Twice as nice: Some schools got two March Madness tickets this season
On Selection Sunday, 68 men’s college basketball teams officially had their tickets punched for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. One day later, 64 women’s teams heard their names called, too. The results of those two days left some athletic directors celebrating and others lamenting missed opportunities. But a select few athletic directors had twice the reason to celebrate, with their men’s and women’s basketball teams both making the NCAA tournament.
Exactly how many schools got two berths to the NCAA Tournament? Twenty-four, which leaves 88 schools that received a single ticket. Here is a chart of each of the 24 schools whose men’s and women’s teams both made the NCAA Tournament, in order of the sum of their seeds. For example, if a school’s women’s team got a 3-seed and its men’s team got a 6-seed, the sum of their seeds would be 9. The lower the sum, the better.
The schools whose men’s and women’s teams both made the field range from schools with long basketball histories, like North Carolina and Kentucky, to newer mid-major successes, like Gonzaga and Buffalo. Their conference affiliations are equally varied: five schools are mid-majors from various conferences; four each are from the ACC, SEC, and Big Ten; and three are from the Big 12. And although you might expect the Power 5 schools to receive better seeds, Gonzaga tied with Mississippi State for the lowest sum of seeds (six). Only five other programs had sums of less than 10, including archrivals Kentucky and Louisville.
After the first round of games is complete, the list of schools with two teams still alive will surely shrink, as there are a few matchups that pit teams on this list against one another.
No. 12 New Mexico State vs. No. 5 Auburn No. 15 Abilene Christian vs. No. 2 Kentucky No. 11 Belmont vs. No. 6 Maryland No. 9 Baylor vs. No. 8 Syracuse No. 11 Arizona State* vs. No. 6 Buffalo
*must win a play-in game to advance to the first round
Which school do you think will get the most wins across the two NCAA tournaments? Which will be the last one to have two teams still playing? We will know the answers to those questions in just a few weeks, so stay tuned.