Rick Bozich compares the Final Four teams in 10 different categories.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Dazzling wins. Ugly losses. Calling Cards. How they got there. It's all here in this Tale of the Tape on the four teams heading to the Georgia Dome for the NCAA Final Four this weekend.
AP Pre-Season Ranking: 2, only Indiana was ranked higher.
Calling Card: Sticky Fingers. The Cards rank second nationally, behind only VCU, in steals per game at 10.9. They've taken everything but the logos off the court.
Longest Winning Streak: 14.
Current Winning Streak: 14, started Valentine's Day against St. John's.
Best Regular Season Win: 58-53 at Syracuse March 2, a possible preview of the national title game, one of three between the Cards and Orange this season.
Worst Regular Season Loss: 73-64 at Villanova, Jan. 22, but even the Wildcats made the NCAA Tournament.
Best NCAA Win: 85-63, Midwest Regional final over Duke. Who beats a Mike Krzyzewski team like that?
Seeds Beaten: 16, 8, 12, 2, Saint Louis, the four didn't make it to Indy.
NCAA Tournament Winning Margin: 21.8, best in the field .
AP Pre-Season Ranking: Unranked, and did not receive any votes, even though Northern Iowa, Lehigh and Oral Roberts did. No Shocker. Wichita State lost its entire starting lineup from a team that finished last season ranked 18th, one spot behind U of L prior to the start of the tournament.
Calling Card: Glass Cleaners. The Shockers go to work on the glass, ranking seventh in the nation in rebounding margin at plus-8.
Longest Winning Streak: 9 to start the season, including two road games and two at neutral sites.
Current Winning Streak: 4
Longest Losing Streak: 3 (Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Southern Illinois) from Jan. 29-Feb. 5. I'm not certain if panic ensued, but it should have.
Best Regular Season Win: at VCU, 53-51, Nov. 13. You're not supposed to beat Shaka at Shaka's place. A tough team to slow down at a tough place to win.
Worst Regular Season Loss: at Southern Illinois, 64-62, Feb. 5. The Salukis lost 17 games.
Best NCAA Win: 76-70 over Gonzaga, third-round West Regional
Seeds Beaten: 8, 1, 13, 2. Can't ask for much more.
NCAA Tournament Winning Margin: 10.5
AP Pre-Season Ranking: 9, behind North Carolina State and Kentucky among others.
Calling Card: Defense, defense, defense. You might be tired of hearing about the 2-3 zone, but the Orange rank third nationally in field-goal percentage defense at 36.8. Something's going on here.
Longest Winning Streak: 10, including one true road game, to open the season.