Harold Shelton III, BTN Studio Researcher, March 20, 2017

The Big Ten has three teams in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year and for the third time in the last four years. It?s the most Sweet 16 teams the conference has had in a year since it put four in the regional semis in 2013.

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Sweet 16 teams by conference
Big Ten 3 (Purdue, Michigan, Wisconsin)
Big 12 3 (Kansas, Baylor, West Virginia)
Pac-12 3 (Arizona, UCLA, Oregon)
SEC 3 (Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina)
Big East 2 (Butler, Xavier)
West Coast 1 (Gonzaga)
ACC 1 (North Carolina)

The impressive thing about the Big Ten?s run is that Michigan and Wisconsin had to knock off the overall No. 1 seed and a No. 2 seed to get there. If you look at the teams remaining, you?ll see that the Big Ten has a No. 7 and a No. 8 seed reach the Sweet 16, the only conference with multiple teams seeded 7th or lower . How rare is that? Since seeding began in 1979, this is the first time the Big Ten has had multiple teams reach the Sweet 16 seeded 7th or lower in a single NCAA Tournament. It?s only the sixth time it?s happened by any conference in the last 30 years.

Multiple teams seeded 7th or lower to reach Sweet 16
2017 Big Ten 7 Michigan 8 Wisconsin
2014 SEC 8 Kentucky 11 Tennessee
2008 Big East 7 West Virginia 12 Villanova
2006 Missouri Valley 7 Wichita State 13 Bradley
1996 SEC 8 Georgia 12 Arkansas
1993 Atlantic 10 7 Temple 12 George Washington

Twelve of the top overall 16 teams on the seed list advanced to the Sweet 16. Villanova, Duke, Louisville and Florida State were the four schools that didn?t. However, no other team in the Top 25 made it this far. South Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin squeaked inside the top 30 while Xavier was the extreme outlier, ranked 41st entering the tournament, according to the committee.

Sweet 16 teams remaining by overall seed list
2. Kansas
3. North Carolina
4. Gonzaga
5. Kentucky
6. Arizona
9. Oregon
11. UCLA
12. Baylor
13. Butler
14. Florida
15. West Virginia
16. Purdue
26. South Carolina
27. Michigan
29. Wisconsin
41. Xavier

If all three Big Ten teams lose before Saturday, it?ll be the 1st time that the conference didn?t field a team in the Elite Eight in consecutive seasons since 1995-96. The conference has had at least one team reach the Elite Eight in 14 of the previous 20 seasons.




  • First Sweet 16 appearance since 2010
  • Looking for first Elite Eight appearance since 2000
  • Looking for first Final Four appearance since 1980
  • Caleb Swanigan: 28 double-doubles this season are tied for fourth most in last 20 seasons, just two behind leader Blake Griffin


  • Third Sweet 16 appearance in last five years (no Sweet 16 appearances from 1995-2012)
  • Looking for first Elite Eight appearance since 2014
  • Looking for first Final Four appearance since 2013
  • Fifth Sweet 16 appearance for John Beilein (3 at Michigan, 2 at West Virginia)


  • Fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance (only school in nation to do so)
  • Sixth Sweet 16 appearance in last 7 seasons (only school to do so)
  • Senior class is 13-3 in NCAA Tournament games; the 13 wins pace the nation
  • Looking for third Elite Eight appearance in last four seasons (went to 2 Elite Eight?s in school history before 2014)
  • Looking for third Final Four appearance in last four seasons (went to 1 Final Four in school history before 2014)
  • Greg Gard: Third coach in last 20 years to make Sweet 16 in first two seasons as a head coach, joining UCLA's Steve Lavin and Gonzaga's Mark Few