Tag Archives: Single-elimination tournament

SIX STATS you might not know about… the NCAA men’s Final Four

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

Final Four

Final Four (Photo credit: slack13)

1. Since 1985 when the NCAA went to a 64-team format for the tournament, 71 of the 112 (63.4%) teams in the Final Four were either a #1 or #2 seed. This year three of the four teams are either a #1 or #2 seed (Louisville as a #4 seed is the only exception). About 86% of the Final Four teams since 1985 have been a #1, #2, #3 or #4 seed. Since 1979 when the NCAA went to seeding all the teams, no teams that were seeded #10, #12, #13, #14, #15 or #16 have made it to the Final Four. Three #11 seeds have made it to the Final Four since 1979.

2. In the 54 Final Four semifinal games since 1979, the higher seed has won 26 and lost 15. On 13 occasions teams that were seeded the same faced off in the semis (such is the case on Saturday when two #2 seeds – Ohio State and Kansas – face off in one semifinal)

3. Thirty-two of the 54 (59%) Final Four semifinal games have been decided by nine points or less.

4. The teams that won their semifinal game by a closer margin has won the title 14 times and lost 10 (three times the title game opponents won their semifinal game by the same margin).

5. There have been 19 times when a team has played in back-to-back championship games. The last to do so was Butler in 2010 and 2011 (they lost both games). Prior to that it was Florida in 2006 and 2007 (they won both games).

6. The state of Missouri has hosted the most Final Fours with 13. Tied for second are New York and Kentucky with seven. They are followed by Texas, Indiana, and this year’s host, (New Orleans) Louisiana, with six.

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.