It’s a bird ... It’s a plane ... It’s the UConn Huskies.
UConn is flying high and playing at an elite “Superman” level since the tournament started. Thanks to double-digit wins in every round of the tournament, UConn is now the No. 1-ranked team according to advanced analytics sites BartTorvik and KenPom.
Last week I introduced you to the BartTorvik ratings in this article and explained how you can splice the data from March 15 onward to see which teams are playing the best since the tournament began.
Using this time frame, UConn is also tops in the nation thanks to an Adjusted Offensive Efficiency score that ranks third and an Adjusted Defensive Efficiency score that ranks ninth.
UConn’s 41.8 percent three-point shooting is tops among the Final Four teams and only Florida Atlantic has come close to UConn’s performance on the glass recently.
Since the tournament started, the Hurricanes are the next most impressive team among those remaining with an Adjusted Offensive Efficiency rating of fifth and the 38th-best Adjusted Defensive Efficiency rating. The Hurricanes have already knocked off the No. 2 KenPom team (Houston) and the No. 5 KenPom team (Texas) in the tournament.
There’s an argument to be made that Miami is an undervalued team because four of its five losses have been by three points or less. The Hurricanes have won 11 straight games and it seems like their season-finale 78-56 thrashing of UAB was a precursor to tournament dominance that we all ignored.
San Diego State Aztecs
Thanks to an elite defense, San Diego State is the next best team of the remaining teams since the tournament started, according to the BartTorvik ratings. The Aztecs are third in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and No. 59 in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.
Since the tournament began, the Aztecs are only hitting 28.8 percent of their three-pointers, which is last among the remaining teams. For the season, San Diego State shoots 33.9 percent from beyond the arc, good enough for 179th in the country. However, when the Aztecs defense is at its best, they can slow down and frustrate any offense in the country.
Florida Atlantic Owls
Florida Atlantic is the worst of the Final Four teams since the tournament began, according to the Torvik ratings. The Owls rank 25th and 47th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, respectively.
The recent dip in defensive play is interesting because, for the entire season, FAU is the 30th-best team in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, according to KenPom. That said, FAU has a ton of momentum, winning 11 straight contests and 14 of its last 15.