March Madness Elite Eight
What is the elite eight in basketball?
The Elite Eight in basketball is the Regional Championships. This means the remaining two teams in each region face off against each other to earn a spot in the Final Four. There are four games in the Elite Eight stage, and the Elite Eight is the 4th round of the tournament. This means that each team in the Elite Eight is 3-0 in the tournament heading into the game. At the start of the tournament there are 16 teams in each region. By the Elite Eight, there are only two teams left standing in each region.
The winners of the Elite Eight matchups advance to the Final Four. Making the Final Four is a huge deal to colleges, but making it to that point in the tournament is not possible without a victory in the Elite Eight first.
If a team makes the Elite Eight, they are half way to winning a National Championship. The tournament in total lasts for six rounds. To make the Elite Eight, a team must survive three rounds: the Round of 64, the Round of 32, and the Sweet 16. However, each round is harder than the last.
Elite Eight Seeds
The lowest seed to ever make it to the Elite Eight was a 12 seed. In 2002, Missouri went on an unprecedented run upsetting Miami, Ohio State, and UCLA en route to an Elite Eight appearance. Unfortunately Missouri’s Cinderella story came to a close in the Elite Eight, losing to the 2 seeded Oklahoma.
On average, three number 1 seeds make the Elite Eight each year. There are only four number 1 seeds each year, and typically only a single number 1 seed gets eliminated before the Elite Eight. This goes to show the extreme dominance top seeds tend to carry in the tournament year after year.