Your 2011 National Champion Is...

Well, someone. Thing is that Luke Winn believes he's on to something by observing the two-part metrics of His observation is that the past seven national champs (since Ken Pomeroy started doing his thing) have finished the season with efficiency ratings (offense and defense) ranked in the Top 15 nationally. The only exception is North Carolina, who finished 16th in adjusted defensive efficiency in 2008-2009. Close enough.

So as Selection Sunday is upon us, who is trending towards the select group of teams that fit the KenPom/Winn standard? Who will ensure that your CardChron bracket is superior and autographed Almost Dunking Marques Maybin is your prized possession come April 4 (Legal Disclaimer: the views expressed preceding are not necessarily those of Card Chronicle or its subsidiaries. Open to legal residents of Guam and Botswana and subject to replacement "prize" of used Mike Rutherford sweat socks.)?

Sadly, this one isn't in the Cards.

As of March 10 games, it's the usual suspects with a couple of surprises littered in. Since Luke Winn won't update his watch list after he writes the article in December, I'm tracking the progress. The list of title contenders is below.

TEAM (adjO/adjD)
Ohio State (2/10)
Kansas (4/9)
Duke (6/6)
Purdue (12/5)
Syracuse (15/16)

Also worth noting here is that BYU was among those who could hoist the trophy just three weeks ago. But some poor defensive efforts have seen their adjD ranking drop all the way to 32nd from 16th. Since the rankings are seemingly that fluid, I decided to also list teams who could move as far UP between now and April 4 as the Cougars have fallen in the past three weeks. The dark horses, so to speak.

Contenders (adjO/adjD)
Pitt (5/22)
Kentucky (7/28)
BYU (8/32)
Texas (23/1)
WVU (30/30)
Belmont (32/21)
Illinois (33/19)
San Diego State (34/3)
UNC (36/4)

Finally, let's add in scoring average, which is another popular "metric" for finding a national champ. I couldn't find the number that Greg Gumbel and company will invariably use at some point in the next 21 days, but the same seven champs mentioned above and by Mr. Winn averaged no less than 77ppg. Including this metric, one of these 6 teams will be your 2011 national champion.

BYU - 82.3
Kansas - 82.1
Duke - 81.2
Belmont - 80.4
Ohio State - 77.9
North Carolina - 77.3

Go Belmont Bruins! I've got a pair of gym socks to win.

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