Men’s Sweet 16 in the 2010s Conference Breakdown
Yesterday, we looked at how many teams each conference sent to the Sweet 16 from 2010-19.
The ACC stood alone at the top with 30, with the Big Ten nipping at its heels at 29. The Big 12 and SEC tied for third at 21 a piece, then the Big East and Pac-10/12 were the last two major conference with 16 and 15, respectively.
There was a large drop off from there. The WCC had the most second-weekend runs out of the non-major conferences, with Gonzaga notching five Sweet 16 showings and St. Mary’s finding one. In total, 16 conferences sent at least one squad to the Sweet 16 in the 2010s.
With that information out of the way, let’s look at how all 160 of those appearances broke down within each league.
Duke made the most appearances out of any team in the conference that had the most overall Sweet 16 showings, getting to the second weekend seven times. North Carolina was right behind with six. Here is how the rest of the conference shook out:
The league had six teams qualify for the Sweet 16 three or more times last decade, while half the conference never saw the second weekend. Michigan State and Wisconsin split the crown for top dog in the B1G.
Almost half of all of the Big 12’s Sweet 16 appearances came via Kansas and Baylor. West Virginia was the other school to break more than two runs despite only spending seven of the decade’s seasons in the league.
Kentucky’s eight second-weekend appearances are the most of any team in the nation, let alone in the SEC. Florida put up quite a few itself, making Sweet 16 runs half of the time over the 10-year period.
There was plenty of turnovers in the Big East in the 2010s. The conference went from a 16-team super league to a 10-team collection of mostly Catholic basketball-only schools. As such, the Sweet 16 bids are spread out across nine different schools, only four of which currently play in the conference.
Shortly into the decade, the Pac-10 expanded to add Colorado and Utah, thus becoming the Pac-12. The conference had the fewest Sweet 16 appearances of any major conference with 15, and Arizona, Oregon and UCLA have almost all of them.
Ten non-major conferences had teams made the Sweet 16 from 2010-19, with the WCC leading the way, mostly because of Gonzaga’s success. The Bulldogs went to five second weekends, the most of any non-major program by a comfortable amount. Three of the four other teams with multiple Sweet 16s have since changed leagues, with two of them now playing in a major conference. In total, six of the 28 non-major Sweet 16s were accomplished by teams that are now or soon will be playing in a major conference.