The 2016 NCAA Tournament is down to the Sweet 16 teams so here is a look at the college basketball conferences with the most teams in the Sweet 16. One of the conferences set a record in 2016 for the most teams in the Sweet 16 and the conference was actually denied a chance to beat even that because Louisville voluntarily banned itself from post-season play this season.
Three college basketball conferences have at least three teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and you have to say those are the three best conferences in college basketball this season. The odds are pretty good the winner of the 2016 NCAA Tournament will be one of the teams from those three conferences.
1. ACC – 6 teams and 12-1 overall record
Without any doubt the ACC is the most dominant conference in the 2016 NCAA Tournament as the seven ACC teams who made the tournament are a combined 12-1 and a record six ACC teams are in the Sweet 16. North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Miami, Notre Dame and Syracuse have all won two games to advance to the Sweet 16.
The only ACC team to lose so far is Pitt. None of the six ACC teams will play each other in the Sweet 16 so the ACC could end up with six teams in the Elite Eight and that would be something. Each game a team plays in is worth at least $1.6 million in 2016 so the ACC is already guaranteed to earn at least $30.4 million from the 2016 NCAA Tournament and will probably end up earning over $40 million.
2. Big Ten – 3 teams and 8-4 overall record
The Big Ten got seven teams into the Big Dance and three of them, Indiana, Maryland and Wisconsin, have advanced to the Sweet 16. Michigan State’s first round loss was a shocker but overall the Big Ten has done pretty good in the 2016 NCAA Tournament and Indiana’s win over Kentucky was a very good one as Kentucky had advanced to the Elite Eight in each of the last five seasons.
3. Big 12 – 3 teams and 6-4 overall record
The Big 12 also got seven teams into the 2016 NCAA Tournament and three of them, Kansas, Iowa State and Oklahoma, have advanced to the Sweet 16. Baylor and West Virginia’s losses as big favorites were embarrassing but the three remaining Big 12 teams should be tough outs going forward. Texas Tech and Texas also lost in the first round and Texas’ loss was by a half-court heave that went in.
T-4. Pac-12 – 1 teams and 3-6 overall record
The Pac-12 is having a terrible 2016 NCAA Tournament. Cal, USC, Oregon State, Colorado and Arizona all lost in the first round. Utah won its first round game but then lost to Gonzaga in round two. Only #1 seed Oregon is left in the tournament for the Pac-12.
T-4. SEC – 1 team and 3-2 overall record
The SEC only got three teams into the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Vanderbilt badly lost its play-in game to Wichita State. Kentucky won its first game but then lost in round two to a pretty good Indiana team. Texas A&M easily beat Green Bay in round one but then needed an absolute miracle and a self-destructing implosion by Northern Iowa in round two to make it to the Sweet 16.
T-4. Big East – 1 team and 5-4 overall record
The Big East got five teams into the 2016 NCAA Tournament but just Villanova advanced to the Sweet 16. Butler, Providence and Xavier all won their first round games but lost in the second round. Seton Hall lost in the first round.
T-4. West Coast – 1 team and 2-0 overall record
The West Coast conference got just one team into the Big Dance but Gonzaga has won both its games to advance to the Sweet 16 where they will play Syracuse. There is no doubt now that Saint Mary’s deserved an at-large bid from this league especially over teams like Vanderbilt and Tulsa.
T-8. AAC – 0 teams and 1-4 overall record
The AAC got four teams into the tournament but only UConn won a game. Cincinnati, Temple and an undeserving Tulsa all lost their first round games. UConn beat Colorado in the first round but then lost in round two to Kansas. In fairness to the AAC, SMU went 25-5 this season but was banned from post-season play.
T-8. A-10 – 0 teams and 2-3 overall record
The Atlantic 10 got three teams into the tournament. Dayton lost its first round game but VCU and St. Joe’s both advanced to the second round where they both lost.
T-8. Missouri Valley – 0 teams and 3-2 overall record
The Missouri Valley conference got two teams into the Big Dance with Wichita State and Northern Iowa. Wichita State won it’s play-in game vs Vanderbilt and then upset Arizona in round one but lost a tough one to Miami in round two. Northern Iowa upset Texas in round one with a miracle half-point buzzer beater but then blew a big lead in the last minute of its game vs Texas A&M in round two and lost in double OT.