The following is a guest post is by Adam Bruk.
It's the most wonderful time of the year for college basketball fans, especially those whose team has made it to the elusive field of 64. It seems that each year we sit down to watch the games, there isn't a day that goes by without a big upset. Those that pick only the top seeds to move on can count on tearing up their brackets before the weekend round of 32.
During the regular season, it seems like upsets happen on a weekly basis. In fact, an unranked team beat a top 5 ranked team over 20 times this past season, and there was a week when all of the top 5 teams were upset by an unranked opponent. But during the tourney, we're always surprised at how a No. 4 seed could lose to a No. 13 seed — especially when our brackets (and bragging rights) depend on it.
Here are a few more shocking statistics since the tournament was expanded to include 64 teams in 1985:
- Only once have all 4 No. 1 seeds made it to the Final Four.
- A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 seed in the tourney.
- The lowest seed to ever win the tourney was a No. 8 seed, Villanova, in 1985.
- In the No. 5 vs. No. 12 seed match-ups, the No. 5 seed has only won two-thirds of the time.
- The No. 9 seeds have more wins in their first round games than the No. 8 seeds. (More match-up stats can be seen here.)
- This year is the first time a No. 15 seed has ever advanced to the Sweet 16.
- 2013 is also the first year that 3 teams seeded No. 12 or lower have made the Sweet 16.
Based on the number of times a lower seed has beaten a higher seed, we shouldn't be surprised by all of the upsets we see each year. Granted, it’s true that history doesn't always repeat itself, but there’s a reason why bracket experts pick a No. 12 seed to upset a No. 5 seed each year. As many sports announcers and analysts have said, anything goes in the single elimination tournament.
This article was written by Adam Bruk. A writer by day and sports fanatic by night, he loves to follow college and professional sports. He enjoys creating fun content for Sunglass Warehouse, such as this Sweet 16 contest, so that sports fans can cheer on their team in style!