Apr 5, 2014
06:30 AM
Connecticut Today

UConn Rides Stats Karma Into NCAA Title Game; Tops Kentucky on Conversion Rate

 
UConn Rides Stats Karma  Into NCAA Title Game; Tops Kentucky on Conversion Rate

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 05: Shabazz Napier #13 of the Connecticut Huskies brings the ball up the floor as Kasey Hill #0 of the Florida Gators defends during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at AT&T Stadium on April 5, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.

The  UConn men’s basketball team defeated the Florida Gators in the Final Four Saturday night to make it to Monday’s NCAA tournament national title game—and we’re rooting for a three-peat, in terms of the karma of a particular stat that has worked in the Huskies’ favor in both the Elite Eight win over Michigan State and the defeat of Florida.

In UConn’s tournament history, the Huskies have been more successful and efficient than Florida in cashing in on the biggest opportunities, just as they have outdone Michigan State on that stat (see below).

And, yes, you guessed it, UConn’s conversion rate of Final Four appearances into national titles is also better than that of Kentucky.

Kentucky, impressively, has made it to the Final Four 15 times and has won 8 titles.

As lofty as that total is, it’s a conversion rate of 53 percent, compared to UConn’s rate of 75 percent. The Huskies have converted three of four Final Four appearances into titles—a rate of 75 percent.

If Wisconsin had won Saturday night, the edge would still have gone to UConn.

The Wisconsin Badgers have been to the Final Four twice and won one title, for a conversion rate of 50 percent

Here’s hoping this particular state propels our Huskies to a fourth title Monday night.

See our October 2013 pre-season cover story that anticipated this greatness:

UConn Men's Basketball Coach Kevin Ollie: The Overachiever

Also see Anatomy of the Three Sweep: UConn Men's Basketball Celebration Goes Viral

Our story preceding the Florida game:

What we're about to say, when it was applied to the Elite Eight game against Michigan State, worked like a charm, so let's apply the karma to UConn's Final Four game against Florida, which tips off a little after 6 p.m. this coming Saturday.

UConn defeated the Gators on Shabazz Napier buzzer-beater in the regular season, which means that Florida, the only #1 seed left in the NCAA tournament, will be looking for revenge. UConn will need to dig down and play brilliantly to make it 2-0 against the Gators this season, and to have a shot at a fourth national championship.

The karma we're sending the Husikes way to make that happen is the same stats mojo we served up Sunday morning, before the Michigan State game (scroll down to see.)

Here goes, with an assist to ESPN, the source of these stats:

In UConn’s tournament history, the Huskies have been more successful and efficient than Florida in cashing in on the biggest opportunities.

Florida, according to ESPN, has been to the Final Four a total of four times and won two championships, in 2006 and 2007. That's a conversion rate of 50 percent.

UConn, meanwhile, has also had a quartet of appearances in the Final Four, winning three championships, in 1999, 2004 and 2011, for a converstion rate of 75 percent.

Like we said, it worked with Michigan State.

Our story from the Sunday morning before the Elite Eight game:

When the UConn men’s basketball team takes on Michigan State this afternoon at Madison Square Garden in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, the game between two national powerhouses, #4 seed State and #7 seed UConn, will obviously be decided on the floor.

And that on the floor decision went to UConn, which is head to the Final Four

But the Huskies of UConn may have at least one edge that’s not getting ink in game day blogs and reports.

In UConn’s tournament history, the Huskies have been more successful and efficient than Michigan State in cashing in on the biggest opportunities.

Michigan has converted its Elite Eight appearances into eight trips to the Final Four, and those have resulted in two national championships, in 1979 and in 2000.

UConn, meanwhile, has made it to the Final Four a total of four times—impressively converting three of those into national championships.

That means Michigan State has a 25 percent conversion rate for the biggest opportunity in men’s college basketball—winning a title after getting to the Final Four—while UConn has a 75 percent conversion rate.

Like we said at the top, it’s not something that will sway today’s game—or (here’s hoping) maybe it will.

As you warm up for the game this afternoon, it’s also fun to look back on all of UConn’s national championships in various sports (and, yes, Geno Auriemma’s photo pops up over and over again.)

(Above, Kevin Ollie in the Iowa State game in a Getty Images Sport photo.)

And, just because the combination might have become a good luck omen for the Huskies, before you watch the game, also read our preview of next weekend’s maple syrup open house at UConn’s Sugar Shack ("how sweet it is" has had crossover appeal on social media.)

Also see our pre-season profile of UConn Coach Kevin Ollie

 

UConn Rides Stats Karma Into NCAA Title Game; Tops Kentucky on Conversion Rate

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