Elite Eight


Elite Eight

The term Elite Eight refers to the final eight teams in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship or the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship. In Division I, the Elite Eight consists of the teams in the final game of each of the tournament's four regional brackets. The winners advance to the Final Four. Since 1997 when the NCAA copyrighted the phrase,Fact|date=May 2007 in Division II the Elite Eight consists of the eight winners of the eight Division II regions. Like the Division I Final Four, the Division II Elite Eight games are all held in one predetermined location.

The lowest seeded team ever to reach this round in the modern 64 team tournament era was #12 Missouri in 2002. They upset #5 seed Miami (Fl.), #4 seed Ohio St., and #8 seed UCLA in succession before losing to #2 seed Oklahoma in the West regional that year.

On average, three of the four number 1 seeds make it to the Elite Eight each year. The Elite Eight is considered by some to be an "acceptability threshold" of gauging the success or failure of a #1 seed in the tournament.

Like March Madness, the phrase Elite Eight, originally applied to the boys' basketball tournament run by the Illinois High School Association. When the IHSA finals were reduced from sixteen to eight teams in 1956, a replacement nickname for Sweet Sixteen was needed, and Elite Eight won popular favor. The IHSA trademarked the term in 1995.

Elite Eight can also refer to the eight NCAA Division I baseball teams that reach the College World Series.

Notable Elite Eight teams in the men's Division I NCAA tournament

* Idaho State in 1977, which defeated UCLA in the previous round to end the Bruins' streak of consecutive Final Four appearances at 10 to end the John Wooden-era dynasty. [ [http://articles.latimes.com/2007/dec/15/sports/sp-uclahoops15 Bruins were finally floored] ]
* 11-seed Loyola Marymount in 1990 - one of the team's stars, Hank Gathers, collapsed and died on the court near the end of the regular season, and teammates (including Bo Kimble, who shot his first free throw of each tournament game left-handed) honored Gathers during the tournament.
* 12-seed Missouri and 10-seed Kent State in 2002.
* 10-seed Gonzaga in 1999.
* 11-seed Temple Owls finished the 2001 regular season on a remarkable run, won Atlantic-10 tournament behind play of Lynn Greer before succumbing to Michigan State.
*George Mason in 2006, which became the first 11-seed to advance to the Final Four since 1986, after defeating 1-seed Connecticut in overtime in the Elite Eight.
* 10-seed Davidson College in 2008.


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