Posted: Tuesday March 20, 2012 11:52AM ; Updated: Thursday March 22, 2012 12:22PM
Rob Dauster
Rob Dauster>INSIDE COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Sixteen things that you didn't know about this year's Sweet 16

Story Highlights

This is the first year since 2009 that eight top seeds advanced past first weekend

Ohio became first No. 13 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 since Bradley in 2006

Carrollton, Ky. is geographical midpoint of all 16 teams left standing in the NCAAs

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All four No. 1 seeds, including Syracuse, emerged from the first weekend of the tournament unscathed.
All four No. 1 seeds, including Syracuse, emerged from the first weekend of the tournament unscathed.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

1. Four No. 1 seeds advance: For just the seventh time since 2000, all four No. 1 seeds advanced out of the first weekend of the tournament. Last season, No. 8 seed Butler upset Pitt in the round of 32 thanks to a last-second free throw from Matt Howard. In 2010, it was Ali Farokhmanesh hitting a big three to lead No. 9 Northern Iowa to an upset of Kansas.

The other three tournaments where a No. 1 seed lost in the second round: In 2004, UAB upset Kentucky and Alabama upset Stanford in the round of 32; UCLA knocked off Cincinnati in 2002; and in 2000, North Carolina and Wisconsin upset Stanford and Arizona, respectively.

2. Two No. 2 seeds advance: For the first time since 1985 (when the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams), two No. 2 seeds lost to a No. 15 seed. It's far from the first time that two No. 2 seeds missed out on the Sweet 16, however. Since 2000, the 2009 tournament is the only time when all four No. 2 seeds advanced to the second weekend. Including this year, there have been seven instances where two No. 2 seeds were upset before the Sweet 16. Here's who advanced in those years: 2001 (No. 7 Penn State, No. 10 Georgetown), 2003 (No. 7 Michigan State, No. 10 Auburn), 2004 (No. 7 Xavier, No. 10 Nevada), 2005 (No. 7 West Virginia, No. 10 N.C. State), 2006 (No. 7 Georgetown, No. 7 Wichita State), 2008 (No. 7 West Virginia, No. 10 Davidson) and 2012 (No. 7 Florida, No. 10 Xavier).

In the 2000 tournament, No. 7 Temple, No. 10 Seton Hall and No. 10 Gonzaga all made the Sweet 16. Three 10 seeds had made the 1999 NCAA tournament as well, with Purdue, Gonzaga and Miami (Ohio) all advancing. In 2002, 2007 and 2010, only one No. 2 seed failed to advance.

3. The top eight seeds advance?: It doesn't take much deductive reasoning to figure out that 2009 was the last time that all four No. 1 seeds and all four No. 2 seeds made the Sweet 16. The only other time that happened since the tournament expanded to 64 teams was in 1995. In 1995, two No. 1 seeds lost in the Sweet 16 while two No. 2 seeds lost in the Sweet 16 in 2009.

4. Where are the No. 5 seeds?: It's a well-known fact for anyone filling out a bracket that nearly every year a No. 12 knocks off a No. 5 seed. This year's tournament was no different, as South Florida beat Temple and VCU knocked off Wichita State. What was unique about this year's tournament is that the other two No. 5 seeds both lost in the round of 32, when Louisville outlasted New Mexico and Wisconsin beat Vanderbilt. The Sweet 16 features no No. 5 seeds, the first time that has happened since 1992.

5. A 13 seed advances: Ohio became the first No. 13 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 since Bradley did it in 2006. The Bobcats are just the fourth No. 13 seed to make it this far, with Oklahoma making the Sweet 16 in 1999, Valparaiso advancing in 1998 and Richmond doing the same in 1988.

Most people remember the 1998 Valparaiso team for the miracle shot that Bryce Drew hit to beat No. 4 seed Ole Miss in the first round. Most forget that Valpo beat Florida State two days later to advance to the Sweet 16, where it lost to Rhode Island. No 13 seed has ever made the Elite 8.

6. A MAC team advances: Ohio also became the first team from the MAC to advance to the Sweet 16 since Kent State did it as a No. 10 seed in 2002. That team eventually made it to the Elite 8. What's more interesting, however, is that the Golden Flashes were coached by Stan Heath that season, the only year Heath spent at the school. The team that Ohio beat to advance to the Sweet 16 -- South Florida -- is currently coached by Stan Heath.

7. More Ohio goodness: Including this year, Ohio has made the NCAA tournament five times in the history of their program -- one as a No. 12 seed, twice as a No. 13 seed and twice as a No. 14 seed. In those previous five appearances, the Bobcats won just a single NCAA tournament game -- in 2010, when they upset No. 3 seed Georgetown in the first round. They've doubled that total this year alone.

8. Ohio a basketball state?: Apparently it is, as the state is the first to ever send four teams into the Sweet 16. No. 2 Ohio State advanced with a win over Gonzaga, No. 6 Cincinnati beat Florida State, No. 10 Xavier knocked off Lehigh and, of course, No. 13 Ohio made its Sweet 16 debut. If sports talk radio hosts didn't already have enough to talk about this week, Cincinnati and Ohio State will actually be squaring off for the right to play in the Elite 8.

9. Kentuckiana is also well-represented: Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana all advanced to the Sweet 16, which marks the first time that has happened since 1993. It's actually pretty shocking considering we are talking about three of college basketball's elite programs. That said, Indiana has only made the Sweet 16 three times since 1993 -- in 1994, 2002 and this season. Louisville missed the 2002 NCAA tournament and Kentucky lost in the second round to Marquette in 1994.

10. The center of the college hoops universe is ... ?: Well, right about where you would expect: the state of Kentucky. But it's not Louisville or Lexington, it's actually Carrollton, Ky., a town of about 4,000 that sits on the Kentucky-Indiana border. An hour and a half northwest of Lexington and an hour and a half northeast of Louisville, Carrollton happens to be the geographic midpoint of the 16 schools still alive in the NCAA tournament.

11. East Coast bias?: We knew that the Pac-12 was down this season, which is why it was a bit surprising that the conference got two teams into the NCAA tournament. What is surprising, however, is that both the WCC and the MWC struggled in the tournament just as much as the Pac-12 did. It's probably not a good sign for West Coast hoops that, for the first time since 1985 and just the second time since the tournament expanded to 16 teams in 1951, there are no teams from the Mountain or Pacific time zones heading to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.

New Mexico was the last chance for the left side of our country, and they went down to Louisville on Saturday night. The westernmost team still dancing is Baylor, which is located in the eastern half of Texas.

12. March Monotony? March Middle-of-the-road?: The first weekend of the NCAA tournament is supposed to be the most exciting four days of the sporting year, but the first two rounds of this year's tournament were lacking in thrilling finishes. That's not to say that there wasn't "madness", because losing two No. 2 seeds in the span of three hours in the opening round of the tournament qualifies as madness. But there wasn't a single buzzer-beater during the first weekend. The closest we got to one was either Will Sheehy's game-winning jumper with 12.7 seconds left to beat VCU in the round of 32 of the last-second misses by Ryne Smith in Purdue's loss to Kansas of Phil Pressey in Missouri's loss to Norfolk State.

In fact, this is the first time since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 that we will be heading to the Sweet 16 without a single game having been decided in overtime.

13. Three double-digit seeds: No. 10 Xavier, No. 11 N.C. State and No. 13 Ohio all advanced to the Sweet 16. It's the third-straight year that three teams seeded 10 or lower advanced to the Sweet 16. The most double-digit seeds to advance to the Sweet 16 was in 1999, when five teams -- No. 10 Gonzaga, No. 10 Purdue, No. 10 Miami (Ohio), No. 12 SW Missouri State and No. 13 Oklahoma -- advanced.

14. Xavier's tournament success: The reason that Xavier doesn't get mentioned as a mid-major anymore is due to the consistent success that it has had in the NCAA tournament. This is the fourth time in the last five years that the Musketeers have made the Sweet 16. This is the first time that Xavier has been a true underdog in that stretch; its previous lowest-seed was No. 6.

15. N.C. State in the Sweet 16: I think it's safe to say the Mark Gottfried tenure at N.C. State is off to a resounding success. Getting the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament was an accomplishment. Getting them to their first Sweet 16 since 2005 is going to cause the Raleigh faithful to have high expectations heading into next season. Perhaps the most important result? For the first time since 1985, N.C. State made it farther in the NCAA tournament than Duke.

16. Coaches that never played: Four of the 16 head coaches in this season's Sweet 16 never played college basketball. Marquette's Buzz Williams began his basketball career as a student-assistant at Navarro College in Texas. Indiana's Tom Crean played and coached high school ball before landing a graduate assistant gig with Michigan State's Jud Heathcote. Cincinnati's Mick Cronin was coaching high school basketball before he took a job as Cincinnati's video coordinator. Baylor's Scott Drew comes from a basketball family, but he never played varsity in high school and spent two years in college as a student assistant at Butler.

That's not to say every other coach was a McDonald's All-American. Jim Boeheim started as a walk-on at Syracuse. Roy Williams played JV at North Carolina. Tom Izzo, John Calipari and John Groce played Division II ball, while Bo Ryan played for a Division III team.

 
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