Five teams that need the 3
Some big-name teams will live or die with their long-range accuracy
There's a problem with measuring how important the ability to make 3-point shots is in the NCAA tournament. By definition, the best teams in the country tend to do without 3s. With the outstanding exception of Ohio State last year, teams given a No. 1 seed by the NCAA selection committee don't attempt many shots from beyond the arc.
Such teams don't succeed because they stay away from 3s, of course. It's just that top seeds like Kentucky, Syracuse, North Carolina and Michigan State feel they have adequate means at their disposal to score enough points in the paint. More often than not, those top seeds have been proven correct.
Not every team has that luxury, however. So with the brackets set for this year's tournament, we can take a look at which offenses in the field of 68 rely most heavily on 3-point attempts. By definition these offenses will be somewhat more susceptible to swings in performance -- both for better and for worse -- than other tournament teams on that side of the ball, though it's a susceptibility that can be mitigated with consistency in other areas (taking care of the ball, getting to the line, etc.).
Also note that you'll see some overlap between this list and a ranking of perimeter-oriented offenses that I did earlier this season. In fact every team I talked about back then made the tournament. Maybe there's something to this so-called "3-point shot" the youngsters talk about nowadays.
By the way, the numbers below refer to the percentage of each team's shot attempts that were 3s in conference play. If you're about to face one of these perimeter-oriented outfits, you need to hope the 3s aren't falling for your opponent this week:
Florida Gators (3FGA/FGA: 0.45)
To read more about which other tourney teams love the 3-pointer -- yes, Duke is on this list -- become an Insider today.
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- NCAA: No "Sic 'Em Bears" jerseys for Baylor
- Wake wins 1st ACC tourney game since '07
- Selection committee to monitor Embiid injury
- Mount St. Mary's (16-16) clinches NCAA bid
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2012 NCAA Tournament on Insider
Title game preview
Gasaway: UK's Davis ranks among greats
Bracket Predictor: Final Four, title picks
Lunardi Tourney Tips
Profiles on all 68 teams
The Experts Blog
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
The Bilas Blog
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
Chad Ford breaks down top NBA prospects.
Mock Draft 2.0: Davis is No. 1