February 6, 2023


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Pac-12 sets upset record with UCLA’s win over Michigan

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.

No. 11 UCLA and No. 12 Oregon State has 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, including the No. 1 seed, Illinois. The Beavers were 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.