Ah, the 16-seed. Since the tournament has expanded to 64 (or more) teams, a 16-seed has never beaten a 1-seed. That’s a record of 0-128! That’s more than enough data points for me to declare a clear trend. There’s been a few close calls, though. And, if you’re like me, you might be curious what happened to those 1-seeds that squeaked by.
- In 1989, two 16-seeds lost by only one point. Princeton lost to Georgetown 49-50, and East Tennessee State lost to Oklahoma 71-72. (Georgetown wound up losing in the Elite 8, and Oklahoma lost in the Sweet 16)
- In 1996, Western Carolina lost to Purdue 71-73. (Purdue lost in the next round)
- And in the most exciting close call yet, Murray State took Michigan State to overtime in 1990, ultimately losing 71-75. Murray State is the only 16-seed to ever reach overtime. (Michigan State lost in the Sweet 16)
All four 16-seeds will lose.
Even if you want to go crazy and pick all sorts of upsets, don’t pick this one.