Half way through our Journey to the Final Four, 16 teams remain including four double-digit seeds and only two of 11 Big East squads.
A common thread has emerged this year with big blocks determining more outcomes than game winning field goals -- defense is once again the engine that puts the car on the "Road to the Final Four".
Of the top field-goal defensive teams in America, more than half made the NCAA tournament with 10 still remaining. Teams that fall beyond the top-tier that remain, such as a VCU or Ohio State have a key defensive characteristic such as those teams with a double-digit steal percentage or an Arizona, which limits their opponents to less than 30 percent from beyond the arc.
Defensive Efficiency Rankings
1 Florida St
7 San Diego St
44 N Carolina
124 Ohio State
Combine the defensive prowess of these teams with offensive efficiency and you now have the blueprint to success for those who remain. Six of the nation's most efficient teams remain including three of the top four (Ohio St, Wisconsin and Kansas).
Offensive Efficiency Rankings:
1 Ohio State
28 San Diego St
73 N Carolina
227 Florida St
In the next few days we will dive deeper into the match-ups and put each team through our litmus test. Separation between the remaining teams and the margin for error are both very slim.
Leigh Klein is the owner of Five-Star Basketball Camps, which Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant all attended in high school. Klein and has overseen the development of more than 100 players in this year's NCAA tournament. Check Metro daily during March Madness for more of his ramblings.