Everybody’s favorite upset!  The 5-12 upset is easily the most popular one to pick, and for good reason.  There’s only been 4 tourneys without one.  Just four!  Three 12’s advanced in both 2013 and 2014.  It happens a lot – as often as 6-11 upsets.  But how often do these guys make it to the next round?

Since 2000, 28 12-seeds have advanced to the Round of 32.    Ten of them advanced further to the Sweet 16.  Pretty amazing, right?  That’s been the end of the road for all but one 12-seed (see below).

Overall, 46 (of 128) 12-seeds advanced to the Round of 32.  20 went on to the Sweet 16, and only 1 reached the Elite 8.

Over the last 10 years, 17 (of 40) advanced to the Round of 32.  6 went on to the Sweet 16, and none reached the Elite 8.

4 of the last 6 12’s to reach the Sweet 16 beat a 13-seed to get there.

Record in the Second Round (by seed matchup)

  • vs 4-seeds:  12-23
  • vs 13-seeds:  8-3

Feats of Strength

In 2002, Missouri became the only 12-seed to reach the Elite 8.  Missouri beat (5-seed) Miami, (4-seed) Ohio State, and (8-seed) UCLA along the way.  They lost to (2-seed) Oklahoma by 6 in the regional final.

Bracket Advice

We’ll see at least one and probably even two 5-12 upsets this year.  There’s a 85% chance of at least one upset.  Chances are about 55-60% that we’ll see at least two upsets.  Not bad.  Three is probably pushing it (20% chance), although it’s happened thrice in the last 8 years.  Odds of a 12-seed making it to the Sweet 16 are about 50-55%.

Go ahead and pick at least one 12-seed to upset a 5-seed.  It’s a toss-up whether you should pick one or two.  Don’t let any of the talking heads on TV sway you.  They all talk about this matchup and try to pick which 12-seed will likely win.  You’ll do just as well flipping a coin.  Go with your gut on this one.  If you want to advance one of your 12’s to the Sweet 16, it’s not a bad call.  It hasn’t happened the last 3 years, which is the longest such drought.  The 12-seed is due.

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