Thursday, April 18, 2024
spot_img

Sweet 16 by conference: ACC, Big East shine in 2024 NCAA Tournament bracket with strong March Madness showings

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When the dust settled on Selection Sunday, two of college basketball’s “Big Six” conferences were left with more significant gripes than the rest. Those leagues — the Big East and ACC — finished the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament with a combined record of 14-1.

All seven teams from the two conferences that were part of the first round reached the Sweet 16. The only loss from either conference was from No. 10 seed Virginia, which was eliminated in the First Four. 

While UVa crept in — perhaps undeservedly — as a No. 10 seed, ACC bubble teams Pitt and Wake Forest were left out. Snubs were even more significant for the Big East, which had Seton Hall, St. John’s and Providence left on the wrong side of the bubble.

“There should have been five or six Big East teams in this tournament,” UConn coach Dan Hurley said after the No. 1 seed Huskies beat No. 9 seed Northwestern 75-58 on Sunday in the second round. “You’ve seen how other leagues that got the bids that our league deserved have underperformed.”

No other leagues aside from the ACC and Big East have more than two teams in the Sweet 16, despite the fact that the Big 12 (8), SEC (8), Big Ten (6) and Mountain West (6) each placed more in the 68-team field than the ACC (5) and Big East (3).

The ACC’s strong NCAA Tournament showing is a particularly interesting twist. No. 6 seed Clemson and No. 11 seed NC State are the two worst-seeded teams remaining in the bracket but aren’t playing like underdogs as both have knocked out teams from better-represented conferences. 

NC State eliminated No. 6 seed Texas Tech of the Big 12 in the first round while Clemson took out No. 11 seed New Mexico from the Mountain West and No. 3 seed Baylor from the Big 12 on the tournament’s first weekend.

“I’m not surprised.” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “I think we have a terrific league. I’ve been outspoken about disagreeing with some of the metrics and the way teams are judged.”

The Tigers limped into the Big Dance following three losses in their final four games before Selection Sunday, while the Wolfpack needed five wins in five days at the ACC Tournament to even qualify.

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 by conference

Here are the reams remaining from each conferences and the overall record of each league in NCAA Tournament action entering the Sweet 16:

ACC (4): No. 1 seed North Carolina, No. 4 seed Duke, No. 6 seed Clemson, No. 11 seed NC State
Overall record: 8-1

Big East (3): No. 1 seed UConn, No. 2 seed Marquette, No. 3 seed Creighton
Overall record: 6-0

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.