Oral Roberts became only the 2nd #15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Their duo of Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas have scored 113 of Oral Roberts’s 156 total tournament points (72.4%). Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 was the previous #15 to advance to the second week.
Two teams collected their first-ever victories in the tournament: Abilene Christian and North Texas.
Lots of upsets should have been expected this year because many teams made their out-of-conference schedule load much lighter due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the performance disparity of certain top conferences remains shocking.
The Big Ten conference led the field by receiving nine tournament berths, but their first week was disastrous, going 7-8 with only one survivor (#1 seed Michigan). Big Ten top seeds that have been eliminated include a #1, two #2s, and a #4. The Big Ten did not perform uniformly well in the 2019 tournament, going 13-8 – led by a Michigan State Final Four run, and Purdue reaching the Elite Eight.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 is 10-1 with four teams remaining (Southern California, Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State). The conference was very poorly seeded in 2019 and went 4-3 with only Oregon reaching the round of sixteen.
This season’s highly touted Big 12 is 7-6 with only one survivor (Baylor).
In recent years the ACC has been a powerhouse, but with this tournament they are just 4-5 with two teams standing (Florida State, Syracuse).