Big East exceeded expectations in NCAAs; ACC, MWC didn’t


The Big 12 is vying for bragging rights as college basketball’s best conference. But does that mean it had the best NCAA tournament?

It all depends on PASE.

The Performance Against Seed Expectation is a helpful tool to determine how well a league’s teams fared compared to how they should’ve fared. For example, the Big East placed the most teams in the field of 68 with nine. But those teams earned a wide range of seeds.

Syracuse was the highest (1), followed by Georgetown and Marquette (3s), Louisville (4), Cincinnati (6) and Notre Dame (7). Those all should’ve won at least one game according to seed. UConn (9), West Virginia (10) and South Florida (12) should’ve have. Given the history for their respective seeds fared in past NCAA tournaments, the Big East should win 12.21 games.

It’s won 14. (That includes South Florida’s First Four win, which probably should just count as half a victory. Anyway.)

Other conferences doing as expected or better include:

  • SEC (5.97 expected; 7 actual, with one team left)
  • Big Ten (10.86 expected; 11 actual, with one team left)
  • A-10 (2.51 expected; 3 actual, no teams left)
  • WCC (1.84 expected; 2 actual, no teams left)
  • Pac-12 (.98 expected; 1 actual, no teams left)
  • Big 12 (8.44 expected; 8 actual, with two teams left)

That leaves the ACC (8.64 expected; 6 actual, one team left) and the Mountain West (4.21 expected; 1 actual, no teams left) as the conference that have been worse than expected, according to seed. If UNC wins it all, the ACC will still be half a win shy of what it should’ve. UNC needs to win it all for the ACC to do what was expected.

But don’t just blame Duke for any shortfallings. Florida State left at least one win out there.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.