BTI's Rants and Ramblings: Last 10 games and SEC Tourney HUGE indicators of NCAA success

Bryan the Internover 10 years

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Aritcle written by:Bryan the InternBryan the Intern
We hear ad nauseum leading into the tournament how important a team's last 10 games are for their tournament seeding.  That a team that is hot going into the tournament gets higher seeds from the committee.  And while I think that is garbage, because every game counts for 1, whether it was played in November or February, what I am more interested in is whether a team NEEDS to be hot coming into the tournament to be successful.  At Kentucky at least, that answer is YES! Looking back since probation, 18 teams have made the NCAA Tournament and 1 has made the NIT.  I split them up by tournament success, and looked at what their record was in each team's last 10 games, and what result they had in the SEC Tournament.  What I found was that 9 of the 10 teams that reached the Elite 8 or further won AT LEAST 7 of their last 10 games.  More amazingly is that ALL 10 TEAMS reached the SEC Tournament finals, with 8 of the 10 winning. Compare that to the 9 teams who reached no further than the Sweet 16.  Five of those nine teams did NOT win more than 6 games in their final 10.  And only 3 of those 9 teams reached the SEC Tournament final.  Whether or not the final 10 should hold more weight in terms of seeding is your opinion.  But what can not be denied, at least in Kentucky history, is the IMPORTANCE of the final 10 games in terms of momentum and as an indicator of postseason success.  Kentucky now has 5 regular season and 2/3/4 SEC Tournament games remaining.  Seven wins is a minimum.  Without that, my confidence will be shot in this team coming into the NCAA Tournament.   Final 4 1998: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) 1997: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) 1996: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Runner-up) 1993: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) Elite 8 2010: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) 2005: 7-3 (SEC Runner-up) 2003: 10-0 (SEC Tourney Champs) 1999: 6-4 (SEC Tourney Champs) 1995: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) 1992: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) Sweet 16 2002: 6-4 (SEC Quarterfinals) 2001: 8-2 (SEC Tourney Champs) 2nd Round 2007: 4-6 (SEC Quarterfinals) 2006: 6-4 (SEC Semifinals) 2004: 9-1 (SEC Tourney Champs) 2000: 6-4 (SEC Quarterfinals) 1994: 8-2 (SEC Tourney Champs) 1st round 2008: 7-3 (SEC Quarterfinals) NIT 2009: 4-6 (SEC Quarterfinals)

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