The 2021 tournament has continued to be all about upstarts. No team that has won a national championship in the 21st century remains standing. UCLA is the only one of the Final Four teams to have ever won the championship. Baylor advanced to the Final Four for the first time in 71 years (1950). Houston last made the semi-finals in 1984.
The 2021 tournament set a record for the highest aggregate seed total ever to make the Sweet Sixteen. (The sum of the seed numbers of all sixteen teams.) The 2021 aggregate seed total is 91, topping the 89 aggregate set in 1986.
Seven of the eight teams in the Elite Eight reside west of the Mississippi River. For the first time ever, all of the Final Four teams hail from west of the Mississippi. The last Final Four with three teams from the west was 1995.
UCLA became the second team to reach the Final Four after entering the tournament from the First Four, joining Virginia Commonwealth of 2011. With UCLA’s regional final victory over Michigan, number 11 seeds are now 4-4 against #1 seeds.
The semi-final matchup between Baylor and Houston will be the fifth Final Four game between teams from the same state, joining: Kentucky-Louisville 2012, Ohio State-Cincinnati 1961 & 1962, and Penn State-La Salle 1954.
This is only the fourth tournament that an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) team has not reached the Elite Eight since 1980. The only other years without an ACC team were 2003, 2006, and 2014. ACC teams finish the tournament with a 4-7 record. This is their fewest wins since 1979.