AP Analysis: Success in March tied to NBA-caliber talent

In the 30 seasons since the NCAA Tournament started morphing into “March Madness,” 120 teams have traveled the road to the Final Four. That’s 120 unique formulas that have worked to make it onto college basketball’s biggest stage.

For all the debate about what counts more toward building a championship program — great teams with veteran leaders and role players versus outstanding individual talent, even if that talent only makes a short pit stop in college before going to the pros — an Associated Press analysis of rosters found that one factor outweighs all else:

The most surefire way to consistently advance deep into the tournament is by amassing players with enough NBA potential to leave college early.

The AP analyzed rosters of every team to make the tournament at least 10 times over the last 30 years and saw a trend that goes beyond the anecdotes and occasional tales of magical runs that have underscored the storytelling driving this debate for decades. The conclusion, as succinctly summed up by Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who said if you want to win and advance in this tournament, you have to have NBA talent.


More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/MarchMadness and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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