Data and predictions related to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket


As you’d expect, the 14-seed has had more success than the 15’s.  At least one 14-seed has advanced to the Second Round in 4 of the last 5, but only 5 of the last 10 tourneys.  There’s an unexpected trend, actually, in the frequency of 14-seed success.

14-seeds had an amazing run with 7 consecutive years of at least one of them advancing in the first round (1986-1992).  Since then, 14-seeds have been winning less and less often.

Check out the average number of 14-seeds advancing to the Round of 32:

  • 1985-1999:  0.87
  • 2000-2014:  0.47

The most recent 14-seed uprisings are:

  • 2016:  Stephen F. Austin over West Virginia
  • 2015:  Georgia State over Baylor & UAB over Iowa State
  • 2014:  Mercer over Duke
  • 2013:  Harvard over New Mexico
  • 2010:  Ohio over Georgetown
  • 2006: Northwestern State over Iowa
  • 2005:  Bucknell over Kansas

2017 Advice

There’s about a 50% chance of a 3-14 upset this year, so don’t be surprised if it happens.

Given the low probability of it happening and the potential runs that 3-seeds can make, I wouldn’t take the chance of calling an upset this year.  UNLESS you’re shooting for that perfect bracket, then it’s something to consider.

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