By The Numbers: What drives the conference tournament No. 1 seeds
As conference tournament season continues, SI.com takes a look at the No. 1 seeds in the seven power conferences and the numbers behind what got them there.
Adjusted offense and adjusted defense ranking: 9
The Gators have long been considered the best team in the country – even before they were ranked No. 1 – because of the lethal balance they possess. No other team in the country ranks in the top 10 of kenpom.com's offensive and defensive efficiency rankings. Florida scores it (117.4 points per 100 possession) and puts the squeeze on everyone else (91.8 points allowed per 100 possessions).
Michigan (Big Ten)
Three-point field goal percentage: 39.7
The Wolverines rank ninth in the nation in efficiency from beyond the arc. Emerging from a grueling Big Ten season with a regular season title suggests it's not too fickle a strength for Michigan to rely on. In fact, led by conference player of the year Nik Stauskas' 45.8 percent shooting from long range, it's the explosiveness that can push the Wolverines past anyone.
Kansas (Big 12)
Field goal percentage: 49.7
The Jayhawks are good because they hit nearly half the shots they take, though continuing that will be a stiff challenge in the postseason. Freshman center Joel Embiid – a 62.5 percent shooter – will miss the Big 12 tournament and likely the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. That will put an even greater onus on Andrew Wiggins and Co. to search for good shots to advance.
Villanova (Big East)
Total assists: 491
The Wildcats are known for hoisting three-pointers – 782 of them, fifth in the country – but it's how they get there that's most impressive. The assist total ranks 19th in the country. Jay Wright's crew features interchangeable parts at nearly every positions, all of them honed in on making the next pass to turn a good look into a great look.
Rebound percentage: 55.7
The Wildcats' are No. 1 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing 87.3 points per 100 possessions, and that part of that is how well they close those possessions. Arizona's rebound percentage – an estimate of how many available rebounds it snags – ranks fifth in the country. Pac-12 freshman of the year Aaron Gordon has fueled a dominant frontline, even after the loss of Brandon Ashley for the season.
Offensive rebound percentage: 39.2
The Bearcats can run, but mostly they bludgeon opponents with grit and defense, not to mention wearing them down with second chances. Led by Justin Jackson and Titus Rubles, Grabbing 39.2 percent of the available offensive boards -- a figure ranking eighth nationally -- means many easy second chance opportunities and much frustration for the other side.
*Cincinnati is the No. 1 team in the tournament due to a coin flip, so we decided to include Louisville as well.
Total steals: 309
As usual, the Cardinals' high-pressure defense makes its living by taking away what others have. Louisville's steal total ranks second in the nation; the Cardinals end 14.4 percent of their opponents' possessions with a pilfer, the second-best rate in the country. The same formula that produced an NCAA championship last April is coming into view as the action begins this March.
Field goal percentage defense: 38.4 No team allows fewer points per game than the Cavaliers, and that's largely because the pack-line defense doesn't allow a many made shots. Virginia's field goal percentage defense ranks seventh in the country and is tops among power conference teams. Basically, the Cavaliers never give up anything easy; they rebound 75 percent of opponents' misses and exert extreme pressure on teams to be perfect offensively.