Success in the Sweet Sixteen games: #1 seeds, #2 seeds and… #8 seeds?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog that is published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

A banner commemorating the advancement of the ...

A banner commemorating the advancement of the 1997 Cal men's basketball team to the Sweet Sixteen hanging above Pete Newell Court at Haas Pavilion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Four regional semi-final games will be played on Thursday and four on Friday. How well have each of the seeds performed in these Sweet Sixteen games? Since 1985, when the NCAA went to a 64-team tournament, number one seeds have won over 80% of their regional semi-final games; number two seeds have won over 70% of their Sweet Sixteen games, and #8 seeds have a 7-3 record (a .700 winning percentage) in regional semi-final games. These are the only three seeds that have a winning record in regional semi-final games.

Following are each seeds and their win-loss record in the regional semi-final games since 1985.

Seed, win-loss record and pct. in regional semi-final games (1985-2011)

#1     76-18 .809

#2     50-20 .714

#3     27-28 .491

#4     15-31 .326

#5       8-31 .205

#6     13-24 .351

#7       6-12 .333

#8       7-3   .700

#9       1-3   .250

#10    7-13  .350

#11     5-9   .357

#12    1-18  .053

#13    0-4   .000

#14    0-2   .000

#15    0-0   .000

#16    0-0   .000

Here’s a few notes about the seeds in regional semi-final games: #1 seeds are only 3-3 in the last two tournaments… at least one #2 seed has lost in the regional semi-final in each of the past four years… at least one #3 seed has won a regional semi-final game in nine straight tourneys… #4 seeds are only 4-15 this century… #5 seeds are 3-0 in the last two tournaments… a #7 seed has not won a regional semi-final game since 2005… the last time a #8 seed lost a Sweet Sixteen game was in 2002… the last time a #9 seed won a Sweet Sixteen game was in 1994… a #12 seed has lost a regional semi-final game in four straight years.

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