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 a lower chance of reaching the Sweet 16 than the 8- and 9-seeds. Overall, the 8-vs-9 games are split evenly, 66-66. In the last decade, however, the 8-seeds have had little bit more success (25-15). In an evenly matched series, though, you’d expect streaks and trends to go back and forth a little.
- 66 (of 132) advanced to the Second Round
- 12 went on to the Sweet 16
- 7 reached the Elite 8
- 4 reached the Final 4
- 3 made the championship game
- 1 was crowned champion
Performance Over the Last 10 Years
- 25 (of 40) advanced to the Second Round
- 4 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. The 8-seed has won exactly half of their First Round games.
- Second Round: Only 9% of 8-seeds advance past the Second Round.
- Sweet 16: Of the 12 teams to reach this round, seven of them continued to the next.
- Elite 8: Only 5% of all 8-seeds make it this far.
- Final 4: It’s happened four times, ever.
- Final: Three 8-seeds have played for the title, but only one pulled off the improbable championship run.
Record in the Second Round
- vs 1-seeds: 12-54
Feats of Strength
- The only three 8-seeds to make a run all the way to the Championship Game:
- 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 Round of 32 once – in 2002, one year after none of them advanced. Crazy!