Uh-oh. Everyone knows these guys are in danger of being the victim of the classic 5-12 upset. All four 5-seeds have advanced to the Second Round only four times in 32 years. Only 58% of the last 40 5-seeds got past their 12-seed opponent. Of those teams, 52% of ‘em won their next game. At least one 5-seed advanced to the Sweet 16 in 21 of the previous 24 tournaments. Besides the 9-seed, the 5-seed is the only other single-digit seed to not win a Championship.
Overall, 82 (of 128) 5-seeds advanced to the Round of 32. 43 went on to the Sweet 16, and 8 reached the Elite 8. Six 5-seeds have reached the Final 4, and 3 made the championship game.
Over the last 10 years, 23 (of 40) advanced to the Round of 32. 12 went on to the Sweet 16, and 3 reached the Elite 8. Two 5-seeds have reached the Final 4, and 1 made it to the championship game.
Record in the Second Round (by seed matchup)
- vs 4-seeds: 31-37
- vs 13-seeds: 12-3
Feats of Strength
- Three 5-seeds have reached the Final 4 in the last 12 years.
- 2010 – Michigan State and Butler (both 5-seeds) faced off against each other in the Final 4. Butler went on to lose to 1-seed Duke (by 2 points!!) in the championship game.
- 2005 – Michigan State lost to 1-seed North Carolina.
- Two other 5-seeds reached the championship game. Both lost.
- 2000 – Florida
- 2002 – Indiana
Two 5-seeds get past their first games. One of them will make it to the Sweet 16.
We’ll see at least one and probably even two 5-12 upsets this year. There’s an 85% chance of at least one upset. Chances are about 55-60% that we’ll see at least two upsets. Not bad. Three is probably pushing it (20% chance), although it’s happened twice in the last 4 years. We’ll see at least one 5-seed reach the Sweet 16. There’s a small chance one will make it to the Elite 8, but decent enough that we won’t be surprised if it happens.
Pick no more than three 5-seeds to make it out of the Round of 64. It’s a toss-up whether you should pick two or three. Pick at least one of them to advance to the Sweet 16. If you want to advance one of your 5’s to the Elite 8, it’s not a bad call.