The poor 8-seeds.  First they play against a team (the 9-seed in their region) that should be a fairly even match.  Then if they win, they have to face the 1-seed in the very next round.  Only the 13-16 seeds have reached the Sweet 16 less often than the 8- and 9-seeds.  Overall, the 8-vs-9 games are split almost evenly, 71-77. In the last decade, however, the 8-seeds have had a slight edge (21-19). In an evenly matched series, though, you’d expect streaks and trends to go back and forth a little.

Overall Performance

  • 71 (of 148) advanced to the Second Round
  • 14 went on to the Sweet 16
  • 8 reached the Elite 8
  • 5 reached the Final 4
  • 4 made the championship game
  • 1 was crowned champion

Performance Over the Last 10 Tournaments

  • 21 (of 40) advanced to the Second Round
  • 5 went on to the Sweet 16
  • 2 advanced all the way to the Championship Game where they both lost

Bracket Performance History and Advice

  • First Round:  Flip a coin.
  • Second Round:  48% of 8’s reach this round.
  • Sweet 16:  9% of 8’s reach this round.  Of the 14 teams to reach this round, eight of them continued to the next.
  • Elite 8:  Only 5% of all 8-seeds make it this far.
  • Final 4:  It’s happened five times, ever.
  • Final:  Four 8-seeds have played for the title, but only one pulled off the improbable championship run.

Record in the Second Round

  • vs 1-seeds:  14-57

Feats of Strength

  • The only four 8-seeds to make a run all the way to the Championship Game:
    • 2022:  North Carolina
    • 2014:  Kentucky
    • 2011:  Butler
    • 1985:  Villanova went on to win the Championship in the first year the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams.
  • An 8-seed advanced to the Sweet 16 every other year from 1996-2004.
  • All four 8-seeds advanced to the Second Round twice – in 2002, one year after none of them advanced.  And again in 2015.

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