Which Division I team is capable of winning the 2016 NCAA Championship?
The correct answer isn’t terribly far from: All of them or none of them.
Who do you rule out when so many of the highly ranked teams are so flawed? Who do you include among the contenders when every one of them is within reach of the sort of team they might oppose in the Round of 32?
Most of the teams that have won the NCAA title in the past quarter century share some basic qualities: a functional starter 6-10 or taller; a commanding point guard; somebody who can create plays when the offense breaks down; a coach who at minimum is highly capable and a roster that includes multiple players talented enough to get time in the NBA.
Over the past dozen years, as statistician Ken Pomeroy began charting teams’ offensive and defensive efficiency rates, title teams are also generally ranked among the top 20 nationally in those categories.
So who fits those categories now? Everyone. Maybe no one. But somebody has to win it, and four will make the Final Four.
Our list of potential champions last year might have included four teams: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arizona, Duke. This year, it could be five times as long.
Here’s a look at our candidates. If you think we’re missing someone, you’re probably right. Or totally wrong.