NCAA tournament conference records show ACC flourishing, others floundering at Sweet 16


The ACC and Big East were the big winners during the opening weekend of the 2024 men’s NCAA tournament. Nearly half the remaining Sweet 16 comes from those two conferences as schools from the ACC and Big East were a combined 7-0 in the Round of 32.

Things weren’t so great for the Big 12 and SEC. Despite both leagues getting eight bids and four top-four seeds each, the Big 12 and SEC each have two teams remaining.

We broke down conference performance after the round of 64. Here’s an updated look at the 10 multi-bid conferences and how they fared in the tournament’s first weekend. The conference breakdown for the Sweet 16 is below.

ACC: 4

Big East: 3

Big Ten: 2

Big 12: 2

SEC: 2

Mountain West: 1

Pac-12: 1

WCC: 1


American

Bids: 2

2024 Record: 0-2

2023 Record: 2-2

The American went winless in 2024 with both teams getting bounced in the first round. After a Final Four run last season, No. 8 seed Florida Atlantic fell in overtime against Northwestern. UAB, a scrappy No. 12 seed, also fell to San Diego State.

ACC

Bids: 5

2nd Round Record: 4-0

2024 Record: 8-1

2023 Record: 7-5

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, N.C. State

One of the major first-weekend winners of the tournament was the ACC. After Virginia embarrassed the league with its putrid First Four performance, the ACC ran off eight straight tournament wins. North Carolina looked strong as a No. 1 seed, Duke played with confidence in sizable wins and Clemson and N.C. State advanced by knocking out No. 3 seeds.

Not many would have predicted that this season’s ACC would have a quarter of the field left heading into the second weekend. But the ACC has delivered so far in March.

Atlantic 10

Bids: 2

2nd Round Record: 0-2

2024 Record: 2-2

2023 Record: 0-1

The A-10 is officially bounced from March Madness with two double-digit second-round defeats. Dayton couldn’t last with No. 2 seed Arizona while Duquesne had trouble keeping pace with No. 3 seed Illinois. Dayton at least has the memory of a giant second-half comeback win over Nevada. Duquesne gave the tournament one of its biggest first-round upsets with a win over No. 6 seed BYU.

Big 12

Bids: 8

2nd Round Record: 2-3

2024 Record: 7-6

2023 Record: 9-7

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: Houston, Iowa State

Armed with eight bids after a strong regular season, the Big 12 has underwhelmed with a bad second-round showing.. While No. 1 seed Houston and No. 2 seed Iowa State continue to win, Baylor and Kansas lost as higher seeds and Texas lost to the coach it fired, Rick Barnes.

A deeper run from either Houston or Iowa State could remedy a lot of the early exits, but the Big 12 had to be hoping for more than two Sweet 16 teams with eight bids and four top-four seeds.

Big East

Bids: 3

2nd Round Record: 3-0

2024 Record: 6-0

2023 Record: 12-4

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: UConn, Marquette, Creighton

The Big East continues to roll in March with all three top-3 seeds advancing to the Sweet 16. UConn looks every bit like the favorite to repeat after two blowout wins. Marquette and Creighton also notched impressive wins by showing more resiliency in close second-round matchups.

Big Ten

Bids: 6

2nd Round Record: 2-2

2024 Record: 6-4

2023 Record: 6-8

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: Purdue, Illinois

Strong representation from No. 1 seed Purdue and No. 3 seed Illinois continued as both teams rolled through the first weekend. Following an admirable overtime win over Florida Atlantic, No. 9 seed Northwestern was eliminated by No. 1 seed UConn. Michigan State also saw its season end at the hands of a No. 1 seed in its loss to North Carolina.

The Big Ten had two higher seeds lose in the first round as well when Wisconsin and Nebraska were bounced. But getting its two strongest teams through is the most important storyline. Trying to break the national title drought of nearly 25 years with two very good teams remaining is the Big Ten’s priority at this point.

Mountain West

Bids: 6

2nd Round Record: 1-1

2024 Record: 4-5

2023 Record: 5-4

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: San Diego State

Another weak showing from the Mountain West in the NCAA tournament with five out of six teams already getting eliminated. San Diego State is headed back to the Sweet 16 after last season’s runner-up finish. And, just like last season, they’ll play UConn in the NCAA tournament. The Aztecs have taken full advantage of upsets by playing a No. 13 seed in the second round each of the last two years. Utah State deserves credit for a solid first-round win over TCU before getting run over by No. 1 seed Purdue in the second round.

The rest of the Mountain West entries, New Mexico, Colorado State, Boise State and Nevada, all were eliminated in the first two days.

Pac-12

Bids: 4

2nd Round Record: 1-3

2024 Record: 6-3

2023 Record: 3-4

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: Arizona, Washington State, Colorado, Oregon

The Pac-12 finally lost some steam after a very solid 5-0 start. Three out of four teams were bounced in the Round of 32.

Arizona remains as a solid No. 2 seed after a win over Dayton. Washington State, Colorado and Oregon were all eliminated by higher seeds. It’s strange the Pac-12 slowly shed all of its teams knowing we won’t see many of these teams in the league by next season.

SEC

Bids: 8

2nd Round Record: 2-1

2024 Record: 5-6

2023 Record: 9-8

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: Tennessee, Alabama, Texas A&M

The SEC can’t be pleased with only two teams reaching the Sweet 16 after eight bids.

Top-four seeds Kentucky and Auburn suffered shocking first-round defeats. South Carolina, Florida and Mississippi State were also higher seeds who lost in the opening days.

Tennessee and Alabama did its part to advance through as top-four seeds. Texas A&M delivered a strong showing against No. 1 seed Houston but ultimately fell in overtime.

But the SEC had a miserable opening weekend. A conference doing all it can to increase its notoriety in basketball doesn’t want so many early upsets.

WCC

Bids: 2

2nd Round Record: 1-0

2024 Record: 2-1

2023 Record: 4-2

Still dancing in the Sweet 16: Gonzaga

For the ninth consecutive year, Gonzaga reached the Sweet 16. After an impressive win over No. 4 seed Kansas, the Bulldogs reached the second weekend for a Maui Invitational rematch with No. 1 seed Purdue. After a string of early tournament exits in the late 2000s, Gonzaga’s made at least the Round of 32 every year since 2008.



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