While we have seen so many ways to pick college basketball games in the past, ranging from which team has the funniest mascot to which team is wearing blue, one of the best ways to pick a winner may be by identifying who is sporting the American Flag on their jersey. While most teams don’t choose to wear the flag on their jersey, of the current top five college basketball teams, three do (Baylor, Kansas, and Arizona). In the Power Five conferences, three of the teams leading their conference wear the flag (North Carolina, Baylor, and Arizona). In the Big12, only two teams wear the flag. Those teams are Kansas and Baylor, who are not only the top two teams in the conference, but the second and third best teams in the country. But what would happen if they took the flag off of their jerseys?
That’s exactly what South Carolina has done this year. While they are cruising into February with a 17-4 record, they were 19-2 at this time last year. While two games may not seem like much right now, it could drastically change if and who they play in March. Last year’s South Carolina team didn’t make the tournament after finishing the season 24-8. If they had been 26-6, they almost definitely would have played in the tournament. Cal only had one more win than Colorado last year, but that allowed them to play Hawaii rather than a very dangerous UConn team.
In March, the American flag is dominant. Teams wearing the American flag in the NCAA tournament have won the past eleven of fifteen championships (see below). In the ten year span of 2002 to 2011, the flag won all but one tournament. So turn on some Toby Keith and bet on the US this season.