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One of the best ways to learn to make good NCAA Tournament selections is to look to the past. The teams and players are different every year, but history does tend to repeat itself, and teams that have won it all in the past have a lot of things in common. That only makes sense - to win the tournament teams have to be able to survive six games against a variety of competition, so it takes certain things to make that work - size, depth and experience, for example. The tournament expanded to its current 64-team format (I'm ignoring the play-in game because it is too silly to deserve consideration) in 1985. By looking back at the March Madness winners and MVPs since then we can to look for patterns and similarities, and see if those patterns lead us to any current teams that stand a better than normal chance. Here, then, are those March Madness winners. The MVP played for the winning team in every case:
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1985 - Villanova beat Georgetown. Ed Pinckney was MVP. Memphis State and St. John's were runner-ups.
1986 - Louisville beat Duke. Pervis Ellison was MVP. Kansas and LSU were runner-ups.
1987 - Indiana beat Syracuse. Keith Smart was MVP. UNLV and Providence were runner-ups.
1988 - Kansas beat Oklahoma. Danny Manning was MVP. Duke and Arizona were runner-ups.
1989 - Michigan beat Seton Hall. Glen Rice was MVP. Duke and Illinois were runner-ups.
1990 - UNLV beat Duke. Anderson Hunt was MVP. Arkansas and Georgia Tech were runner-ups.
1991 - Duke beat Kansas. Christian Laettner was MVP. North Carolina and UNLV were runner-ups.
1992 - Duke beat Michigan. Bobby Hurley was MVP. Indiana and Cincinnati were runner-ups.
1993 - North Carolina beat Michigan. Donald Williams was MVP. Kentucky and Kansas were runner-ups.
1994 - Arkansas beat Duke. Corliss Williamson was MVP. Arizona and Florida were runner-ups.
1995 - UCLA beat Arkansas. Ed O'Bannon was MVP. North Carolina and Oklahoma State were runner-ups.
1996 - Kentucky beat Syracuse. Tony Delk was MVP. Massachusetts and Mississippi State were runner-ups.
1997 - Arizona beat Kentucky. Miles Simon was MVP. Minnesota and North Carolina were runner-ups.
1998 - Kentucky beat Utah. Jeff Sheppard was MVP. North Carolina and Stanford were runner-ups.
1999 - Connecticut beat Duke. Richard Hamilton was MVP. Michigan State and Ohio State were runner-ups.
2000 - Michigan State beat Florida. Mateen Cleaves was MVP. North Carolina and Wisconsin were runner-ups.
2001 - Duke beat Arizona. Shane Battier was MVP. Michigan State and Maryland were runner-ups.
2002 - Maryland beat Indiana. Juan Dixon was MVP. Kansas and Oklahoma were runner-ups.
2003 - Syracuse beat Kansas. Carmelo Anthony was MVP. Texas and Marquette were runner-ups.
2004 - Connecticut beat Georgia Tech. Emeka Okafor was MVP. Duke and Oklahoma State were runner-ups.
2005 - North Carolina beat Illinois. Sean May was MVP. Louisville and Michigan State were runner-ups.
2006 - Florida beat UCLA. Joakim Noah was MVP. LSU and George Mason were runner-ups.
2007 - Florida beat Ohio State. Corey Brewer was MVP. UCLA and Georgetown were runner-ups.
2008 - Kansas defeats Memphis. Mario Chalmers was MVP. North Carolina and UCLA were runner-ups.
2009 - North Carolina defeats Michigan State. Wayne Ellington was MVP. Villanova and Connecticut were runner-ups.
2010 - Duke defeats Butler. Kyle Singler was MVP. Michigan State and West Virginia were runner-ups.
2011 - Connecticut defeats Butler. Kemba Walker was the MVP. VCU and Kentucky were runner-ups.
2012 - Kentucky defeats Kansas. Anthony Davis was the MVP. Louisville and Ohio State were runner-ups.
2013 - Louisville defeats Michigan. Luke Hancock was the MVP. Wichita State and Syracuse were runner-ups.
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