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NCAA Tournament, A Re-Cap

   by Al McMordie - 04/30/2014

The recently-concluded Men's Basketball Tournament was historic. For the first time, two low seeds -- Kentucky (#8) and Connecticut (#7) battled in the Championship game. Let's look at how things shook out from a pointspread perspective.

There were 67 games played in the tournament. Favorites were under water, with a 29-33-4 record (one of the 67 games was a Pk 'em). Also under water were teams off ATS losses (when matched up against opponents off ATS wins. Those teams logged an 11-20-2 ATS record.

Both of these records were in contrast to the previous 23 years of the NCAA Tournament. From 1991 through 2013, favorites were 738-696-25 ATS. And teams off ATS losses were 269-223-9 ATS vs. foes off an ATS win.

Teams that won the game straight-up were 50-13-4 ATS (79.3%), and they covered the spread by an average of 6.82 points per game.

These numbers are similar to past results. From 1991 through 2013, teams that won an NCAA Tourney game straight-up were 1150-296-25 ATS (79.5%), and they covered the spread by an average of 6.59 points per game.

The question going forward is whether this 2014 Tournament was an outlier, or whether it marks a change in the Men's Basketball environment. Will next year return to normal, and feature two top seeds in the Championship game? Or will lower-seeded teams wreck havoc on everyone's brackets once again?

I would bet on the former, rather than the latter.

Good luck, as always...

Al McMordie

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