Pac-10 has No. 1 feel, but Big South trying to find it
Posted: Tuesday March 14, 2000 12:15 AM
Marked improvement: Mark Madsen and Stanford earned a No. 3 seed in 1998, a No. 2 in 1999 and a No. 1 in 2000. Ezra O. Shaw/Allsport
By Ryan Hunt, CNNSI.com
In the entire 1990s, the Pac-10 earned only three No. 1 seeds. The new millennium is already off to a good start for the conference.
Stanford and Arizona, the Pac-10 co-champs, each earned top seeds to the NCAA tournament.
It is only the sixth time -- and second in three years -- that two teams from the same conference have been awarded top seeds, since the tournament began seeding teams in 1979. Duke and North Carolina were the last two teams from the same conference to earn No. 1 seeds (1998).
For Arizona, which swept Stanford this season, it is the fourth top seed in school history. The Wildcats earned No. 1s in 1988 (Final Four), 1989 (Sweet 16) and 1998 (Elite Eight).
For the Cardinal, however, it is their first No. 1 seed. Stanford's highest previous seeding was the second seed it was awarded last year. The Cardinal were a No. 3 seed in their Final Four run of 1998.
Two No. 1 seeds from same conference
||Arizona & Stanford
||Duke & UNC*
||Indiana & Michigan*
||Georgetown* & St. John's*
||UNC* & Virginia
||Kentucky & LSU
* Reached Final Four
| || |
The historical bad news for Stanford and Arizona fans? Of the five previous pairs of league foes to earn top seeds, Georgetown and St. John's of the Big East were the only ones to both advance to the Final Four (1985).
The good news? The only time neither team made it to the Final Four was 1980, when SEC rivals Kentucky and Louisiana State were eliminated in the regional semifinals and regional finals, respectively.
Other NCAA tournament tidbits:
The state with the most teams in the tournament? Indiana, which sent six teams in -- Indiana, Purdue, Indiana State, Valparaiso, Butler and Ball State. And Notre Dame, which had its bubble popped, nearly became the seventh. New York is second with five (Hofstra, Iona, St. Bonaventure, St. John's and Syracuse).
For the first time since 1994, there are no teams with losing records in the field of 64. At 15-15, Lamar has the worst record in the tournament. The Cardinals are only the sixth team with a .500 record to advance to the NCAA tournament, and first since Fairfield and Idaho State in 1987. None of the six teams has won a tournament game.
The Winthrop Eagles will represent the Big South conference for the second year in a row. The Big South, however, is still looking for its first win in NCAA tournament play, losing in every first-round tournament appearance since the conference received an automatic bid in 1991.
The only other current conference which has not had a member win a NCAA game is the Patriot, which sends Lafayette to the Big Dance for the second year in a row. However, current Patriot League members Holy Cross (the 1947 NCAA champion) and Navy (which advanced to the Elite Eight as a Colonial League member in 1986) have won tournament games. The Patriot is 0-8 in its current format.
Mike Deane, Pat Kennedy and Jerry Tarkanian join an elite list of coaches who have taken three different teams to the NCAA tournament. Deane (Siena, Marquette and now Lamar), Kennedy (Iona, Florida State and now DePaul) and Tarkanian (Long Beach State, UNLV and now Fresno State) are three of only 27 coaches to accomplish the feat.
North Carolina, seeded No. 8 in the South, received its lowest seed since 1990. But that year, the Tar Heels, also a No. 8, went on to beat top-seeded Oklahoma in the second round.
Syracuse has won 37 NCAA tournament games all-time, the most by any school that has not won a championship. The Orangemen play 13th-seeded Samford in the first round.