Pac-12 Conference Gets Three Teams in Elite 8
Just eight teams remain in the 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, and three of them are from the same conference.
The Big Ten Conference was arguably the best league in the country this season, but it is the Pac-12 Conference that has dominated in March Madness. The pandemic has meant the whole conference has been played in Indiana, but this has not had any effect on the court action.
Three teams from the Pac-12 Conference have reached the Elite 8, and one of them got to this round by eliminating another team from the conference. None of the Pac-12 teams are favorites to advance to the Final Four, but these teams have all played well in the underdog role this March.
The South Region is the only matchup that does not have a Pac-12 Conference team left standing. The top-seeded Baylor Bears will square off with No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks for a right to advance to the Final Four.
The winner of the South Region will advance to take on the champion from the Midwest Region. Oregon State will face off against the Houston Cougars in the Midwest Final, and the 12th-seeded Beavers are eight-point underdogs.
The West Region of the NCAA Tournament has been Pac-12 Conference heavy all weekend as two teams squared off in the Sweet 16. The USC Trojans had little trouble in beating the Oregon Ducks to advance to the Regional Final.
Things will get a bit tougher for USC in the West Regional Final as they will go head-to-head with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga is the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, and they have dominated teams since the tournament began.
The East Regional Final will feature the No. 11 UCLA Bruins against the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines. UCLA has won more games than any other team up to this point as they had to play in a First Four game to make the field of 64.
Pac-12 Conference teams have been able to pull off several upsets up to this point, but they have their work cut out for them to land a team in the Final Four.
Memphis Wins NIT Title
The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) has also been going on over the last two weeks, and there were some terrific games in that tournament. The NIT field was limited to just 16 teams this season, and all of the games were played in one location.
The Memphis Tigers took on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the NIT Championship Game this weekend, and it was a battle of two teams that just missed out on the NCAA Tournament. Winning the NIT is a great consolation prize, and this time it was the Memphis Tigers that got the job done.
Memphis earned a 77-64 victory over Mississippi State as Boogie Ellis led the way with 23 points. Head coach Penny Hardaway has been trying to build the Memphis program back up, and winning the NIT could give the program a huge lift.
Louisiana Tech won the third-place game in the NIT with a last-second win over Colorado State.
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