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


These guys are good, and they seem to be getting even better.  It’s been six years since winning a championship, but the 3-seed is the only other seed besides the 1- and 2-seeds to have won multiple championships.  They’ve won 4, and 2-seeds have won 5.

Overall, 107 (of 128) 3-seeds advanced to the Round of 32.  65 went on to the Sweet 16, and 31 reached the Elite 8.  Fourteen 3-seeds have reached the Final 4, and 9 made the championship game.  Four of them won the tournament.

Over the last 10 years, 34 (of 40) advanced to the Round of 32.  24 went on to the Sweet 16, and 11 reached the Elite 8.  Two 3-seeds have reached the Final 4.  One made it to the championship game and won it.

Record in the Second Round (by seed matchup)

  • vs 6-seeds:  38-28
  • vs 11-seeds:  28-14

Feats of Strength

  • All four 3-seeds made the Sweet 16 twice
    • 2008 – Stanford, Wisconsin, Xavier, and Louisville
    • 2009 – Syracuse, Kansas, Missouri, and Villanova
  • Four 3-seeds have been crowned champion
    • 1989 – Michigan
    • 2003 – Syracuse
    • 2006 – Florida
    • 2011 – Connecticut

2017 Advice

All four 3-seeds will win their first game.  Two will advance to the Sweet 16.

All four 3-seeds will probably get to the Second Round.  At most, three of them will reach the Sweet 16.  One or two will make the Elite 8.  There’s a little less than a 50% chance we’ll see a 3-seed in the Final 4.  It’s been 6 years since a 3-seed was in the Final Four – the longest such drought ever.  This would probably be a good year to pick one.  If there is a 3-seed in the Final 4, it will probably advance to the championship game.  Nine of the 14 Final Four 3-seeds advanced to the Championship game.

Pick all four 3-seeds to win in the First Round, unless you wanna take a huge risk.  The First Round upset could happen, but you can get seriously burned if it doesn’t happen.  Pick two or three to make the Sweet 16 and at least one of those to advance to the Elite 8.  After that, anything could happen.  Go with your gut.

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