Busting brackets like never before, Pac-12 sets upset record with UCLA’s win

UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks to pass over Michigan guard Mike Smith.
UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. looks to pass over Michigan guard Mike Smith, left, during the first half of an Elite 8 game in the NCAA tournament on Tuesday in Indianapolis.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

With its 51-49 win over higher-seeded Michigan on Tuesday, UCLA scored the eighth Pac-12 upset in this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament, setting a record at March Madness.

Since the tournament expanded to include 64 teams in 1985, the previous high-water mark for a conference was seven upsets, which the Big East and the Southeastern Conference did in 1985 and 1986, respectively.

For the record:

9:48 p.m. March 30, 2021A previous version of this article stated Oregon State beat No.1 seed Illinois. Oregon State beat No. 8 Loyola Chicago in the Sweet Sixteen.

No. 11 UCLA and No. 12 Oregon State have been the biggest Cinderellas thus far, defeating three higher-seeded opponents each. Led by Southern California natives Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr., the Bruins beat No. 6 Brigham Young, followed by a victory over No. 2 Alabama in overtime on Saturday. Oregon State topped higher seeds in the Midwest region before being eliminated by No. 2 Houston Monday night.

Two other Pac-12 teams have scored upsets as well. No. 6 USC took out No. 3 Kansas in the round of 32 before being knocked out by No. 1 seed Gonzaga. In early rounds, No. 7 Oregon ousted No. 2 seed Iowa before being eliminated by USC.

The previous Pac-12 record for number of upsets in a tournament was five in 1997. The campaign was led by the Arizona Wildcats with three upsets over No. 1 seeds. With players such as Mike Bibby and Jason Terry, they eventually won the championship that year.