March Madness Seed vs Seed Historical Percentages

(credit: SD Dirk)

Information that you can use to make informed picks for the first round for the 2010 NCAAB National Championship.

In anticipation of Selection Sunday and the field of 65 teams our staff took a look at the last 4 years of NCAA basketball March Madness tournaments and crunched the numbers for you.  This should help you make smart picks in the tournament this year, whether you are looking at your office bracket or odds with Players Only (the Tuesday night play-in game is ignored and we're only looking at the field of 64 in this article; records are those of the higher seed in all cases).

2009 NCAAB National Championship Tournament

#1 seeds vs #16 seeds: 4-0
#2 seeds vs #15 seeds: 4-0
#3 seeds vs #14 seeds: 4-0
#4 seeds vs #13 seeds: 3-1
#5 seeds vs #12 seeds: 1-3
#6 seeds vs #11 seeds: 3-1
#7 seeds vs #10 seeds: 1-3
#8 seeds vs #9  seeds: 2-2

2008 NCAAB National Championship Tournament

#1 seeds vs #16 seeds: 4-0
#2 seeds vs #15 seeds: 4-0
#3 seeds vs #14 seeds: 4-0
#4 seeds vs #13 seeds: 2-2
#5 seeds vs #12 seeds: 2-2
#6 seeds vs #11 seeds: 3-1
#7 seeds vs #10 seeds: 3-1
#8 seeds vs #9  seeds: 2-2

2007 NCAAB National Championship Tournament

#1 seeds vs #16 seeds: 4-0
#2 seeds vs #15 seeds: 4-0
#3 seeds vs #14 seeds: 4-0
#4 seeds vs #13 seeds: 4-0
#5 seeds vs #12 seeds: 4-0
#6 seeds vs #11 seeds: 2-2
#7 seeds vs #10 seeds: 4-0
#8 seeds vs #9  seeds: 1-3

2006 NCAAB National Championship Tournament

#1 seeds vs #16 seeds: 4-0
#2 seeds vs #15 seeds: 4-0
#3 seeds vs #14 seeds: 3-1
#4 seeds vs #13 seeds: 3-1
#5 seeds vs #12 seeds: 2-2
#6 seeds vs #11 seeds: 2-2
#7 seeds vs #10 seeds: 2-2
#8 seeds vs #9  seeds: 3-1

Compiled Stats and Betting Tips

#1 seeds vs #16 seeds: 16-0

Just put all the number 1 seeds through to the second round in your office pool.  Don't try to make a genius pick and don't try to get cute.  Regardless of what you want to happen or what you think might possibly happen just put each 1 seed through to the second round. 

No number 1 seed has ever lost in the first round of the NCAAB tournament.  There's no precedent.  There's no dark sheep.  There's no mutation.  As far as sports betting goes this is the one thing that is considered impossible.

There have been a couple scares but these wimpy 16 seeds never have guys that can make clutch plays in the dying seconds.

Sportsbooks probably won't be offering straight up picks on the four games involving #1 seeds vs #16 seeds so don't look for a chance to top up.  Even if you do get odds they will probably be around -10000 (1/100) and there's no value to be had - you'll just sweat bullets if it's close and for what?  A penny on a dollar?

Look for spread betting or over/under lines with these games but to be honest, they aren't the best games to bet.  While Kansas might look great to cover a 33.5 point spread against someone like Ohio, you never know how the game will be played.  Up by 25 the Jayhawk scrubs might log 7 or 8 minutes each and that will affect things.

#2 seeds vs #15 seeds: 16-0

#15 seeds have beaten #2 seeds in the past but it hasn't happened since 2001.  Even where it has happened there has often been a special circumstance.

In 1991 Richmond burned Syracuse in the first round by 4 points to become the first 15 seed to win a game ever in the March Madness tournament.  That result was simply a shocker. 

A couple years later Santa Clara defeated Arizona by 3 as the Wildcats missed a game tying shot at the buzzer.  The thing to note with this game however is that the Broncos were quite underrated as a 15 seed as they had Steve Nash running the point, a player who now has two NBA MVP awards to his credit.  With the ball in his hands every time it came up the court, Santa Clara was in fact a legitimate threat.

In 1997 Coppin State beat South Carolina by 13 in the most lopsided 15 seed victory in the history of the tournament.  Nobody in the world was afraid to play South Carolina that year and for certain Coppin State couldn't have handpicked a better realistic first round match-up.  Eddie Fogler, head coach of South Carolina, was anything but a post-season coach.  In 6 NCAA tournament appearances over his career only once did he advance out of the first round.

Lastly in 2001 Hampton defeated Iowa State in the first round of the NCAAs in what, like the Syracuse loss, can only be described as a shocker.

#15 seeds are not so likely to have odds either and you should put all your number 2 seeds through to the second round as well.  Despite the slim potential for an upset, their betting options are narrow.

#3 seeds vs #14 seeds: 15-1

#4 seeds vs #13 seeds: 12-4

#5 seeds vs #12 seeds: 9-7

The reason that 12 seeds do really well against 5 seeds is simple, but you have to understand how the seeding process works.  The worst teams in the field of 64 are the conference champions from the weakest conferences.  They take up the 13 seeds, the 14 seeds, the 15 seeds, and the 16 seeds.  The 12 seeds are often the schools that were on the bubble heading into the NCAA tournament and there is a huge difference between a 13 seed and a 12 seed for that exact reason.

The 12 seed will likely be an at large team that gets into the field based on a strong overall season whereas the 13+ seed simply gets due a conference tournament run against terrible competition.  The 12 seeds are good teams while the 13 seeds are whether the talent seriously starts to drop off.

Look for long odds on the 12 seeds and bet them to upset the 5 seeds or at least look for the 12s to cover the spreads.

#6 seeds vs #11 seeds: 10-6

#7 seeds vs #10 seeds: 10-6

#8 seeds vs #9  seeds: 8-8

Bet the longer odds in these match-ups and/or take the underdog to cover the spread.  If you win 50% of the time betting odds on the longer side of EVEN then you'll up your bankroll.

Register with Players Only to bet on NCAA basketball games and take advantage of their 10% deposit bonus to receive free bets that can be used on NCAA basketball.

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March Madness Seed vs Seed Historical Percentages

Information that you can use to make informed picks for the first round for the 2010 NCAAB National Championship.

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