Who Will Win The 2011 NCAA Basketball Championship And Why?
This year’s NCAA basketball tournament did not disappoint basketball fans. There
were some great games, some exciting plays and some surprising upsets.
Psychology and math can help fans, coaches and bettors to pick the
winners of major sporting events. A model for analyzing big games is presented in
a book which I co-authored with my friend and colleague, Carlton Chin.
In Who Will Win The Big Game? 50 Characteristics Of Winning Players, Teams
And Coaches, we examine the psychological factors and statistical factors which have
proven to be important in big games across a wide range of sports including basketball,
baseball, football, golf and tennis.
We have been right a lot with our predictions and the information in our book is
now being shared with coaches and players around the country who want to perform
better in big games and during the regular season.
Our predictions and analysis have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and
The New York Times on several occasions.
So, who will win this year’s college basketball championship?
Our data and research favor The University of Connecticut. We believe they will
beat the University of Kentucky and then can beat either VCU or Butler. Here’s
Coaching is a very important factor in these contests. While John Calipari s a
fine coach who wins big and will win more big games, Jim Calhoun’s experience,
record, motivation to win three championships and big game appearances seem to give
the Connecticut Huskies head man the edge in this category.
Jim Calhoun is a time tested and proven leader and winner. It is tough for another
coach to overcome Calhoun’s wisdom and experience.
Second, Connecticut beat Kentucky earlier in the season by seventeen points.
While some will say the tournament is different than a regular season game, this kind of victory is a confidence builder for Connecticut. This kind of loss may be in the minds of the members of the Wildcats.
Connecticut appears to have the advantage in free throw shooting which is very
important particularly in close games. And this contest does like it will be a close one.
Connecticut also seems to out rebound their opponents more convincingly
than does Kentucky. Rebounding and second shots is another important element in
a close championship basketball contest.
The Connecticut team is a bit older and this maturity and experience is
important in games like this one, based on our research.
Assists which reflects teamwork and coaching also favors Connecticut.
Kemba Walker is a genuine super star. Jeremy Lamb has shown that he
can shoot the three point shot well in tournament conditions. These two players can
create problems for many defenses.
If you plan to wager on this game, Connecticut with points looks like a
Kentucky is not without its strengths. For instance, they tend to protect the ball
a bit better than does Connecticut. That is, they have fewer turnovers per game. A
turnover can be thought of as a mental error and our research shows that championships
games are often won or lost due to these kinds of errors.
In addition, Kentucky appears to be a better three point shooting team than
is Connecticut. The ability to make the three point shot has been a very important
factor in this year’s tournament. And this game could be decided by a late three pointer.
In short, we like the University of Connecticut in a close game.
What about VCU and Butler? This, too, looks like a close contest. Take the
points and VCU in this one too.
As was noted earlier, once Connecticut gets past Kentucky, we believe they have enough weapons to handle either VCU or Butler.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist and the Founder of www.StayInTheZone.com
To get help in getting your team to perform to its fullest potential, call him at