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March 6, 2008
If the NCAA Tournament started today, there would be only three teams with a shot at winning the title.
OK, really there would be 65 teams with a chance to win, but we've come up with a formula that reveals a few teams have a better shot than the rest.
If you were profiling what it takes to win the national championship, the past eight winners shared 13 traits. The only teams right now that meet the criteria are Kansas, Georgetown and ? surprise ? Xavier.
There are nine requirements that are measurable right now. Four more requirements will be known at the end of the regular season.
One more team, Gonzaga, meets the first nine requirements but looks a little shaky in regard to the final four (requirements, that is). The Bulldogs are 30th in the RPI and will need to climb into the top 15 before the start of the NCAA Tournament to reach all the criteria.
It's hardly a fool-proof theory. But is it worth keeping an eye on in March? You be the judge.
Here are the first nine criteria:
Here are the final four criteria
Here's why some other teams fell short:
Andrew Skwara is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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