We're now down to the cr¿me de la cr¿me of college basketball teams. We've moved from the Field of 65, to the Sweet 16 to the Elite Eight and now to the Final Four.
Although the two best teams in the country according to my power ratings (Kentucky and Arizona) didn't make it to this weekend's games, Kansas, Texas, Marquette and Syracuse are all quality teams that can win the whole tournament. My power ratings for these teams are: Kansas a 3, Texas a 5, Marquette a 7 and Syracuse an 8.
Three of the four teams had a large regional advantage in last weekend's games. Only Kansas played in an arena not populated by a majority of the team's fans. In New Orleans, Texas will clearly have the crowd behind them, since most of their fans can simply drive to New Orleans in less than a day.
Here's a summary of the point-spread results for the semifinal and final round of the NCAA basketball tournament for the last six years.
|Favorites in Final Four
Against the Spread
Again, there's no clear pattern other than that the favorite has won and covered the point spread in the championship game in the last three years. Here are my selections for the semifinals and the championship game.