AP Poll Rank Trend for Eventual Champions

Most of the past NCAA Tournament champions were ranked in the top 12 of the AP poll 7 weeks before the first week of the tournament.  Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, only 5 out of 36 eventual champions were not ranked so.  And if we ignore the first four crazy years, only 2 of the last 32 champions were not in the top 12 seven weeks before the tournament.

The following table shows the AP Poll rank for the championship team each week leading up to the NCAA Tournament.

YearChampT-7T-6T-5T-4T-3T-2T-1
2021Baylor2222232
2019Virginia3343222
2018Villanova1113342
2017North Carolina912810856
2016Villanova3111336
2015Duke4444432
2014ConnecticutNR222421NR1921
2013Louisville121112101084
2012Kentucky1111111
2011Connecticut561013141621
2010Duke81086544
2009North Carolina5333421
2008Kansas2434654
2007Florida1111356
2006Florida58710121711
2005North Carolina3224222
2004Connecticut6558879
2003Syracuse24191715151211
2002Maryland3333224
2001Duke2233423
2000Michigan State8665752
1999Connecticut2212243
1998Kentucky7787877
1997Arizona11101411131512
1996Kentucky2222211
1995UCLA4766211
1994Arkansas5631111
1993North Carolina3663311
1992Duke1111111
1991Duke9765786
1990UNLV51297423
1989Michigan1011101313108
1988KansasNRNRNRNRNRNRNR
1987Indiana3422234
1986Louisville13181619161311
1985Villanova14181916NRNRNR