Success in Sweet 16 games: #1 seeds, #2 seeds and … #8 seeds?

Stretching before the 2006 NCAA Men's Division...

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Four regional semi-final games will be played Thursday and four on Friday as we get closer to finding out this year’s Final Four. How well have each of the seeds performed in past Sweet 16 games?

Since 1985, when the NCAA went to 64-team tournament, #1 seeds have won over 80% of their regional semi-final games; #2 seeds have won over 72% of their Sweet 16 games; and, #8 seeds have a 7-3 record (.700 winning percentage) in regional semi-final games. These are the only three seeds that have a winning record in regional semi-final contests.

If we look at the records of #1 and #2 seeds, these teams are 131-39 (.771 winning percentage) since 1985, while those teams seeded at #3 and below are 93-185 (.335 winning percentage) since ’85. Drop it down to the first four seeds and those teams are 175-101 (.634) in regional semi-final games since 1985 and those teams seeded 5th or below are 49-123 (.285 winning percentage).

Following are each seeds record and winning percentage in regional semi-final games from 1985-2012.

Seed #, win-loss record and winning pct. in Sweet 16 games

#1 seed     79-19 .806
#2 seed     52-20 .722
#3 seed     28-29 .491
#4 seed     16-33 .327
#5 seed      8-31 .205
#6 seed     13-25 .342
#7 seed      7-12 .368
#8 seed     7-3 .700
#9 seed      1-3 .250
#10 seed     7-14 .333
#11 seed     5-10 .333
#12 seed     1-18 .053
#13 seed     0-5 .000
#14 seed     0-2 .000
#15 seed     0-0 .000
#16 seed     0-0 .000

Here’s a few more interesting notes about the seed from regional semi-final (Sweet 16) games:

* #1 seeds are only 6-4 in the last three tournaments.

* At least one #2 seed has lost in the regional semi-finals in four of the last five years.

* At least one #3 seed has won a Sweet 16 game in 10 straight tournaments.

* #4 seed are only 5-17 in regional semi-final games this century.

* #5 seeds are 3-0 in the last three tournaments.

* A #7 seed had not won a regional semi game from 2006-11. Last year, #7 Florida won a Sweet 16 game.

* The last time a #8 seed lost a regional semi-final game was in 2002.

* The last time a #9 seed won a Sweet 16 game was in 1994.

* A #13, #14, #15 or #16 seed has not won a Sweet 16 game since the 1985 format began.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

 

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