With the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, another decade of men’s college basketball came to a close. With the 2010s officially behind us, let’s take a snapshot to see what how the conferences performed when it came time to make the Sweet 16.
Below you’ll find a few charts displaying the information in different ways:
In Chart A, we see which conferences had any teams reach the Sweet 16 during the decade and how many they sent. The ACC had the most at 30, barely edging out the Big Ten, which sits at second with 29, a comfortable margin away from the Big 12 and SEC tied in third place. Only the six power conferences eclipsed double digits, with a wide gap between the Pac-10/12, the lowest major conference, and the WCC, the highest non-major league.
In total, 16 conferences made it to the second weekend at least one time. Ten non-majors accomplished the feat, with six getting there more than once. Though the WCC was close, the Horizon League is the only conference to have had multiple Sweet 16s but only send one school. Its two appearances were both courtesy of Butler in 2010 and 2011. Gonzaga claims five of the WCC’s six Sweet 16s, with arch rival St. Mary’s holding the lone one from a 2010 trip to start the decade.
Chart B illustrates the same information as Chart A but with an alternate visual.
This chart provides a closer look at the totals for each major conference. Many members shuffled among leagues during the 2010s, meaning some Sweet 16s are attributed to conferences that no longer host that school.
Chart D is the same information as Chart C but presented differently.
Non-major conference teams earned a combined 17.5 percent of the slots with 28 Sweet 16 trips, leaving the biggest fish with most than 80 percent of the second-weekend runs. The ACC and Big Ten both outpaced all non-major conferences together, each securing more than 18 percent of the 160 Sweet 16 appearances available.