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Daniel Wilco | | March 14, 2017

2017 NCAA tournament field by the numbers

  Northwestern is one of five teams going dancing for the first time, and also one of five Wildcats in the bracket.

Selection Sunday has come and gone, but the bracket is here to stay. Sixty-eight teams are going dancing, starting with the First Four on Tuesday. 

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But before the Madness officially kicks off, we took a look at how this year's field breaks down:

9 – ACC teams in the tournament, the most of any conference. That number falls just short of the Big East's record 11 teams placed in the 2011 tournament. Of the 32 conferences in this year's tourney, nine placed multiple teams in the bracket:

Conference Number of teams
Big East 7
Big Ten 7
Big 12 6
Pac-12 4
A-10 3

20 – teams that finished the regular season in first place in their conference.

7 – lowest conference rank of any tournament team. Both Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech tied for seventh place in the ACC with 10-8 conference records and managed an 8 and 9 seed, respectively. The next lowest would be Kansas State, which placed sixth in the Big 12 with an 8-10 conference record. No other teams finished lower than fifth place in their conferences.

16 – most losses of any team in the field. Those L’s would belong to South Dakota State, which finished 18-16 (8-8), tied for fourth in the Summit League, but won the conference tournament to secure an automatic bid. The Jackrabbits are a 16 seed in the West region, facing off against Gonzaga in the first round.

Bracket Tips

32 – most wins of any team in the field. That record belongs to Gonzaga, the West Region's top seed. The Bulldogs finished 32-1 (17-1) and won the West Coast Conference's regular-season and tournament championship.

5 – teams making their first NCAA tournament appearance this year: North Dakota (15 seed), Northern Kentucky (15 seed), UC Davis (16 seed), Jacksonville State (15 seed) and Northwestern (8 seed) are all going dancing for the first time in program history.

4 – teams making their 30th (or more) appearance in the Big Dance since 1985: Kansas (32nd), Duke (32nd), Arizona (31st) and North Carolina (30th). The Jayhawks and Tar Heels landed 1 seeds, while Duke and Arizona both are 2 seeds.

22 – blue teams are dancing, the most of any color. All four 1 seeds (Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga) and two of the 2 seeds (Duke and Kentucky) are blue bloods. Red teams are right behind with 21 teams, including two 2 seeds (Arizona and Louisville).

5 – Wildcats in the tournament, the most of any mascot. Villanova (1 seed), Kentucky (2 seed), Arizona (2 seed), Northwestern (8 seed), Kansas State (11 seed). Wildcats have won more championships since 1985 than any other mascot, thanks to Villanova (1985, 2016), Kentucky (1996, 1998, 2012) and Arizona (1997).

1 – time that the NCAA championship game has been a rematch. The 1961 and 1962 seasons saw Cincinnati win the crown over Ohio State, which is the only time two teams have met in the title game in back to back seasons since the NCAA tournament started in 1939. Villanova and North Carolina each have 1 seeds on opposite sides of the bracket, allowing them to face off in the title game a year after their famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) matchup last year.

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