#BackThePac: Three Pac-12 Men's Basketball teams advance to 2021 NCAA Elite Eight
SAN FRANCISCO - For just the second time in Conference history, three Pac-12 Men's Basketball programs have advanced to the Elite Eight as OREGON STATE, UCLA and USC all reached their respective regional finals of the 2021 NCAA Tournament this weekend.
The only other time the Conference had three entrants into the Elite Eight was 2001 when Arizona, Stanford and USC accomplished the feat, with the Wildcats eventually falling in the National Championship game.
On Saturday, OREGON STATE became the second No. 12 seed ever to reach the Elite Eight (joining Missouri in 2002) by defeating No. 8 seed and 17th-ranked Loyola Chicago, 65-58.
On Sunday, No. 11 seed UCLA became the second team to advance from the First Four to the Elite Eight (joining VCU in 2011) by defeating No. 2 seed and 5th-ranked Alabama, 88-78, in overtime; and No. 6 seed USC defeated No. 7 seed OREGON, 82-68, in the first-ever Pac-12 member meeting in the NCAA Tournament to reach the Trojans' first regional final since 2001 and mark the first time both LA schools reached the same Elite Eight.
So far in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Pac-12 programs have combined for:
- 12-2 overall record (.857), the third-most wins in one NCAA Tournament in Conference history (13 - 2001, 1997)
- 17 games played, tied for the second-most in Conference history (18 - 2001; 17 - 2021, 1997)
- 10 victories by double digits
- Eight wins over Power Conference opponents (inclusive of USC/Oregon), equaling the most-ever for the Conference (1997)
- Six victories over Associated Press Top 25 teams
- Five upsets (team seeded five spots lower than opponent)
At 12-2 overall entering the Elite Eight, the Pac-12 is tied for the best record of any conference with five-or-more teams in the field since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1985.
- 2021 Pac-12 - 12-2
- 1985 ACC - 12-2
- 2001 Pac-12 - 11-2
- 1992 Big Ten - 11-2
- 1987 Big East - 11-2
For leagues with a minimum of five total tourney games, the Pac-12 is currently tied for the third-best record of any conference entering the Elite Eight since expansion to 64 teams in 1985:
- 1986 SEC - 11-1 (.917)
- 2014 SEC - 9-1 (.900)
- 2021 Pac-12 - 12-2 (.857)
- 1985 ACC - 12-2 (.857)
- 1992 Great Midwest - 6-1 (.857)
- 1990 Southwest - 6-1 (.857)
It marks the 22nd time in NCAA Tournament history one league advanced at least three teams to the Elite Eight, but the Pac-12 is the first to have two double-digit seeds and two No. 11 seeds-or-worse among the final eight. It will also mark the first time a league advanced three teams seeded No. 3 or worse to the Elite Eight.
Below is the schedule for upcoming Elite Eight contests:
Monday, March 29
No. 12 seed OREGON STATE vs. No. 2 seed #6 Houston, 4:15 p.m. PT, CBS (Midwest Region)
Tuesday, March 30
No. 6 seed #24 USC vs. No. 1 seed #1 Gonzaga, 4:15 p.m. PT, TBS (West Region)
No. 11 seed UCLA vs. No. 1 seed #4 Michigan, 6:57 p.m. PT, TBS (East Region)