Before 2012, 2-seeds went 10 straight years without losing in the First Round.  In the nine tournaments since that streak, we’ve seen five 2-seeds drop their first game.  Is this the start of a new trend?  Or a weird statistical anomaly?  Who knows?  Let’s see what happens this year!

Overall Performance

  • 135 (of 144) advanced to the Second Round
  • 91 went on to the Sweet 16
  • 65 reached the Elite 8
  • 29 reached the Final 4
  • 13 made the championship game
  • 5 won the tournament

Performance Over the Last 10 Years

  • 35 (of 40) advanced to the Second Round
  • 24 went on to the Sweet 16
  • 17 reached the Elite 8
  • 7 reached the Final 4
  • 2 made it to the championship game, but only one of them won it

Bracket Performance History and Advice

  • First Round:  Only 9 (out of 144) 2-seeds have lost in the First Round.  Interestingly, 5 of those upsets happened within the last 9 tournaments.  It’s still probably too rare of an occurrence to take the risk of picking an upset here.
  • Second Round:  Chances are pretty good (84%) that at least one 2-seed will lose in the Second Round.  There’s a 70% chance only 2 or 3 of them will advance to the Sweet 16.
  • Sweet 16:  Another 2-seed will probably lose in this round.  There have only been two tournaments where none of the 2-seeds advanced past the Sweet 16.
  • Elite 8:  There is a 59% chance at least one 2-seed advances past the Elite 8.
  • Final 4:  29 2-seeds have reached the Final 4, and 13 wound up advancing to the Final.
  • Final:  Of the 13 2-seeds to reach the Final, 5 of them won.

Record in the Second Round

  • vs 7-seeds:  57-26
  • vs 10-seeds:  34-18

Feats of Strength

  • 2016 Villanova was the last team to win the tournament as a 2-seed.
  • The previous 2-seed winner was Connecticut, 12 years earlier, in 2004.
  • All four 2-seeds advanced to the Elite 8 twice:
    • 1995 – Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Arkansas
    • 1996 – Georgetown, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, and Kansas

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