Fun fact: If you complete an NCAA tournament draw and don’t pick at least a 12 out of 5 surprise, your submission is automatically discarded. True story.
Okay, that’s not really a true story. But if you are not picking a 12 out of 5, why is you completing a parenthesis? It’s a double-digit surprise, which is fun, and history shows us that there’s a very good chance that at least one 12-seeded will play at least two games.
Here’s a full breakdown of the 12v5 matchup storyline in the NCAA Tournament, including the most memorable upsets and important numbers to know when completing your March Madness draw.
MORE: Ranking the Top 80 Surprises in March Madness History
Record of 12 seeds vs. 5 losses in the NCAA tournament
There really is something magical about these 12-5 games. Think about this: in the last 40 years, there have been 50 upsets 12 out of 5 and at the same time, there have only been 52 wins 11 out of 6 and 55 results 10 out of 7. Remember, the teams seeded at the seeded line No. 5s generally rank in the top 20 in polls, while teams in the 7-seeded line are barely in the category of “also getting votes,” and yet the top-5s lose almost as much. like the 7 seeds.
And instead of telling you every year that there has been a 12 out of 5 disorder, it is much, MUCH easier to list the years it didn’t happen: 1988, 2000, 2007, 2015, and 2018. That’s it, five years. That is the complete list.
How many times have they won at least two No. 12 seeds? Let’s see: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009. 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019. There are 13, if you don’t feel like counting. History shows us that it is more than twice as likely to win at least two seeds 12 than to win zero 12 seeds.
But wait, there is more!
Here’s a list of the years THREE 12 seeds beat a 5: 2002, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2019. Yes, five times. So in the last 40 years, we’ve seen as many years with three 12-seeded winning games as there are zero 12-seeded winning games. Heck, in the 2013-14 tournaments, No. 12 seeds were 6-2 against No. 5 seeds.
So, you know, pick at least one 12 out of 5 surprise, folks.
|1985||Kentucky def. Washington||66-58|
|1986||DePaul def. Virginia||72-68|
|1987||Wyoming def. Virginia||64-60|
|1989||DePaul def. Memphis State||66-63|
|1990||Dayton def. Illinois||88-86|
|1990||Ball State def. State of oregon||54-53|
|1991||East Michigan def. Mississippi State||76-56|
|1992||State of New Mexico def. DePaul||81-73|
|1993||George Washington def. New Mexico||82-68|
|1994||UW-Green Bay def. California||61-57|
|1994||Tulsa def. UCLA||112-102|
|nineteen ninety five||Miami (Ohio) def. Arizona||71-62|
|nineteen ninety six||Drexel def. Memphis||75-63|
|nineteen ninety six||Arkansas def. Penn State||86-80|
|1997||College of Charleston def. Maryland||75-66|
|1998||State of Florida def. TCU||96-87|
|1999||Detroit def. UCLA||56-53|
|1999||State of Missouri def. TCU||96-87|
|2001||Utah state def. State of ohio||77-68 (overtime)|
|2001||Gonzaga def. Virginia||86-85|
|2002||Tulsa def. Marquette||71-69|
|2002||Missouri def. Miami (Fla.)||93-80|
|2002||Creighton def. Florida||83-82 (2OT)|
|2003||Butler def. Mississippi State||47-46|
|2004||Pacific def. Providence||66-58|
|2005||Milwaukee def. Alabama||83-73|
|2006||Montana def. Nevada||87-79|
|2006||Texas A&M def. Syracuse||66-58|
|2008||Villanova def. Clemson||75-69|
|2008||Western Kentucky def. Duck||101-99 (OT)|
|2009||Wisconsin def. Florida State||61-59 (overtime)|
|2009||Arizona def. Utah||84-71|
|2009||Western Kentucky def. Illinois||76-72|
|2010||Cornell def. temple||78-65|
|2011||Richmond def. Vanderbilt||69-66|
|2012||Right South florida temple||58-44|
|2012||VCU def. Wichita State||62-59|
|2013||Ole Miss def. Wisconsin||57-46|
|2013||California def. UNLV||64-61|
|2013||Oregon def. State of oklahoma||68-55|
|2014||Harvard def. Cincinnati||61-57|
|2014||State of North Dakota def. Oklahoma||80-75 (overtime)|
|2014||Stephen F. Austin def. VCU||77-75 (overtime)|
|2016||Little Rock def. Purdue||85-83 (2 years)|
|2016||Yale def. Baylor||79-75|
|2017||Def. Middle Tennessee Minnesota||81-72|
|2019||Oregon def. Wisconsin||72-54|
|2019||Freedom def. Mississippi St.||80-76|
|2019||Murray St. def. Marquette||83-64|
MORE: The 14 Most Humiliating First Round Chokes in Big Dance History
12 seeds against 5 seeds in numbers
- 50-90: Record 12-seeded vs. No. 5-seeded
- 35.7 percent: 12-seeded overall win percentage since 1985
- twenty: Greater margin of victory for a 12th place; Eastern Michigan over the state of Mississippi (76-56)
- 1. The smallest margin of victory for a 12th place; four times, first by Ball State over Oregon State (54-53)
- 7: Number of times a 12 seeded has won in overtime
- two: Number of times a 12 seeded has won in double overtime
- 1: Beater wins for 12 seeds: Western Kentucky over Drake (101-99)
- twenty-one: 12 seeds to get to Sweet 16
- 1: 12 seeds to reach the Elite Eight
Has a 12 seed ever won March Madness?
No, a 12th seed has never won the NCAA Tournament, but you should keep the idea in the “not very likely but not impossible” category. Remember, there have been multiple 11 seeds that crashed in the Final Four, and crazy things can happen in a 40 minute basketball game.
Of the 21 12 seeds that made the Sweet 16, only the 2002 Missouri Tigers won that Sweet 16 contest to advance to Elite Eight. That was a talented but inconsistent team led by Kareem Rush, the junior with a soft left-handed shot, with sophomores Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson and senior Clarence Gilbert.
The Tigers defeated Miami (Florida) in the first game and then went 16 to Ohio State, 4 seeded, in the second round. Instead of facing the No. 1 seed at Sweet 16, they played No. 8 UCLA; the Bruins had turned Cincinnati upside down in double overtime. Mizzou also edged UCLA, winning 82-73. In the Elite Eight game against No. 2 Oklahoma, a Big 12 rival who was 34-5 entering the game and had beaten the Tigers by 13 points in their only regular-season meeting, Mizzou held his ground despite the foul problems and Gilbert’s shooting problems (finished game 1 of 16 from the field).
The Tigers cut Oklahoma’s lead to three points at 70-67 with less than three minutes remaining, but never got any closer in a 81-75 loss.
MORE: March Madness Cinderella Players We Will Never Forget
Lowest seeded to win the NCAA Tournament
Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, we’ve seen five double-digit seeds reach the Final Four:
- 11 LSU seed in 1986
- 11th seed George Mason in 2006
- 11 VCU seed in 2011
- 10 Syracuse seed in 2016
- 11 Loyola Chicago seed in 2018
All four lost before reaching the title game. Only four teams seeded below the No. 3 line have won the national title: a 4 seed (Arizona in 1997), a 6 seed (Kansas in 1988), a seven seed (UConn in 2014) and an 8 seed (Villanova in 1985). No fifth seed has ever won. The history of Villanova is the stuff of legend; a courageous and methodical eighth seed who reached the title game by scoring a series of narrow victories (three by three points or less) and facing the mighty Georgetown Hoyas in the championship game.
Some consider it the biggest surprise in NCAA tournament history. But here’s the thing: it’s a great David and Goliath story, but Villanova was pretty good. In the 1985 and 1986 NBA Drafts, three starters from that 1985 team made the top 30 picks (Ed Pinckney with 10 and Dwayne McClain with 27 in 1985 and Harold Pressley with 17 in 1986; Gary McLain entered the seventh. round in 1985). . Note that Villanova had already played Georgetown HARD TWICE that year (losses by just two points and seven points) and, sorry, it’s no surprise in the top five of all time.
However, it is quite an interesting championship story.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.