March Madness Preview

Now before I send you off to finish all the brackets you can before Thursday’s first round action, let’s get into some bracket facts to help you fill it all out.

All stats referenced are from ESPN’s Keith Lipscomb

“It has been six years since the last No. 1 overall seed reached the Final Four and eight years since it won the championship.” That doesn’t bode well for the Zags.

“Expect at least one top four seed to lose in the first round… Only once in the past 12 tournaments have the top four seeds in each region survived the first round, and just five times in the past 35 tourneys.”

A couple popular upset picks in each region have always been the 5 v. 12 matchup and the 6 v. 11 matchup. For the 5 v. 12 matchup, “2019 marked the third time in the past seven tourneys that No. 12 seeds won three of the four meetings,” and for the 6 v. 11 matchup, “In the first 25 years of the modern tournament era, No. 6 seeds won 69% of the time. But in the past 10 tournaments, they have won just 47.5% of meetings.”

Here’s a few more random facts about filing out your bracket: “Since 1985, the top four seeds in a region have reached the Sweet 16 in only 19 of 140 regions (13.6%).”

“Multiple 4-seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 in eight of the past nine tourneys.”

“You can expect at least one team seeded 10th or worse to advance to the second week of play. It has happened in 33 of the 35 tournaments — including 12 straight — since the field expanded to 64 teams.”

“We’ve had at least one Final Four participant seeded fifth or worse in each of the past 10 tournaments.”

“Ten of the past 13 champs have been top seeds, and no other seed has more than one title in that span.”

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