Tuesday, March 28, 2006

One Cliche Rings True

"We gotta take it one game at a time." I've yet to see a team play two games simultaneously.

"I didn't play my 'A' game today." A Tiger Woods favorite.

"It was a total team effort." So does this mean that usually it's not a total team effort, but for one game it was?

"Defense wins championships." Hold the phone.

That last one might have some application to this set of Final Four teams. True, Memphis "could not throw it in the ocean" against UCLA, but that a lot of that "brick laying" was due to some "great defense for forty minutes" by UCLA. George Mason has been "giving 110%" on defense all season long. LSU is best known for it's Big Baby, but my "hat's off to them" for their defense as well. Florida is probably the "most balanced" team left, but they "leave it all on the floor" when defending, too.

Take a look at the Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (O/D) of the Final Four teams (out of all 334 D-I teams). Notice that all F4 teams are in top 15 in Adj Def Eff.

Florida: 6/8
George Mason: 53/15
LSU: 42/4
UCLA: 23/3

Three of the four are undoubtedly defensively-driven teams. Florida is simply darned efficient on both offense and defense. Statistically, I guess that "makes them the favorite," but a team does not get to this point unless they are "playing well on both ends."

One thing is for sure: "it's anybody's ball game" this weekend, and "it's not over until the fat lady sings."