Sweet Sixteen teams: The usual suspects with a dose of Cinderella

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

2010 NCAA Sweet Sixteen Bracket

(Photo credit: RMTip21)

The first week of the 2013 NCAA men’s Div. I basketball tournament is in the books and we have our Sweet Sixteen contingent. Three of the four number 1 seeds advanced, as did a trio of #2 seeds, three #3 seeds and a pair #4 seeds.

Three double-digit seeds remain in the tourney as #12 Oregon, #13 LaSalle and #15 Florida Gulf Coast won two games to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Three double-digit teams in the Sweet Sixteen matches the three that made the round of 16 last year.

Back in 1985, the NCAA went to a 64-team field for this tournament. Since that year, 61.9% of the teams making it to the Sweet Sixteen were teams that started the tourney as a #1, #2, #3 or #4 seed.

Another way of looking at this stat is that in the past 29 years of the tournament, 177 teams that were a #5 seed or lower made it to the Sweet Sixteen, an average of just over six teams per tournament (this year there are five teams seeded lower than a #4 seed still in the tourney).

Here’s a look at how many of each seed made it to the round of 16 in the tournament since 1985 (number of each seeds since 2010 is listed in parenthesis – total of 64 teams)

#1 seed…98 teams (13)
#2 seed…72 teams (11)
#3 seed…57 teams (8)
#4 seed…49 teams (8)
#5 seed…39 teams (3)
#6 seed…38 teams (4)
#7 seed…19 teams (1)
#8 seed…10 teams (1)
#9 seed…4 teams (2)
#10 seed…21 teams (3)
#11 seed…15 teams (4)
#12 seed…19 teams (3)
#13 seed…5 teams (2)
#14 seed…2 teams (0)
#15 seed…0 teams (1)
#16 seed…0 teams (0)

Here’s a few interesting notes about the seeds of the Sweet Sixteen teams from 1985 through 2013.

* #1 seeds: At least three of the number 1 seeds have made it to the round of 16 every year since 2005. At least three #1 seeds have made the Sweet Sixteen in 27 of the 29 tournaments; at least two #1 seeds has made the Sweet Sixteen every year.

* #2 seeds: At least two #2 seeds have made the Sweet Sixteen every year since 2001.

* #3 seeds: The only year that there was no #3 seeds in the Sweet Sixteen was 1997.

* #4 seeds: Three #4 seeds in the Sweet Sixteen last year was the most since 2000 when three #4 seeds made it to the round of 16.

* #5 seeds: No #5 seed made the Sweet Sixteen last year breaking a streak of 19 straight tournaments that a #5 seed has been in the final 16.

* #6 seeds: This is only the third year in the past six that a #6 seed has made it to the round of 16.

* #7 seeds: #7 Florida last year was the first #7 in the Sweet Sixteen since 2008.

* #8 seeds: Only two #8 seeds have made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the last 11 years.

* #9 seeds: Wichita State, a #9 seed this year, is only the third #9 seed to make the Sweet Sixteen in the last 19 years.

* #10 seeds: Three #10 seeds made the final 16 in 1999.

* #11 seeds: A #11 seed has made the Sweet Sixteen three of the last four years.

* #12 seeds: At least one #12 seed has made the Sweet Sixteen in nine of the last 13 tournaments.

* #13 seeds: #13 Ohio last year is the first #13 seed in the Sweet Sixteen since 2007.

* #15 seeds: This year’s Florida Gulf Coast team, seeded 15th, is the first #15 seed to ever reach the Sweet Sixteen.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

           

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