Fun With KenPom: Teams With Top 10 Offenses and Defenses since 2003

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kentucky currently rank in the top 10 of KenPom’s adjusted offensive and defensive ratings.

Since 2003 (the year KenPom’s database dates back to), there have only been 16 teams who have ranked in the top ten in both adjusted offensive efficiency and adjusted defensive efficiency.*

If you’re unsure of what those numbers mean, or how they are compiled, here’s an explanation from KenPom. “Any time you see something “adjusted” on this site, it refers to how a team would perform against average competition at a neutral site. For instance, a team’s offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions) is adjusted for the strength of the opposing defenses played. I compute an adjusted offensive efficiency for each game by multiplying the team’s raw offensive efficiency by the national average efficiency and dividing by the opponent’s adjusted defensive efficiency. The adjusted game efficiencies are then averaged (with more weighting to recent games) to produce the final adjusted offensive efficiency.”

Here’s a list of those 16 teams and their rankings. I also included how they ended up performing in the NCAA Tournament:

2003 (AdjO Rank – AdjD Rank – Tourney Outcome)

Kansas: 6th – 1st – National Runners Up

Kentucky: 5th – 4th – Sweet 16


Duke: 2nd – 4th – Final Four

UConn: 4th – 5th – National Champions


North Carolina: 1st – 5th – National Champions


Florida: 2nd – 5th – National Champions

Texas: 4th – 10th – Elite Eight


North Carolina: 3rd – 4th – Elite Eight


Kansas: 2nd – 1st – National Champions

Memphis: 4th – 4th – National Runners Up

UCLA: 7th – 3rd- Final Four




Duke: 1st – 4th – National Champions

Kansas: 2nd – 8th – Second Round


Ohio State: 1st – 5th – Sweet 16

Duke: 4th – 8th – Sweet 16

Kansas: 6th – 9th – Elite Eight


As of Feb. 25, two teams rank in the top ten in both offensive and defensive efficiency: Kentucky (3rd and 8th) and Kansas (10th and 4th).

Four teams are close to being in the top ten in both categories, and could reach that accomplishment by the time the NCAA Tournament begins next month: Michigan State (12th and 2nd), Ohio State (14th and 1st), Syracuse (9th and 13th) and North Carolina (11th and 14th).


– Not surprisingly, these teams have done very well in the NCAA Tournament. 15 of the 16 teams reached the Sweet 16 (2010 Kansas is the lone exception, they got Farokhmaneshed in the second round); 12 of the 16 reached the Elite Eight; nine of the 16 reached the Final Four; Seven of the 16 made the National Championship Game; and 5 of the 16 took home the National Championship

-2008 was one hell of a year. UCLA – with Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and Luc-Richard Mbah a Moute – was just the third best team in the nation that season. Also, according to KenPom, 2008 Kansas (.9859) is the only team since 2003 to have a pythagorean winning percentage over 98 percent.

-2011 was odd. Three teams ranked in the top ten in both categories, yet none of those squads made the Final Four. 2008 was the only other time three teams fit that specification, and all three made the Final Four that year.


1 Comment

Filed under College Hoops, Sports

One response to “Fun With KenPom: Teams With Top 10 Offenses and Defenses since 2003

  1. Sean Breslin

    It’s tough to build a very good team on both sides of the ball, but if a coach can do that, they can make a lot of money in this sport. Great post!

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