Whether you’re picking your brackets by your favorite mascots, all upsets, or with knowledge gleaned from Mid-Major Madness (preferable), it doesn’t hurt to have stats in your back pocket!
We broke down how far every seed has advanced in the tournament since 1985.
THEY’RE GOOD RETRIEVERS, BRENT— WeRateDogs® (@dog_rates) March 17, 2018
THEY ARE GOOD RETRIEVERS, BRENT! Our beloved UMBC Retrievers remain the only 16 seed to ever triumph over a No. 1 seed in March Madness on the men’s side. The furthest they advanced was the Round of 32.
SAINT PETER’S IS THE FIRST 15 SEED TO ADVANCE TO THE ELITE 8 pic.twitter.com/4S0AZwfJmE— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) March 26, 2022
We don’t need to head back too far into history to find the furthest-advancing 15 seed: the Saint Peter’s Peacocks made their strut of destiny all the way to the Elite Eight in 2022.
Two 14 seeds have made it to the Sweet 16, but neither advanced to the Elite Eight. The last one to come close was Cleveland State in 1986, losing by a single point.
Six 13-seeds have advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. The closest they’ve come to a victory was Valparasio in 1998, where they lost by six points to Rhode Island. (A tragic moment of mid-major on mid-major crime.)
They aren’t mid-majors (boo), but Oregon State (2021) and Missouri (2002) advanced to the Elite Eight.
Our Lady of Basketball Sister Jean was catapulted to stardom as Loyola Chicago went on its Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2018. Five total have survived to the semifinal, the other mid-majors being George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011.
Syracuse’s 2016 Final Four run :— College Basketball Report (@CBKReport) March 7, 2023
W over #7 seed Dayton
W over #15 seed MTSU
W over #11 seed Gonzaga
W over #1 seed Virginia
A run no Cuse fan could ever forget pic.twitter.com/gmmo0fYqjZ
The furthest a 10 seed has advanced is to the Final Four, and it was Syracuse in 2016. They upset one seed Virginia (crowd jeers).
2013 heralded the lone instance of a nine seed in the Final Four: Wichita State.
All the way to the natty! Villanova won all the marbles in 1985, while Kentucky came up short in 2014 to….
…seven seed UConn! (Shouts to former blogfather Russ Steinberg)
Two six seeds have won the national championship: NC State in 1983 and Kansas in 1988!
How have the top five fared?
They’re routinely making appearances in the championship. How many of those have resulted in victories?
The unlucky fives - no five seed has won a national championship despite numerous appearances in the championship game. Who’ll be the first?
Only three appearances in the championship game and one victory: Arizona in 1997.
Kris Jenkins. April 4, 2016.— TheFirstMint (@TheFirstMint) March 14, 2023
The greatest moment in March Madness history? pic.twitter.com/ystJClB49h
It’s been a hot minute for the two seeds, aside from Villanova in 2016. Before that, it was UConn back in 2004.
A whopping 24 victories since 1985. Sometimes the one seed really is a safe bet - they’ve had a 65% success rate!
What madness are you choosing this year? The first five seed to win it all? A new 16-seed darling? Let us know in the comments!