The road to the Final Four is a long one with three weekends of travel required for each member of the quartet who punches it ticket to San Antonio at the end of month.
But which school will require the least charter jet fuel? And which one requires the most?
These are questions that All My Sports Teams Suck looks at every March and addressed with a table ranking the potential trips of all 68 teams that earned bids to the NCAA tournament.
For the second straight season, Kansas ranks at the top of the list. Both of their first two potential sites — Wichita and Omaha — are a long inbounds pass from Lawrence and the Final Four in San Antonio isn’t that far away. At 1,382 total miles (AMSTS doesn’t count return mileage), the Jayhawks rank just behind No. 15 seed Georgia State, which wouldn’t have to leave Atlanta for the second weekend should they spring two upsets in Nashville.
The big question, of course, is whether the Jayhawks can take advantage of the relative luxury of never leaving the middle of the country. A second weekend date in nearby Kansas City let them lead last year’s list at 1,590 potential miles, but Oregon — with 4,726 miles of travel to the Final Four in Arizona — defeated Kansas in the Elite Eight.
Two other No. 1 seeds rank in the top 10 shortest potential distances: Villanova would have to go 2,591 miles while Virginia would travel 2,695 miles. Xavier, meanwhile, pays for having the top spot in the West with 5,284 miles of travel required from Cincinnati to Nashville, Los Angeles and San Antonio.
(That’s 300 miles longer than John Calipari will have to travel after he cried about his Kentucky team being seeded fifth in the South and routed to Boise the first weekend.)
Other top seeds benefiting from close sites include second-seeded Cincinnati (2,231 for Nashville, Atlanta and San Antonio), third-seeded Michigan State (2,524 for Detroit, Omaha and San Antonio) and third-seeded Tennessee (2,793 for Dallas, Atlanta and San Antonio).
Which team has to go the longest? Well, it would have been UCLA, which had 10,454 miles because of its First Four trip to Dayton, Ohio. But St. Bonaventure saved them from all the hassle, eliminating the Bruins on Tuesday night.
That leaves 15th-seed Cal State-Fullerton, which would have to go 10,281 miles between Detroit, Boston and San Antonio.
No. 1 seeds have the shortest average distance at 2,988 potential miles while No. 13 seeds are the longest at an average of 7,495. If you want more ammunition to pick No. 12 seeds over No. 5s in the first round, they’ll travel an average of 5,162 miles while fives will travel the second-longest average distance at 6,709 miles.
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