Pac-12, ACC Unbeaten Entering Sunday, Big East Down to One Team | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / April 22.
  • Pac-12, ACC Unbeaten Entering Sunday, Big East Down to One Team

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    NCAA Basketball: Duke at St. JohnCHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Pac-12 and the ACC are flying high in this NCAA Tournament, while the Big East got hit hard on Saturday and is now down to just one representative.

    From the Pac-12, UCLA, Arizona and Utah all won on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 and are a collective 7-0 in the Big Dance. If No. 8 Oregon upsets No. 1 Wisconsin in the West on Sunday, the Pac-12 would be 8-0 with four teams in the Sweet 16.

    “It speaks volumes for how our league is,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said.

    The ACC meantime is 9-0 entering Sunday and has three more teams playing Round of 32 games: Duke, Louisville and Virginia. No. 1 Duke meets No. 8 San Diego State here in a South Region game, while No. 2 Virginia faces No. 7 Michigan State here in the East. In Seattle, No. 4 Louisville faces No. 5 Northern Iowa in the East.

    If all three ACC teams advance, the league would place six teams in the Sweet 16, the most since the Big East had five in 2011, when UConn of the Big East cut down the nets.

    Speaking of the Big East, it’s been a tough weekend.

    While Xavier advanced to a Sweet 16 matchup with Arizona, Villanova, Georgetown and Butler all lost on Saturday after St. John’s and Providence had already been taken out.

    CAqvFWUUUAAtiuj-1.png-largeVillanova, which won the Big East regular-season and tournament titles, appeared to be the league’s best chance to reach a Final Four, but was sent packing by a physical, athletic ACC representative in N.C. State, 71-68.

    One year after failing to get a single team to the second weekend of the tournament, only one of the Big East’s six teams has advanced that far.

    “I know we have to answer to the fact that we did not get to the second weekend again,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “We have to own that. But it’s not going to define us within our program. It’s going to define us outside of our program and we accept that….

    “We failed here in this NCAA tournament. And we just got to accept it and we’ve got to own it and live with it. But it won’t define us.”

     

    Here’s the breakdown of remaining teams by conference, with how many bids each league had:

    • ACC 6 (6)

    • Big Ten 4 (7)

    • Big East 1 (6)

    • Pac-12 4 (4)

    • Big 12 3 (7)

    • SEC 1 (5)

    • Missouri Valley 2 (2)

    • Mountain West 1 (3)

    • Atlantic 10 1 (3)

    • West Coast 1 (2)

    • American 0 (2)

    • Sun Belt 0 (1)

    • Conference USA 0 (1)

     

    Photos: USA Today Sports / Mark Di Stefano

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

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