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Dance Lessons: Depth charge?

The Vols are in the top 30 in bench minutes via KenPom. This may be a bad thing against SDSU. Dale Zanine/US Presswire

How often have you heard the clich├ęs? "Defense wins championships." "Live by the 3, die by the 3." But are they truth or myth? Dance Lessons looks back at NCAA tournaments past to see whether these truisms check out, and examine which teams they help and hurt in 2010.

Bracket pools be advised: The wise men who say a deep bench equals a deep tournament run aren't all that wise.

For three seasons, Ken Pomeroy has been charting how frequently teams use players off the pine, and only one ranked in his top 30 has reached the Sweet 16. That was the 2008 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who were ousted by UCLA once they arrived at the second weekend. And that lesson applies to a large number of teams in this year's tournament.