6-seeds have been generally unremarkable. If, and that’s a significant if, they get past their 11-seed foe, their next opponent is usually a 3-seed. The 6-seed made somewhat regular appearances in the Elite 8 through the first 17 years of the expanded tournament. It’s only happened three times since then. It’s been 25 years since the last time a 6-seed made the Final 4. Maybe they’re due??
Overall, 82 (of 128) 6-seeds advanced to the Round of 32. 42 went on to the Sweet 16, and 14 reached the Elite 8. Three 6-seeds have reached the Final 4, 2 made the championship game, and one was crowned champion.
Over the last 10 years, 21 (of 40) advanced to the Round of 32. 8 went on to the Sweet 16, and 2 reached the Elite 8.
Record in the Second Round (by seed matchup)
- vs 3-seeds: 28-38
- vs 14-seeds: 14-2
Feats of Strength
- The only two 6-seeds to make a Championship Game run are:
- 1992: Michigan – lost to 1-seed Duke 71-51
- 1988: Kansas – beat 1-seed Oklahoma 83-79
- Three 6-seeds have reached the Elite 8 in the last 15 years: Wisconsin in ’05, Tennessee in ’10, and Notre Dame in ‘16.
There’s an equal chance of either two or three 6-seeds getting past their first opponents. Three of the last 10 years we didn’t get one, but this year we’ll probably see at least one 6-seed make it to the Sweet 16. It’s possible, but not likely, that we’ll see one make it to the Elite 8. A 6-seed hasn’t reached the Final 4 since 1992, so it would be a shocker to see one make it this year.
Pick two or three of these guys to win their first game. Picking one to move on to the Sweet 16 is a fairly safe move. We won’t see any 6-seeds advance past that, though. Pick otherwise at your own risk.