Guest post: Preseason polls not Final Four indicator — except for Kentucky

Isaac Humphries (Vicky Graff Photo)

Isaac Humphries (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH PEEL

I was reading the preseason college basketball polls a few days ago just to get an understanding of how outsiders view Kentucky’s new basketball team this year. I noticed that UK has been picked fourth in the coaches preseason poll for this year. The other three teams of the top four in the  coaches preseason poll were Duke, Kansas and Villanova in that order. 

It made me wonder how accurately the preseason polls predict who will be the Final Four teams. I was surprised by what I found.

Over the last five years (2011-2015) 60 percent of the time only one team of the top four in the coaches preseason poll made the Final Four and never in the last five years has a preseason number one team won the national championship.

Even more amazing is that only 20 percent of the time did two or more of the top four teams in the coaches preseason poll make it to the Final Four.  Seems like those numbers aren’t very encouraging for any of the teams picked in the top four of the preseason coaches  poll …… unless your name is UK.

In the past five years Duke has been in the top four preseason poll three times and made it to the Final Four once.  Kansas has never been a top four team in the preseason poll in the last five years (but has been to two Final Fours in that time period) nor has Villanova (Villanova has been to one Final Four in the last five years).

Kentucky has been a top four team in the preseason poll five times over the last five years and has been to three Final Fours. At a 60 percent success rate compared to the other three teams in this year’s preseason top four. I’ll take those odds.

It looks like the coaches aren’t very accurate in the preseason picking who will survive to the Final Four …. unless your name is UK.

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