Bracketology: Which conferences are doing the best during March Madness

College basketball has been on a season-long bender, and it certainly hasn’t sobered up for the NCAA Tournament.

Upsets littered the regular season, creating a bracket with teams below the usual standard from top to bottom. With even less separation than usual in the middle of the bracket, it only makes sense that we have had more upsets than usual. It makes you wonder if you can even use the word “upset” any more.

Surely you can with Middle Tennessee State’s stunning win over Michigan State. The Spartans shot 56% and still lost. They weren’t even all that bad, but the Blue Raiders were playing at what former Purdue coach Gene Keady called the “magic level.” Sometimes, it’s just the other team’s day. That was one of two upsets suffered by the Big Ten. Purdue gagged away a 13-point lead with 3:30 to go and lost in double overtime to Little Rock.

The Big 12 and Pac-12, the two best leagues in the regular season, have taken it on the chin in the tournament. In the Pac-12’s defense, Cal lost two starters the day before their game due to injury and Oregon State was playing shorthanded already. Arizona isn’t off the hook though. Wichita State beat Sean Miller’s team a lot worse than the 10-point margin would indicate. It was a rough 24 hours for the Millers, as Archie’s team got beat by Syracuse.

West Virginia and Baylor got drilled by Stephen F. Austin and Yale respectively. Yale was playing shorthanded, which makes their win over the Bears especially head-scratching. Texas lost when Paul Jesperson of Northern Iowa hit a half-court shot at the buzzer. At the same time, Cincinnati was having a game-tying dunk at the buzzer wiped off because it was a hair too late. That was an appropriate ending for a wild first round.

Needless to say, it was a record year for upsets in the opening round. It was the first time ever that a 13-, 14- and 15-seed won on the same day. There are a record number double-digit seeds in the second round. We had everything but a No. 16 seed beating a No. 1 seed. Can’t wait to see what this weekend has in store.

The first record is the league’s record in tournament games. The second record is “upsets”: wins as a lower seed-losses as a higher seed. Teams have to be more than one seed apart to count in the upset record.

Missouri Valley: 3-0, 2-0

Big West: 1-0, 1-0

Conference USA: 1-0, 1-0

Ivy League: 1-0, 1-0

Southland: 1-0, 1-0

Sun Belt: 1-0, 1-0

West Coast: 1-0, 1-0

ACC: 6-1, 1-0

Big East: 4-1, 0-1

A-10: 2-1, 1-1

SEC: 2-1, 0-0

Big Ten: 5-3, 0-2

Atlantic Sun: 1-1, 0-0

Patriot: 1-1, 0-0

Big 12: 3-4, 0-3

Pac-12: 2-5, 0-3

American: 1-3, 0-0

15 other conferences: 0-1, 0-0

Virginia had an easy time vs. Hampton in the first round. (USATSI)
Virginia had an easy time vs. Hampton in the first round. (USATSI)

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