The Pac-12 might be the so-called “Conference of Champions” until it comes to picking up the most fouls.
That’s because in the Southeastern Conference, it just means more ... fouls.
College basketball will once again take center stage as numerous conference championships tournaments will lead to the NCAA Tournament. And while fans and media will go back and forth over every play, they’ll also have something to say about the way referees officiate a game.
Here’s another talking point. The SEC and Pac-12 — based off NCAA statistics through March 6 — averaged the highest amount of fouls when compared to teams in The Atlantic Coast Conference, The Big East, The Big Ten and The Big 12.
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SEC teams average a total of 18.5 fouls per game. The Pac-12 is next at a rate of 18.4 fouls.
Arkansas leads the SEC with an average of 20.5 fouls while California and Oregon State are tied for the Pac-12 lead with 20.3 fouls.
Georgia, with 16.4 fouls, receives the least amount of fouls of any team in the SEC. USC, at 16.2 fouls, has the lowest total in the Pac-12. Washington checks in at 18.5 on the season.
What about the rest of the major college basketball conferences?
The ACC averages the least amount of fouls from the major conferences at 16.3 per game. Notre Dame actually has the lowest average in the nation with 13 while Wake Forest is the conference’s leader with 19.4.
After the SEC and Pac-12, the Big 12 comes in at 17.8 fouls. Kansas picks up the least amount of fouls with 15.4 while West Virginia leads the Big 12 with 21.5.
The Big East is next in line with 17.5 fouls. Creighton has the lowest total in the league with 14.8 while Marquette has the highest at 19.1.
The Big Ten has the second-lowest average of fouls per game at 17.3. Both Minnesota and Purdue average 15.5 fouls and that’s the lowest figure within the conference. Illinois, however, leads the Big Ten and all the conferences involved in the study with 22.5 fouls.
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark