Florida Gators at 66.7 percent. In the other semifinal matchup, the Wisconsin Badgers (74.1 percent) best the Wildcats (68.5 percent) in free throw shooting.
Research shows that defense does indeed win championships. The team with the better field goal percentage defense has won an overwhelming 92 percent of national championship games since this data became available.
Connecticut edges Florida in this statistic 39.2 percent to 39.9 percent. Interestingly, for all of the talk about Wisconsin’s defense, Kentucky rates better in field goal percentage defense 41.0 percent to 42.7 percent.
The sports psychology quant facts for the two semifinal games favor Connecticut over Florida and Kentucky over Wisconsin.
Kentucky 3 (Experience, Coach, FG Defense) – Wisconsin 1 (Free Throws)
Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-basketball/2014/04/04/2014-final-four-sports-psychology-by-the-numbers/#pX7Vqz2F97Er2ktY.99
Our quant facts favor Connecticut and Kentucky in the semifinal games.
For the Final: