Dienhart: 16 Big Ten facts entering the Sweet 16
The NCAA tourney is down to 16 schools. And two come from the Big Ten: No. 2 Purdue and No. 3 Michigan.
Here are 16 sweet facts to prime the pump for this week’s action.
1. The Big Ten is looking for its first national title since Michigan State cut down the nets after the 1999-2000 season, when the Spartans beat Florida and coach Billy Donovan in the Hoosier Dome.
2. For the 11th straight year, the Big Ten has multiple teams in the Sweet 16, which is the longest active streak in college basketball. Michigan is in the regional semifinal round for the fourth time in the past six years, while Purdue will compete in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year.
3. The Big Ten has sent eight teams to the Elite Eight in the last six NCAA Tournaments. Purdue was last there in 2000. Michigan last made it to the Round of Eight in 2014.
4. Current Big Ten schools have combined for 51 Final Four appearances, including seven in the last nine seasons.
5. Matt Painter’s four NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances over the last 10 years are the ninth most in the country during that span. He is looking for his first Elite Eight. The last time Purdue made the Elite Eight was 2000, when Gene Keady’s Boilers lost to Wisconsin.
6. Michigan and Purdue are two of six schools to make the last two Sweet 16s, joining Kentucky, West Virginia, Kansas, Gonzaga.
7. Purdue is one of four schools to reach the Sweet 16 and win a bowl game during the 2017-18 school year.
8. Four Michigan teams have reached 30 wins in a season: 1988-89 national champs, 1992-93 Fab Five, 2012-13 Final Four team, and this one.
9. Purdue last made the Final Four in 1980, when Lee Rose was the coach. That team was led by 7-1 center Joe Barry Carroll, who would be the No. 1 pick in 1980 draft. Purdue lost to UCLA in the national semifinals. Iowa also was in the Final Four that season, losing the third-place game to the Boilermakers.
10. Behind Rick Mount, Purdue was national runner-up in 1969, losing to John Wooden and UCLA. It’s the only time the Boilermakers have played for the national title.
11. Michigan has been to the Final Four seven times: 1964, 1965, 1976, 1989, 1992, 1993 and 2013. The school won it all in 1989 and was national runner-up in 1965, 1976, 1992, 1993 and 2013.
12. Since 1990, the Big Ten has sent seven different schools to the Final Four: Indiana (1992 and 2002); Ohio State (1999, 2007, 2014); Michigan (1992, 1993, 2013); Michigan State (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015); Minnesota (1997); Illinois (2005); Wisconsin (2000, 2014, 2015). Maryland made it, and won it all, in 2002 as a member of the ACC.
13. Michigan is 6-1 all-time in national semifinal games and owns the best winning percentage, .857, of any school to play in at least five games.
14. Michigan has 15 Sweet 16 appearances and 13 Elite Eight appearances.
15. Purdue has 11 Sweet 16 appearances and four Elite Eight showings.
16. Purdue has a school singe-season record 30 wins, breaking the mark of 29 held by the 1987-88, 1993-94 and 2009-10 squads. Only the 1993-94 team led by national player of the year and 1994 NBA No. 1 overall pick Glenn Robinson reached the Elite Eight.