The Most Recent Champ – UW-Oshkosh

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With an average margin of victory of nearly 14 points, the UW-Oshkosh Titans rolled to the NCAA Division III Men’s National Title last season. That’s a pretty dominant run but it was on the heels of losses in two of their last three games including a 20-point loss in the WIAC semifinals. That didn’t make them an obvious pick for the title going in to the tournament but let’s take a look at how their overall numbers compare to the other recent champions.

Championship Stats

In True Shooting Percentage (59.2% Off; 50.2% Def), Effective Field Goal Percentage (55.7% Off; 46.9% Def) and Points Per Possession (1.198 Off; 0.977 Def), the Titans matched up almost exactly to the average of the last ten champions on both the offensive and defensive sides. By almost exactly, we’re talking within 10 one/thousandths of a point in four of those six numbers. Some of those numbers got a boost from their dominant tournament run but they probably weren’t far off after a very good regular season.

Big Differences

The Titans’ roster lives up to their nickname sporting 5 players 6’7″ or taller (only one of which graduated this past May). That translated to a block percentage of over 11% – the highest since Amherst in 2013. The size advantage also led to some dominant rebounding numbers. The overall rebounding percentage of 56.1% and defensive rebounding percentage of 79.0% were the highest over the last decade. A high defensive rebounding percentage by a team also means the opponents’ offensive rebounding percentage was a low of the last decade at just 21.0%.

In case you thought the size advantage would mean they didn’t rely on the three-pointer, the Titans had the highest percentage of points from three-pointers, 35.9%, of any team of the last decade.

So, they not only shot the ball as effectively as any champion of the last decade but they made it particularly difficult for opponents to shoot well and almost impossible to get second chance points. Any coach or fan will tell you that’s a recipe for a team very difficult to beat. And outside of a couple of bumps late in the year, the UW-Oshkosh Titans used that recipe very effectively to win a national title.