The numbers and trends make every NCAA Tournament interesting, but this upcoming NCAA Tournament significantly stands out.
Check out the six historical trends and stats to know heading into the upcoming NCAA Tournament this week in Chicago.
1. Lewis a rare at-large bid — Lewis became the first non-West Coast team since 1994 and the second in the history of the NCAA Tournament to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. IPFW was the last non-West Coast team to earn an at-large bid and without All-American Lloy Ball able to set because of an injury lost to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
2. Ramblers take top seed — Loyola became the first MIVA team in the history of the NCAA Tournament to earn the No. 1 overall seed. This is also the third time in the last five years that the host school has earned the top-seed. The last school to win the NCAA Tournament on its home court was Stanford in 2010.
3. Penn State playing the non-West Coast — The play-in match between Penn State and Lewis will be the fourth time in the last 20 years that the Nittany Lions have played a non-West Coast team in the NCAA Tournament. Penn State is 3-1 in those types of matches with its lone loss coming most recently when it lost to Ohio State in the 2011 NCAA Tournament semifinals.
4. MPSF regular season champions out — Pepperdine became the first team in the modern history of the MPSF to win at least a share of the MPSF regular season championship and not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
5. Stanford look to erase MPSF struggles — The No. 3 seed Stanford will be the over-whelming favorite when it plays the No. 6 seed Erskine. However, the MPSF is winless all-time against the Conference Carolinas at 0-1. Erskine upset Cal Baptist earlier this year in the first meeting between the two conferences.
6. BYU going East of Provo — This will be BYU’s sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history. However, it will be the first time that the Cougars will compete in a NCAA Tournament east of Utah.