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


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.

Close Calls

  • 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)

2017 Advice

All four 16-seeds will lose.

Even if you want to go crazy and pick all sorts of upsets, don’t pick this one.

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