Usually, and by usually, I mean 71% of the time, at least one 13-seed advances to the Second Round, so it’s a decent bet that we’ll see a 13-seed advance this year.  2018’s tournament was only the third time in the last 32 years two 13’s advanced in the same tournament.  It’s a dangerous upset pick, though, because 4-seeds reach the Final Four almost as often as 3-seeds.  You’ll potentially murder your bracket if you pick the wrong 4-seed to lose in the first round!

While we know we should pick a 13-seed to win in the First Round, should we consider advancing them to the Sweet 16?  Well, it’s happened five times in the past 22 years, but not since 2013.

Overall Performance

  • 29 (of 140) advanced to the Second Round
  • 6 went on to the Sweet 16
  • None reached the Elite 8

Performance Over the Last 10 Years

  • 8 (of 40) advanced to the Second Round
  • 2 went on to the Sweet 16
  • None reached the Elite 8

Bracket Performance History and Advice

  • First Round:  21% win their First Round game, which equates to a 60% chance of at least one upset.  A 13-seed failed to advance 10 times.
  • Second Round:  Only six teams have advanced past the Second Round.  It hasn’t happened since 2013.
  • Sweet 16:  Of the 6 teams to reach this round, none of them continued to the next.  Two out of the last 8 Sweet 16’s included a 13-seed.
  • Elite 8:  Never reached the Elite 8.  So don’t even think about it!

Record in the Second Round

  • vs 12-seeds:  3-9
  • vs 5-seeds:  3-14

The most recent 13-seeds to reach the Sweet 16

  • 2013:  La Salle – beat (4-seed) Kansas State and (12-seed) Mississippi; also beat Boise State in the First Four
  • 2012:  Ohio – beat (4-seed) Michigan and (12-seed) South Florida
  • 2006:  Bradley – beat (4-seed) Kansas and (5-seed) Pittsburgh

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