Ranking the Power Five Conferences: How Have They Stacked Up in March?

Sam Lance, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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The first week of March Madness has come and gone, and the Sweet 16 is set. But which power five conference has done the most damage so far?

  1. ACC

Overall Tournament Record: 11-2

Teams in Sweet 16: Florida State, Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

The ACC is regarded as the strongest basketball conference, and this year is no exception. With three No.1 seeds, the conference was set to run a tear through March. Duke had a scare with UCF, but freshman star Zion Williamson had a clutch and-one late game to tie the game. Syracuse was a huge disappointment for the ACC and lost the first round 8-9 seed game to Baylor. Still, with a staggering five teams in the Sweet 16, there’s no doubt the ACC has had the biggest impact on March.

  1. Big 10

Overall Tournament Record: 10-5

Teams in Sweet 16: Purdue, Michigan, Michigan St.

The Big 10 had the biggest pool of teams in the bracket out of any conference. All eight teams won their first round game besides five seeded Wisconsin, which shows the depth of the conference. Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio State were all low seeds with big upsets, and Iowa even took Tennessee, a championship contender, to overtime in the second round. Michigan, Michigan St. and Purdue have all been impressive so far and are hoping for a Final Four push.

  1.  SEC

Overall Tournament Record: 9-3

Teams in Sweet 16: Kentucky, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU

Kentucky is always in the thick of it come March, usually as the only SEC team making an impact. However, this year they are accompanied by three other high-seeded SEC teams who have had some impressive victories. Auburn nearly escaped the 5-12 upset against New Mexico State and then crushed four-seeded Kansas. The SEC has also gathered quality wins against Maryland, Wofford, Iowa and Nevada, making them one of the best conferences so far in March.

  1. Pac 12

Overall Tournament Record: 4-2

Teams in Sweet 16: Oregon

Many of the Pac 12 Powerhouses like UCLA and Arizona struggled this year. The Pac 12 was the least represented power five conference in the tournament with only three teams, and both Oregon and Washington picked up high quality wins in the first round. The 12-seeded Ducks have made an improbable push to the Sweet 16 and are the lowest seed left in the field.

  1. Big 12

Overall Tournament Record: 5-5

Teams in Sweet 16: Texas Tech

And now for the most disappointing conference in March: the Big 12. The regular season champion Kansas St. was upset by 13 seed UC Irvine first round, and that wasn’t the only Big 12 team with an upset loss. Kansas (4) lost to Auburn (5) and Iowa State (6) was defeated by Ohio St. (11). Overall this year the Big 12 was down, and having that carry over in March was no surprise.

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