POST-SEASON PLAYOFFS AND TOURNAMENTS

Playoffs in team sports take place at the end of the season and thus measure which team is strongest at the end of the season. Here are some examples from college basketball.

In 1981, DePaul, ranked first at 27-1, did not win the NCAA tournament, but Indiana, at 21-9, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

In 1983, Houston, ranked first at 27-2, did not win the NCAA tournament, but North Carolina State, at 20-10, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

In 1985, Georgetown, ranked first at 30-2, did not win the NCAA tournament, but Villanova, at 19-10, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

In 1986, Duke, ranked first at 32-2, did not win the NCAA tournament, but Louisville, at 26-7, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

In 1988, Temple, ranked first at 29-1, did not win the NCAA tournament, but Kansas, at 21-11, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

In 1991, UNLV, ranked first at 30-0, did not win the NCAA tournament, but Duke, at 26-7, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

In 1997, Kansas, ranked first at 32-1, did not win the NCAA tournament, but Arizona, at 19-9, won all of their tournament games and the championship.

Changing sports, here are major league baseball's best records of 1954:

Cleveland    111-43  .721   -

New York AL  103-51  .669   8

New York NL   97-57  .630  14

Chicago AL    94-60  .610  17

Brooklyn      92-62  .597  19

Milwaukee     89-65  .578  22

The New York Giants finished six games behind the Yankees if all major league baseball standings were combined, and fourteen games behind the Indians, yet won the World Series in four games to be recognized as baseball's champion of 1954. Even after the World Series, Cleveland had a record ten games superior to that of the Giants, 111-47 to 101-57.

Conclusion? The team with the best record is not always, and not necessarily, the championship team.