Tag Archives: NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship

SIX STATS you might not know about… Final Four teams (the seed history)

SIX STATS is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’

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

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Past history in the NCAA men’s Final Four is pointing to a Kentucky national championship. Here’s a look at some stats from the past 33 tournaments (in 1979 the NCAA went to seeding all the teams) and how team seeds have performed in the past.

1. A number one seed has won the NCAA men’s championship 20 times in the last 33 years. Since 1992 (the last 20 years) a #1 seed has won the tourney 14 times.

2. Kentucky is the only #1 seed in this year’s tournament. In the 11 times when there was only one #1 seed in the Final Four, that number one seed won the championship six times. This is the 31st time in the last 34 years of the tournament that at least one #1 seed has been in the Final Four.

3. This is the fifth time since 1979 that two #2 seeds are in the Final Four (1979, 1994, 1995, 2004). In the four previous times when two #2 seeds made the Final Four, one of those #2 seeds won the title (Michigan State in 1979 and Connecticut in 2004). Six #2 seeds have won the title since 1979, the last being Connecticut in 2004.

4. Louisville is the 12th #4 seed to make it to the Final Four since 1979. Only one #4 seed has ever won the championship: Arizona in 1997.

5. The lowest seeded team of the Final Four teams has won the tournament five times (Indiana as a #3 seed in 1981; North Carolina State as a #6 seed in 1983; Villanova as a #8 seed in 1985; Kansas as a #6 seed in 1988; and Arizona as a #4 seed in 1997).

6. This is only the second time since 1979 that two #2 seeds will face off in a Final Four semi-final game. This is the sixth time that a #1 seed will face a #4 seed in a Final Four semi-final. The #1 seed has won four of those five games.

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.

Greatest upsets in the last two weeks of the NCAA basketball tournament

March Madness Experience logo

March Madness Experience logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Now that we’re down to the last two weeks of the college basketball season, let’s take a look at the upsets that have shaped the final rounds of the tourney. The criteria I’m using is to look at the seeds of each team and the biggest difference in those seed numbers by teams that were ranked lower than the team they defeated. There are three Sweet Sixteen match-ups on Thursday and Friday that could join the upsets listed below if the lower seeds can win: Xavier (#10 seed) vs. Baylor (#3), North Carolina (#1) vs. Ohio (#13), and Kansas (#1) vs. North Carolina State (#11).

Here are the greatest upsets in the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship Game in the NCAA tournament since 1979 when all teams were seeded in the brackets. (To qualify for the list the team that won had to have been seeded five spots or more lower than the team they defeated.)

SWEET SIXTEEN, seed difference, year, teams

9     1986: LSU (#11 seed) defeated Georgia Tech (#2 seed)

7     1987: LSU (#10 seed) defeated DePaul (#3 seed)

7     1991 Temple (#10 seed) defeated Oklahoma (#3 seed)

7     2002: Kent State (#10 seed) defeated Pittsburgh (#3 seed)

7     2008: Davidson (#10 seed) over Wisconsin (#3 seed)

5     1979: Penn (#9 seed) over Syracuse (#4 seed)

ELITE EIGHT, seed difference, year, teams

10     1986: LSU (#11 seed) defeated Kentucky (#1 seed)

10     2006: George Mason (#11 seed) defeated Connecticut (#1 seed)

10     2011: VCU (#11 seed) defeated Kansas (#1 seed)

6      1985: Villanova (#8 seed) defeated North Carolina (#2 seed)

6      2011: Butler (#8 seed) defeated Florida (#2 seed)

5      1983: North Carolina State (#6 seed) defeated Virginia (#1 seed)

5      1987: Providence (#6 seed) defeated Georgetown (#1 seed)

5      1992: Michigan (#6 seed) defeated Ohio State (#1 seed)

FINAL FOUR, seed difference, year, teams

6     1985: Villanova (#8 seed) defeated Memphis State (#2 seed)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, seed difference, year, teams

7     1985: Villanova (#8 seed) defeated Georgetown (#1 seed)

5     1983: North Carolina State (#6 seed) defeated Houston (#1 seed)

5     1988: Kansas (#6 seed) defeated Oklahoma (#1 seed)

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

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

The Xavier vs. Virginia Sweet 16 matchup as pa...

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The first week of the NCAA men’s Div. I basketball tournament is in the books and we have our Sweet Sixteen contingent. All four number 1 seeds advanced, as did a pair of #2 seeds, a pair of #3 seeds and three #4 seeds. Back in 1985, the NCAA went to a 64-team field for this tournament. Since that year, 61.6% 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 28 years of the tournament, 172 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 quick look at how many of each seed made it to the round of 16 in the tournament since 1985.

#1 seed…98 teams     #2 seed…72 teams     #3 seed…57 teams     #4 seed…49 teams

#5 seed…39 teams     #6 seed…38 teams     #7 seed…19 teams     #8 seed…10 teams

#9 seed…4 teams      #10 seed…21 teams     #11 seed…15 teams    #12 seed…19 teams

#13 seed…5 teams    #14 seed…2 teams       #15 seed…0 teams     #16 seed…0 teams

Here’s a few interesting notes about the seeds of the Sweet Sixteen teams from 1985 through 2012.

* #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 26 of the 28 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 seed in the Sweet Sixteen was 1997.

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

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

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

* #7 seeds: #7 Florida this year is 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 10 years.

* #9 seeds: Only two #9 seeds have made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the last 18 years.

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

* #11 seeds: A #11 seed has made the Sweet Sixteen three straight years.

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

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

Kansas, Purdue & Wisconsin extend NCAA men’s bball tourney streaks with first round wins

Warmup before the 2006 NCAA Men's Division I B...

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

Prior to the start of this year’s NCAA Div. I men’s tournament, eight different schools had active streaks of consecutive years with at least one win in three or more NCAA tournaments. Leading the way was Pittsburgh with six straight years with at least one win in the tourney. Here’s a look at those eight schools and how their streaks were affected after first round play on Thursday and Friday.

Pittsburgh (six straight tournaments with one or more win): That streak ended when Pittsburgh failed to get a berth to this year’s tournament.

Kansas (five straight tournaments with one or more win): Extended their streak to six years with a 65-50 win over Detroit.

Purdue (five straight tournaments with one or more win): Extended their streak to six years with a three-point first round win over St.Mary‘s.

Wisconsin (five straight tournaments with one or more win): Made it six straight after a convincing 73-49 win over Montana on Thursday.

Duke (four straight tournaments with one or more win): Upset by #15 Lehigh in the first round on Friday to end their streak.

Syracuse (three straight tournaments with one or more win): Dodged the upset bullet with a first round victory against #16 NC-Asheville extending their streak to four straight years.

Washington (three straight tournaments with one or more win): Streak ended when they did not get invited to this year’s tournament.

Gonzaga (three straight tournaments with one or more win):  Extended their streak to four years with a first-round win over West Virginia.

Note: With victories in first round games, four schools have now won at least one game in three straight tournaments… Ohio State, Kentucky, Kansas State and Brigham Young.