Worse for the image of the haughty conference, a stunning five teams from non-Bowl Championship Series leagues - San Diego State, Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond, Butler, and Brigham Young - are in the Sweet 16.
Vanquished are Villanova, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Georgetown, West Virginia, Pitt, Cincinnati, St. John's, and Louisville.
'Nova, Louisville, Georgetown, and St. John's didn't win a game.
And Georgetown suffered the additional ignominy of falling to VCU - a team that had to win a play-in game to make the field of 64.
The biggest of the failures may have been No. 1 Pitt. Jamie Dixon's team was a top seed for the second time in three seasons and lost two of its last three games, with only a victory over a No. 16 seed to show for its postseason run.
The Panthers went 28-6 and won the Big East regular-season title with a 15-3 mark. They advanced to the NCAA tournament for the 10th consecutive time. But a Final Four still eludes them. Their season came to a stunning end on Saturday in a 71-70 loss to Butler.
"We had a lead," Dixon said, "and just were not able to close it."
That's become a March epidemic for the Panthers. Last year, they lost to Xavier, 71-68, in the second round. In 2008, they lost to Michigan State, 65-54, also in the second round. And in this 10-year run, the furthest they've made it is the Elite Eight, where they lost to Villanova, 78-76, in 2009.
Gillispie's back. Texas Tech named Billy Gillispie its men's basketball coach two seasons after he was fired at Kentucky.
Gillispie, a native of Abilene, Texas, replaces Pat Knight, who was fired.
Gillispie agreed to a five-year contract, according to a statement released by Tech. Gillispie, 140-85 in his seven seasons as a Division I coach, led Texas-El Paso and Texas A&M to turnarounds.
Badgers near records. Butler will meet fourth-seeded Wisconsin, which is in the round of 16 for the fourth time since 2000. The Badgers are on pace to set an NCAA record of 7.56 turnovers per game and are led by Jordan Taylor, whose 4.03 assist-to-turnover ratio was best in the nation.
Wisconsin is also the best free-throw shooting team in the country, close to another NCAA mark (Harvard, 82.2 percent in 1984) at 82.3 percent.
Pearl under evaluation. Nearly 100 Tennessee fans gathered in Knoxville, to show support for Bruce Pearl, who is waiting to learn his fate.