So maybe this RPI stuff isn't quite as definitive as we've been led to believe.
To be fair, the value of a league isn't exclusively defined by how its teams fare in the NCAA tournament, or by the frequency with which they reach the Final Four. That said, it's still quite stunning that, despite the sixth-best RPI for any conference, it's the SEC that has two teams in the 2014 men's Final Four.
Meanwhile the Big 12, the top-rated league, didn't have any of its squads advance that far.
Not only is the SEC well-represented, it also has the sole No. 1 seed remaining in the field. Of the other number ones, Wichita State went out early against another SEC team, Kentucky, which reached the Final Four; Virginia, the only ACC team to reach the Sweet 16, lost to Michigan State; and Arizona fell to Wisconsin in overtime in the regional final.
Top seeds are increasingly apt to come away with the national championship. Since seeding began in 1979, a No. 1 captured 19 of 36 titles, including four of the last five. Nine of the 14 most recent champions (64.3 percent) were top seeds.
Overall 55 of 144 Final Four teams (38.2 percent) since '79 came in as No. 1 seeds. Prior to this season, 19 of 54 top seeds -- 35.2 percent, better than one in three - came away with the title regardless of who else survived until the last weekend.
The 2008 Final Four was the only one in which every entrant was a top seed. There have been four years in which no Final Four squad was a No. 1 seed, 2011 being the most recent example.
Of the dozen years prior to 2014 in which a single No. 1 reached the Final Four, that team went on to win the championship seven times. That's been the case in three of the four most recent seasons.
Oh, and for all you parity enthusiasts, this is the second time in three years no interloper from beyond the power conferences crashed the Final Four party.
|Year||Seed, Team||Seed, Team||Seed, Team||Seed, Team||Non-Power League|
|2014||1 Florida||2 Wisconsin||7 UConn||8 Kentucky|
|2013||1 Louisville||4 Michigan||4 Syracuse||9 Wichita State||Wichita State|
|2012||1 Kentucky||2 Kansas||2 Ohio St.||4 Louisville|
|2011||3 UConn||4 Kentucky||8 Butler||11 VCU||Butler, VCU|
|2010||1 Duke||2 West Virginia||5 Butler||5 Michigan St.||Butler|
|2009||1 UNC||1 UConn||2 Michigan St.||3 Villanova|
|2008||1 UNC||1 Kansas||1 Memphis||1 UCLA||Memphis|
|2007||1 Florida||1 Ohio State||2 Georgetown||2 UCLA|
|2006||2 UCLA||3 Florida||4 LSU||11 George Mason||George Mason|
|2005||1 UNC||1 Illinois||4 Louisville||5 Michigan State||Louisville*|
|2004||1 Duke||2 UConn||2 Oklahoma St.||3 Georgia Tech|
|2003||1 Texas||2 Kansas||3 Marquette||3 Syracuse||Marquette*|
|2002||1 Maryland||1 Kansas||2 Oklahoma||5 Indiana|
|2001||1 Duke||1 Michigan St.||2 Arizona||3 Maryland|
|2000||2 Michigan St.||5 Florida||8 UNC||8 Wisconsin|
|1999||1 Duke||1 UConn||1 Michigan St.||4 Ohio State|
|1998||1 UNC||2 Kentucky||3 Stanford||3 Utah||Utah|
|1997||1 UNC||1 Kentucky||1 Minnesota||4 Arizona|
|1996||1 Kentucky||1 UMass||4 Syracuse||5 Mississippi St.||UMass|
|1995||1 UCLA||2 Arkansas||2 UNC||4 Oklahoma St.|
|1994||1 Arkansas||2 Arizona||2 Duke||3 Florida|
|1993||1 UNC||1 Kentucky||1 Michigan||2 Kansas|
|1992||1 Duke||2 Indiana||4 Cincinnati||6 Michigan||Cincinnati*|
|1991||1 UNC||1 UNLV||2 Duke||3 Kansas||UNLV|
|1990||1 UNLV||3 Duke||4 Arkansas||4 Georgia Tech||UNLV|
|1989||1 Illinois||2 Duke||3 Michigan||3 Seton Hall|
|1988||1 Arizona||1 Oklahoma||2 Duke||6 Kansas|
|1987||1 Indiana||1 UNLV||2 Syracuse||6 Providence||UNLV|
|1986||1 Duke||1 Kansas||2 Louisville||11 LSU||Louisville*|
|1985||1 Georgetown||1 St. John's||2 Memphis||8 Villanova||Memphis|
|1984||1 Georgetown||1 Kentucky||2 Houston||7 Virginia||Houston|
|1983||1 Houston||1 Louisville||4 Georgia||6 N.C. State||Houston, Louisville*|
|1982||1 Georgetown||1 UNC||3 Louisville||6 Houston||Louisville*, Houston|
|1981||1 LSU||1 Virginia||2 UNC||3 Indiana|
|1980||2 Louisville||5 Iowa||6 Purdue||8 UCLA||Louisville*|
|1979||1 Indiana St.||2 DePaul||2 Michigan St.||9 Penn||DePaul*, Ind. St., Penn|
* Later competed in Big East.
|CHAMPIONS SINCE '79:|
|1||19||2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1987, 1984, 1982|
|2||7||2004, 2000, 1998, 1991, 1986, 1980, 1979|
|3||5||2011, 2006, 2003, 1989, 1981|