2022 NCAA Event information by convention: ACC overperforms, whereas SEC falls quick throughout March Insanity

The college basketball regular season is a marathon. Teams play 30-35 games doing as well as they can with the hopes of getting a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Regular-season performance is used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee to select and seed the field.

Once the bracket is created, however, a new season begins. The number to the left of a team’s name is trivial. Teams no longer have months to provide themselves. One loss and their season is over. There is no time to recover from an injury. There is no waiting for the next game when you get a bad matchup. It’s survive and advance.

The 2022 NCAA Tournament often did not reflect regular-season performance. Two double-digit seeds made the Elite Eight and two more got as far as the Sweet 16. A No. 8 seed (North Carolina) played for the national championship.

It should be no surprise, then, that if team performance did not reflect the regular season, then conference performance didn’t, either. Here is a breakdown of how each conference fared. In parenthesis are the number of teams from that conference, its overall tournament record and the number of wins against higher seeds vs. losses against lower seeds.

Metro Atlantic (1, 3-1, 3-0): One of the best stories of the tournament was the run by No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s to the Elite Eight. The Peacocks beat No. 2 seed Kentucky, No. 7 seed Murray State and No. 3 seed Purdue along the way before losing to North Carolina. In a tournament of great stories, this one will be talked about for years.

ACC (5, 14-5, 7-1): The ACC had its worst regular season in recent memory. Duke was significantly better than anyone else in the league over the course of the entire season. The selection committee awarded the Blue Devils a No. 2 seed, but the next highest seed was North Carolina. However, both made the Final Four and Miami got to the Elite Eight as a No. 10 seed. This was about as significant of a difference between regular-season performance and tournament performance as you could get.

Big 12 (6, 13-5, 3-1): It was a solid performance from the Big 12, which included Kansas’ six-game run to a national title. Iowa State was a team that some thought should not have been in the field at all, but the No. 11 seed Cyclones got to the Sweet 16. The only disappointment was No. 1 seed Baylor falling in the Round of 32 to eventual finalist North Carolina.

Americans (2, 4-2, 3-0): The American Athletic Conference only had two teams, but each won a game as a lower-seeded team. Memphis beat Boise State and gave Gonzaga everything he wanted before falling. No. 5 seed Houston beat Illinois and top-seeded Arizona before falling to Villanova in the Elite Eight.

Pac-12 (3, 4-3, 0-3): Arizona, UCLA and USC each lost to lower-seeded teams. The Trojans did not escape Miami in their opening-round game. The others each made the Sweet 16, but were upset at that point. The Bruins were another victim of North Carolina’s run to the end.

Big East (6, 7-6, 1-2): The Big East was a mixed bag. Villanova made it to the Final Four before losing to Kansas in the semifinal on Saturday night. Providence also lost to the Jayhawks, but in the Sweet 16. No. 5 seed UConn was upset in the first round by New Mexico State. The league’s other three teams were in 8-9 games and none got past the second round.

Big Ten (9, 9-9, 3-5): There was a lot of complaining about the Big Ten getting nine teams in the field but only two to the Sweet 16. The league technically underperformed because three teams were seeded to the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t egregious. No teams were seeded for the Elite Eight and none got there. Still, the door was opened wide for No. 3 seed Purdue to get to the Final Four after the top two seeds in the East region were bounced before the Sweet 16, but the Boilermakers were undone by No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s. Michigan was the lone bright spot for the conference, reaching the Sweet 16 as a No. 11 seed. The conference is still looking for its first title since 2000.

West Coast (3, 3-3, 0-1): The West Coast Conference had a strong regular season, sending three teams to the NCAA Tournament. That matched the mark for the most the league has ever put in the field. However, Gonzaga came up short again in his fifth try as a No. 1 seed; in fact, the Bulldogs were the overall No. 1 for the second straight season. This time, they lost in the Sweet 16 to Arkansas.

WAC (1, 1-1, 1-0): New Mexico State had not won an NCAA Tournament game since 1993, covering a total of 11 appearances. The Aggies finally broke that streak against UConn and gave Arkansas a good fight before bowing out.

SWAC, Horizon (1-1, 0-0): Each league won a First Four game between No. 16 seeds.

SEC (6, 5-6, 1-5): This was one of the strongest leagues in regular-season play, especially at the top, but it was a disaster once tournament play started. All six teams were seeded sixth or better, but only Arkansas played to the level of its seed. In fact, the Hogs did one better than that. The other five teams, including No. 1 seed Auburn, lost to double-digit seeds.

Ohio Valley (1, 1-1, 0-1): Murray State had a tremendous regular season and earned a No. 7 seed, so it is not surprising that the Racers bowed out in the second round. However, it was surprising that they bowed out to Saint Peter’s.

A-10 (2, 1-2, 1-0): Richmond stole a bid by winning the conference tournament, then knocked No. 5 seed Iowa out in the first round. No. 10 seed Davidson nearly took down Michigan State in the opening round as well, but fell a point short.

Mountain West (4, 0-4, 0-4): It was a regular-season banner for the Mountain West. The conference put four teams in the NCAA Tournament, the most since placing five in the field in 2013. Things did not go well once the tournament started, though. All four teams lost their first games to lower-seeded teams.

Kansas Jayhawks championship gear released

In historic fashion, the Jayhawks have won their first national title since 2008. You can now buy Kansas championship shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies, and much more to celebrate the historic win. Get gear here now.

We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.