Historical hurdles for title teams
Limitations facing UCLA, Indiana and other hyped preseason contenders
The freshmen are committed, the draft decisions are made, the transfers are transferred. The teams, as currently composed, look much like those we'll be watching come November. But since it's early July, let's cover all of our bases and talk about title contenders in terms of program health.
By "program health," we're referring to the consistency and magnitude of a school's winning history in recent years. It takes a little while for a phoenix to rise out of the ashes -- there aren't stories of the tiny college with no basketball tradition that suddenly win the NCAA tournament. The pulse of a program can be taken with data to see whether it's far enough along to be considered a real title threat.
We found five universal truths of every team to win the 64-plus team NCAA tournament. All 28 modern-era champions had a few things in common, and of the 2013 squads, only 14 fulfill all of the historical requirements of winning a championship in this era. This certainly isn't to say that the other 333 teams in Division I are incapable of winning the NCAA championship, but if one were to do so, it would set a record for quickest program rise.
Here are the five historical hurdles a potential champion must clear, including the preseason contenders that fail each requirement:
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- No. 2 Badgers need late rally to edge G'town
- Kansas rides Ellis to win in Orlando opener
- Gonzaga's Perkins (broken jaw) out indefinitely
- Alford: UCLA, UK near home-and-home set
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game