A basic knowledge of NCAA Tournament seed history is a key factor to both filling out a successful bracket and cashing bets. With decades worth of data to mine, each seed has developed a profile that gamblers can use to their advantage. Below is a rundown of all 16 seeds and how they have performed historically.
No. 1- At least one top seed has reached the Final Four in eight of the last 10 years, with the lone outlier being in 2011, when No. 8 Butler and No. 11 VCU blew up the bracket. Seven of the last 10 National Champions were No. 1 seeds. Last year, three top seeds reached the Final Four (Duke, Wisconsin, Kentucky). Additionally, it's widely-known that no No. 1 seed has ever lost an opening-round matchup since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. However, for betting purposes, No. 1 seeds in the first round have gone just 4-8 ATS the last three years.
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No. 2- The last first-round loss by a two-seed came in 2013 when Georgetown was upset by Florida Gulf Coast. Overall, No. 2 has gone 117-7 in the first round. However, they haven't been so good versus the number of late. Last year, No. 15 seeds covered the spread in three of four matchups. Over the last 20 years, at least one No. 2 seed has reached the Final Four 11 times.
No. 3- A three-seed has reached the Final Four in just three of the previous 10 tournaments with the last being eventual National Champion Connecticut in 2011. Three-seeds are 104-20 straight up in the opening round, but were beaten by the spread in all four opening-round games last year. They are just 2-6 against the number in the first round the last two years.
No. 4- A four-seed has reached the Final Four in four of the previous 10 tournaments, with the last coming in 2013, when both Louisville and Syracuse did it. At least one four-seed has been beaten in the first round in five of the past six tournaments. No. 4's were just 2-6 ATS in the first round of the last two tournaments, which includes a 0-4 record last year.
No. 5- No No. 5 seed has ever won the National Championship and only two have reached the Final Four over the last 10 years, which both occurred in 2010 (Butler, Michigan State). Five-seeds have been prone to upsets in the first round, as they are 97-47 (67.4 percent) all-time against No. 12 seeds. No. 5 seeds are just 3-5 ATS in the first round the last two years.
No. 6- The last six-seed to reach the Final Four was way back in 1992, when Michigan's Fab Five advanced. However, there have been two six-seeds to cut down the nets (Kansas, 1988; North Carolina State, 1983). In the opening round, No. 6 is 95-49 (66 percent) straight up all-time. However, six-seeds have been an opening-round loser for bettors as they've gone 11-16-1 ATS since 2006.
No. 7- Only one No. 7 has reached the Final Four, Ralph Sampson's Virginia team in 1984. All-time, No. 7 seeds have gone 90-58 (60.8 percent) straight up in the first round. At least one No.7 seed has been knocked out in the opening round in each of the past three tournaments and four of the last five. No. 7 seeds were 8-3-1 ATS in the opening round of the last three tournaments.
No.8- Only four No. 8 seeds have reached the Final Four since 1985, with the last being Butler in 2011. That group also includes Villanova, which in 1985 became the lowest seed to ever win the national title when upsetting Georgetown in the final. Eight-seeds are 79-69 (53.4 percent) straight up in the opening round. Since 2012, No. 8 seeds have gone 10-6 ATS in the first round.
No. 9- This line is 82-148 (35.7 percent) straight up all time. Only one nine-seed has reached the Final Four, which was Pennsylvania way back in 1979. Here's a little nugget: No. 9s have been favored in the opening round 10 times in the last four years. They have gone 2-8 both straight up and against the number.
No. 10- The farthest a 10-seed has advanced is the Elite Eight, which last happened with Seth Curry and Davidson in 2008. No. 10s are 93-148 (38.6 percent) straight up all time.
No. 11- Three 11-seeds have reached the Final Four: VCU (2011), George Mason (2006) and LSU (1986). No. 11 seeds have an all-time 76-144 (34.5 percent) straight up record in the tournament. At least one No. 11 has won an opening-round game every year since 2004.
No. 12- The furthest a 12-seed has advanced is the Elite Eight (Missouri, 2002). At least one No. 12 has won an opening-round game every year since 2007. Twelve-seeds went 9-7 ATS in the opening round the last four years. Their all-time straight up record is 68-144 (32.1 percent).
No. 13- The farthest a 13-seed has advanced is the Sweet 16, which has occurred five times, with the last being Bradley in 2006. At least one No. 13 seed has advanced past the first round in 11 of the last 15 years, though it didn't happen in either 2014 or 2015. All-time, 13-seeds have won just 19.5 percent (30-124) of their games straight up.
No. 14- Only two 14-seeds have ever reached the Sweet 16, with the last being Chattanooga in 1997. At least one No. 14 has advanced each of the past three seasons. Last year, two No. 14's advanced (UAB, Georgia State). This line has gone 6-2 ATS in the first round the last two years. The No. 14 seed is 22-124 straight up all time, a strike rate of just 15.1 percent.
No. 15- No 15-seed has ever advanced beyond the second round. This line is just 7-117 (5.6 percent) straight up all time, though three of those wins occurred in 2012 and 2013. No. 15s went 3-1 ATS last year.
No. 16- This line is 0-124 straight-up all time. However, the good news for bettors is No. 16s went 8-4 ATS the last three years.
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