College Sports

Four quirky facts about NCAA Tournament and a sad one about KU and K-State

The field is set for the 2019 Midwest Regional at Sprint Center

Here are the teams that will play in the Midwest Regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which will take place at Sprint Center in Kansas City on Friday, March 29 and Sunday, March 31, 2019.
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Here are the teams that will play in the Midwest Regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, which will take place at Sprint Center in Kansas City on Friday, March 29 and Sunday, March 31, 2019.

Four full days of college basketball have concluded, and 48 teams saw their season come to an end in that span.

This year’s March Madness hasn’t featured a lot of upsets, but there have been some fantastic finishes (anyone catch that Duke-Central Florida game?).

As college basketball fans take a deep breath and prepare for the Sweet 16 games, here is a look at some unusual features of this year’s tournament. Here are four oddities about the tournament and one sad fact about Kansas and K-State.

Eerie coincidence

This is the first time since the 2009 tournament that all of the top three seeds advanced to the Sweet 16. In 2009, two of the top four seeds failed to advance to the Sweet 16. No. 12 Arizona and No. 5 Purdue took their place. This year, two of the top four seeds advanced. No. 12 Oregon and No. 5 Auburn are the only teams not seeded in the top four to make it to the Sweet 16. So the remaining seeds are exactly the same as they were 10 years ago:

KU, K-State falter

Here’s the sad fact. You don’t have to tell anyone in Kansas City who the No. 4-seeded teams are that failed to make it to the Sweet 16. It’s K-State and KU*. The Jayhawks and Wildcats failed to live up to their seeds, and Texas Tech (seeded third) is the only Big 12 team left in the NCAA Tournament. A year ago, the Wildcats advanced to the Elite Eight and KU made the Final Four.

*If you are wondering, in 2009, it was Washington and Wake Forest.

The Jayhawks were first preseason AP No. 1 to fail to make the Sweet 16 since Duke in 2016-17.

This year is the first time since 2015 that the Big 12 has just one team in the Sweet 16.

Here are the Big 12’s Sweet 16 teams over the last four years:

2018: Kansas State, Kansas, Texas Tech, West Virginia

2017: Baylor, Kansas, West Virginia

2016: Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor

2015: Oklahoma

No upsets in Round of 32

There were literally no upsets in the second round of the tournament. That’s not happened since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams:

Let KenPom be your guide

The top 14 teams in the Ken Pom rankings advanced to the Sweet 16, including fifth-seeded Auburn:

Defending champion curse

Villanova lost in the second round, which actually shouldn’t be a surprise. As Sports Illustrated noted, a defending national champ hasn’t made it past the Sweet 16 since Florida won consecutive titles in 2006 and ’07.

Related stories from Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

From covering the World Series to the World Cup, Pete has done a little bit of everything since joining The Star in 1997. He writes about baseball and has a quirky blog that augments The Star’s coverage of area teams.


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