Strange 16: Eleven conferences represented at regionals

The members of the Sweet 16 come from 11 different conferences, which is an astonishing number. There was room for only two teams each from the two most powerful leagues: the Big 12 (Baylor, Kansas State) and Big East (Syracuse, West Virginia).

Cornell is the first Sweet 16 rep from the Ivy League since Penn advanced all the way to the Final Four in 1979. There are five programs from non-BCS conferences (including Northern Iowa, Saint Mary’s, Xavier and Butler). This proves that football money can buy a new practice gym but won’t, by itself, advance you in this tournament.