*THE PAC 12 HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CONFERENCE SURPRISE BY FAR: The oft-maligned Pac 12 is a shocking 6+zero after last night’s Oregon State domination of Oklahoma State. Because of the surprising weekend, the Pac 12 has moved ahead of the ACC to fourth in the Ken Pom conference rankings but is still behind the Big Ten, Big Twelve, and SEC
*ILLINOIS DEPARTING EARLY SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISING: Two reasons I didn’t trust Illinois all season resurfaced in Sunday’s non-competitive loss to Loyola-Chicago – attention to detail resulting in sloppy play, even on offense, and mass confusion on defense versus the high screen and roll.
*GONZAGA AND BAYLOR SPENT MUCH OF THE SEASON AS THE TWO ELITE TEAMS: That changed the first week of February when Baylor was forced to pause its program after several players tested positive for COVID. Since returning on February 27th, the previous elite defense had declined but that changed during Sunday’s 76-63 win over Wisconsin.
*FORMER ASU ASSISTANT ERIC MUSSELMAN IS BACK IN THE SWEET SIXTEEN: Musselman is taking Arkansas to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1996 after a 68-66 win over Texas Tech. Musselman guided Nevada to the Elite Eight in 2018 before being eliminated by Loyola-Chicago.
*ORAL ROBERTS DID IT AGAIN: Not only is the 15-seed headed to the Sweet 16, but it also rallied down the stretch for a second straight game. On Friday, ORU rallied from four down in the final minutes of regulation before winning in overtime over the NOT-so mighty Buckeyes. On Sunday, ORU, after trailing 74-68, finished on a 13-4 run to oust Florida.
*JIM BOEHEIM IS IN THE SWEET SIXTEEN FOR THE 20TH TIME: The 11th seeded Orange have made 29 of 58 three-point attempts during their tournament wins over sixth-seeded San Diego State and third-seeded West Virginia.