Daily Archives: March 25th, 2012

‘Cinderella’ teams make impact on the road to this year’s Final Four

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

Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With Kansas’ defeat of 11th-seeded North Carolina State late Friday night, double-digit seeds have all been eliminated from this year’s¬†tournament. But those teams seeded 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th or 16th again made an impact on this year’s tourney. Double-digit seeds won 12 games this year which was the same number as 2011. Most wins by double-digit seed teams in a tournament was 14 in 1999 and 13 in 2001. Since the NCAA went to a 64-team tournament in 1985, there have been 239 wins by double-digit seed teams, and average of 8.5 per tournament.

Two schools top the list with the most wins by double-digit seeded teams. Gonzaga has won eight games in the tourney as a double-digit seed, winning those eight games as a double-digit seed in four different tourneys. Texas also has eight wins as a double-digit seeded team in the tourney; they have accomplished this feat in five different tournaments.

Following are the schools that have won the most games since 1979 as double-digit seeds (the NCAA went to a seeded format for all teams in 1979).

Tournament wins as a double-digit seed, school

8: Gonzaga, Texas

7: LSU, Richmond

6: Temple, VCU

5: Dayton, North Carolina State

4: Auburn, George Mason*, Kent State, Lamar, Loyola-Marymount, Missouri, Ohio, Tulsa, Xavier, Washington, Western Kentucky

* George Mason won all four of their games in 2006 when as an #11 seed they advanced to the Final Four. In addition to George Mason that year, only two other double-digit seeds have advanced to the Final Four: VCU in 2011 and LSU in 1986.

Did you know? Sixty-six teams that were seeded #10 or lower have made it to the Sweet Sixteen since 1979. This year three double-digit teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen: Xavier, Ohio and North Carolina State. The most double-digit seeds in the Sweet Sixteen was five teams in 1999. Gonzaga is the only school to make the Sweet Sixteen three times as a double-digit seed; they did it three years in a row, 1999, 2000 and 2001.