March Madness: The 5 Fastest NCAA Tournament Teams in the Field of 68
Pace and space is all the rage in the NBA. Among many others, top teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets seem to have perfected this style of play. Like with many other trends and shifts in theory, college basketball seems to be picking up the pace rather quickly.
Due to the lack of refined NBA talent, we don't often point out the teams who best implement this practice. They are not so easily separated from the rest of the pack. But, now that the NCAA Tournament is upon us, we have reason to dig deeper into which teams play at the highest tempo.
In exploring this aspect of the game, we look at Sports Reference's pace factor (estimated possessions per 40 minutes) and our very own pace percentiles, measured up to 1.000, meaning that particular team's speed of play is higher than all others. For another reference point, a team with a rating of .972 is faster than 97.2% of schools.
We will also be referring to consistency, our measure of a team's predictability from game to game. In this category, a higher rating -- say, .923 -- tells us they're very inconsistent in their performance. On the other hand, a rating of .168 would suggest a team is very consistent. This relates to pace for the fact that higher-paced teams tend to be spotty as it pertains to defensive effort.
So, having said all that, which five teams that will be dancing this week will be doing it at a faster pace than the rest of the field?
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