Eight steps to a champion

Following the stats trail to determine a winner

Originally Published: March 18, 2009
By Ryan McCrystal and Jeremy Lundblad | ESPN Stats & Information

Everyone has their own method for picking their tournament winners: toughest mascot, better school colors, a gut feeling. But, believe it or not, there may be a more reliable way to determine this year's winner than by throwing darts while blindfolded.

When analyzing the past 20 NCAA tournaments, it turns out there are some common threads between all the winners. Using a set of eight criteria, we've narrowed down the tournament field from 65 to two. Each of the past 20 winners meets the entire set of criteria laid out (with one exception, which is explained below).

Jeremy Lundblad

ESPN Stats and Information