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NCAA Basketball: Offense versus Defense in the 2012 NCAA Tournament


This chart shows whether each team in the NCAA field of 64 is defense-oriented or offense-oriented based on which was ranked highest in Ken Pomeroy's adjusted offense/defense rankings at the end of the regular season on Selection Sunday.

  • Teams ranked higher in defense are in Red, teams ranked higher in offense are in Blue. The colors were chosen due to Louisville having a better defense than offense and UK has a better offense than defense.
  • UNC in red might seem odd, but they were ranked ever-so-slightly higher in adjusted defense (12th) than adjusted offense (13th). New Mexico St also had only a 1 spot difference between their rankings.
  • Kansas was ranked 8th in both categories so I left them white.
  • The records are for games that featured teams that had opposite strengths, so in the first round "defensive teams" defeated "offensive teams" 13 games to 5. The offensive teams got their revenge in the second round, compiling a 5-3 record against defensive squads. (I didn't count Kansas)
  • There were 6 upsets in the first round involving teams with opposite strengths, 5 of those upsets were by defensive squads over a higher seeded offensive team and 1 upset was by an offensive squad over a higher seeded defensive team.
  • You can get a sense for the character of the various regions. The South and West regions are mirror opposites of each other. The East and Midwest are pretty balanced.