2022 NCAA Tournament records by conference: ACC overperforms, while SEC falls short during March Madness

The college basketball regular season is a marathon. Teams play 30-35 games doing the best they can in hopes of earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament Selection Committee uses regular season performance to select and seed the field.

However, once the support is created, a new season begins. The number to the left of a team name is trivial. Teams no longer have months to prove themselves. One loss and your season is over. There is no time to recover from an injury. No waiting for the next game when you have a bad matchup. It is surviving and advancing.

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

So it should come as no surprise that if the team’s performance didn’t mirror the regular season, then the conference’s performance didn’t either. Here’s a breakdown of how each conference fared. In parentheses is the number of teams from that conference, their overall tournament record, and the number of wins against top seeds vs. losses against underseeds.

Atlantic Metro (1, 3-1, 3-0): One of the best stories of the tournament was the run of 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 all season. The selection committee awarded the Blue Devils a No. 2 seed, but the next highest seed was North Carolina. However, they both made it to the Final Four and Miami made it to the Elite Eight as the No. 10 seed. This was the most significant difference between regular season performance and tournament performance it could get.

Big 12 (6, 13-5, 3-1): It was a solid Big 12 performance, including Kansas’ six-game run to a national title. Iowa State was a team that some thought shouldn’t have been on the field at all, but the No. 11 seed Cyclones made it to the Sweet 16. The only disappointment was that No. 1 seed Baylor fell in the round. 32 against eventual finalist North. Carolina

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

Pac-12 (3, 4-3, 0-3): Arizona, UCLA and USC each lost to lower-ranked teams. The Trojans did not escape Miami in their first round game. The others made it to the Sweet 16, but they were upset at the time. The Bruins were another casualty of North Carolina’s run to the finals.

Great East (6, 7-6, 1-2): The Big East was a mixed bag. Villanova reached 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 beaten in the first round by New Mexico State. The other three teams in the league were in 8-9 games and none got past the second round.

Big ten (9, 9-9, 3-5): There were plenty of complaints that the Big Ten had nine teams in the field, but only two for the Sweet 16. The league technically underperformed because three teams were seeded for the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t atrocious. No teams were seeded for the Elite Eight and none made it there. Still, the door was thrown wide open for No. 3 seed Purdue to reach the Final Four after the top two seeds in the East region were bounced before the Sweet 16, but the Boilermakers were beaten by the No. 15 seed, Saint Peter’s. Michigan was the only bright spot in the conference, reaching the Sweet 16 as the No. 11 seed. The conference is still searching 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 tied the mark for the most the league has ever put on the field. However, Gonzaga fell short again in his fifth attempt as the No. 1 seed; in fact, the Bulldogs were No. 1 overall 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 snapped that streak against UConn and gave Arkansas a good fight before bowing out.

SWAC, horizon (1-1, 0-0): Each league won a Top Four game among the No. 16 seeds.

SECOND (6, 5-6, 1-5): This was one of the strongest leagues in the regular season, especially at the top, but it was a disaster once the tournament started. All six teams were seeded sixth or better, but only Arkansas played at their seed level. In fact, the Hogs did 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 was ranked No. 7, so it’s no surprise the Racers folded in the second round. However, it was surprising that they retreated to San Pedro.

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

West Mountain (4, 0-4, 0-4): It was a banner regular season for Mountain West. The conference fielded four teams in the NCAA Tournament, the most since fielding five in 2013. However, things did not go well once the tournament began. All four teams lost their opening games to lower-ranked teams.

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