MINNEAPOLIS -- The ACC was set up to dominate the 2019 NCAA Tournament with three No. 1 seeds and two others seeded fourth in their respective regions. Only Virginia, the No. 2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament remains, however.
Duke, the overall No. 1 and the pick of many to win the NCAA Tournament, came up short in the regional final to Michigan State. North Carolina lost in the Sweet 16 to Auburn. Both the Spartans and Tigers made it to Minnesota. Louisville and Syracuse also lost in their white uniforms.
In terms of total wins versus expectation, it has been a disappointing tournament for the ACC. The league has eight fewer wins that it would have if the bracket had played out with the higher seeded team winning every game. Of course, Virginia can reduce that number to six and still give the ACC the national title.
The Big Ten, which is looking for its first national title since Michigan State took home the hardware in 2000, is represented in the Final Four by the Spartans again. It is coach Tom Izzo's eighth Final Four appearance.
Since that 2000 title, the league has had seven teams lose the championship game, including Michigan last season and Michigan State in 2009. There have also been six other Big Ten teams lose in the national semifinals. Four of those losses belong to the Spartans, so MSU feels like it's due.
Izzo is hungry for another title. He was asked about critics saying he needs a second title to validate his time at Michigan State.
"I'd say they're right because I need to validate it for me," Izzo said. "I don't need to validate it for them. I have my own goals. And I have my own aspirations of what I want to do. And what I want to do is put Michigan State University in rare air -- two national championships by the same school starts to separate you from the 40-some that have won one."
Actually, only 20 teams have exactly one NCAA Tournament title, but you get his point.
Purdue nearly joined the Spartans here, but fell in overtime to Virginia in the Elite Eight in a game that will be remembered for a long time for a game tying shot by Mamadi Diakite as the clock expired in regulation and an otherworldly 42-point performance by the Boilermakers Carsen Edwards.
The Big Ten and the much maligned Pac -12 have tied for winning the most games above their expected win total. Each has won three more games than anticipated according to seed. Oregon's hot run to a league title and a Sweet 16 led the Pac-12's better than expected performance.
Texas Tech is looking to become just the third current member of the Big 12 to win a national title. Kansas has won three, most recently in 2008. Oklahoma State also has two championships, but those came in 1945 and 1946.
Auburn would be the fourth current member of the SEC with an NCAA Tournament title if the Tigers come through. Kentucky has eight championships, last winning in 2012. Florida won back to back titles in 2006 and 2007 and Arkansas won the championship in 1994.
Records by conference
|Conference (teams)||Record||Expected record|
|Big Ten (8)||13-7||10-8|
|West Coast (2)||3-2||4-2|
|Big 12 (6)||7-5||7-6|
|Ohio Valley (2)||2-2||1-2|
|Atlantic Sun (1)||1-1||0-1|
|Big West (1)||1-1||0-1|
|Big East (4)||1-4||2-4|
|Atlantic 10 (2)||0-2||1-1|
|Mountain West (2)||0-2||2-2|
Note: America East, Big Sky, Big South, Colonial, Conference USA, Horizon, Ivy League, MAAC, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Patriot, Southland, Sun Belt, SWAC, WAC were all 0-1 in the NCAA Tournament