March Madness Seed Statistics for 2022 NCAA Tournament
The countdown to March Madness is nearing its end as the Christmas of the basketball world is finally here. This season of college basketball has returned to more normalcy with many of the restrictions of travel and games played lifted after the past two seasons have been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 virus. With non-stop hoops and exiting buzzer-beaters right around the corner, there are some factors regarding the seeding that you should be aware of before the NCAA Tournament tips off.
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The Opening Round:
The most exciting part of the tournament is watching the underdogs find a way to upset the top seeds and establish their “Cinderella Run,” warming the hearts of the county. In addition to the excitement and feel-good story, this is also the opportunity to capitalize on some impressive payouts as the betting lines are drastically tilted toward the higher seed. But before your risk your well-earned coin, let’s look at the historical context of what upsets are most likely.
Record in first round:
Number 1 seeds vs 16 seeds: 143-1 (99.3%)
Number 2 seeds vs 15 seeds: 135-9 (93.8%)
Number 3 seeds vs 14 seeds: 122-22 (84.7%)
Number 4 seeds vs 13 seeds: 113-31 (78.5%)
Number 5 seeds vs 12 seeds: 93-51 (66.0%)
Number 6 seeds vs 11 seeds: 90-54 (62.5%)
Number 7 seeds vs 10 seeds: 87-57 (60.4%)
Number 8 seeds vs 9 seeds: 71-73 (49.3%)
While the historical context is important, each individual game has its own story and should be looked at as such. Just a few years ago, the expectation was that a number one seed would never lose, until the mighty UMBC team ran top-seeded Virginia out of the gym from start to finish in the 2018 tournament.
Number One Seeds:
Number one seeds have dominated the tournament during its history as number one seeds have won 64% of the championships since going to the 64-team format. When looking at the round of 32, there are still some noteworthy trends to pay attention to. Number 1 seeds are 60-14 against number 8 seeds and 66-6 against 9 seeds in the second round.
In the Sweet 16, number 1 seeds have a win-loss record as follows:
Number 1 seed vs 4 seeds: 40-15
Number 1 seeds vs 5 seeds: 36-8
Number 1 seed vs 12 seeds: 20-0
Number 1 seeds vs 13 seeds: 4-0
In the Elite 8, Number 1 seeds stack up as follows:
Number 1 seeds vs 2 seeds: 23-24
Number 1 seeds vs 3 seeds: 16-10
Number 1 seeds vs 6 seeds: 8-2
Number 1 seeds vs 7 seeds: 4-0
Number 1 seeds vs 10 seeds: 4-1
Number 1 seeds vs 11 seeds: 4-4
While many of these trends favor the top seed, it should also be kept in mind that there has only been one year in which all four 1 seeds won their region and advanced to the Final Four (2008).
Number 2 Seeds:
In the opening round, number two seeds are 135-9 against 15 seeds. In last year’s tournament, there was one of these upsets as Oral Roberts defeated Ohio State 75-72. In the round of 32, number 2 seeds are 58-25 against number 7 seeds and 33-18 vs number 10 seeds.
In the Sweet 16, the win-loss record of number 16 seeds looks like this:
Number 2 seeds vs 3 seeds: 28-17
Number 2 seeds vs 6 seeds: 23-6
Number 2 seeds vs 11 seeds: 14-3
In the Elite 8, Number 2 seeds stack up as follows:
Number 2 seeds vs 1 seeds: 23-24
Number 2 seeds vs 4 seeds: 4-2
Number 2 seeds vs 5 seeds: 4-0
Number 2 seeds vs 8 seeds: 3-2
Number 2 seeds vs 9 seeds: 0-1
Number 2 seeds vs 12 seeds: 2-0
Who Can Win it All?
When looking at the juicy future lines for what team can win it all, there is a lot to consider. There have been 80 total NCAA tournaments since its origin, with it beginning with 8 teams and continually growing throughout his existence. The tourney hit its 64-team capacity in 1985 and has added the First Four in 2011 to bring the total to 68 teams.
Since the tournament has hit the 64-team format, there have been 36 NCAA tournaments played. Of these 36 years, 32 of the champions crowned have been a top 3 seed. The 4 exceptions to this were 7th-seed Connecticut in 2014, 4th seed Arizona in 1997, 6th seed Kansas in 1988, and 8th seed Villanova in 1985.
When looking at the winners specifically, 23 of the winners have been number 1 seeds. This is by far the largest amount as 64% of the champions have proven why they were given a top spot in the bracket and gone undefeated through the tournament. Five of the champions that have been crowned were coming out of the second seed, which makes up 14% of the winners. Lastly, 11% of the winners come from a third seed, which makes up 11% of the champions. There is a lot that goes into each game, so consider more than just the historical context when making your predictions.
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