Fun Fact: If you fill an NCAA tournament bracket and don’t bother at least one 12-over-5, your submission is automatically out. true storry.
Okay, this is not really a true story. But if you are not choosing 12-over-5, why are you also filling a bracket? It’s a double-digit upset, which is fun, and history suggests that at least one 12 seed is going to play at least two games.
Here is a complete pause in the history of 12 vs. 5 matchups in the NCAA tournament, including the most memorable ups and downs to fill your March Madness bracket.
MORE: Top 80 offset rankings in the history of March Madness
History of 12 seed vs 5 seed upsets in NCAA tournament
There is something really magical about these 12-5 games. Think about this: In the last 40 years, there have been 5 upsets over 50 12, and only 52 11-over-6 wins and 55 10-over-7 results at the same time. Remember, teams seeded on the No. 5 seed line are usually ranked in the top 20 in elections, while teams on the 7 seed line barely fall into the category of “getting votes”, and still have 5 seeds. Loses 7 seeds almost as much.
And instead of telling you that the 12-over-5 has been troubled every year, it is very – very easy – to simply list the years that it did not happen: 1988, 2000, 2007, 2015 and 2018. That is, five years. That is the complete list.
How many times did at least two number 12 seeds win? Let’s see: 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009. 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019. It’s 13, if you didn’t feel like counting. History shows us that it is more than TWICE because it is more likely to win at least two 12 seeds than a win of zero 12 seeds.
But wait, there is more!
Here is a list of the years where three 12 seeds beat 5 seeds: 2002, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2019. Yup, five times. So in the last 40 years, we have watched for many years with three 12 seed winning games because we have won zero 12 seed games. Heck, in the 2013–14 tournament, the No. 12 seed went 6–2 against the No. 5 seed.
So, y’know, pick at least one more than 12-5 upset people.
|1985||Kentucky Diff. Washington||66-58|
|1986||Deppaul defeated. Virginia||72–68|
|1987||Meaningless defeat. Virginia||Is 64-60|
|1989||Deppaul defeated. Memphis State||66-63|
|1990||Defeated Dayton. Illinois||88–86|
|1990||Ball State’s defeat Oregon State||58–53|
|1991||Defeated Eastern Michigan. Mississippi state||76-56|
|1992||New Mexico State Defeats DePaul||81-73|
|1993||George Washington defeated. new Mexico||82-68|
|1994||UW-Green Bay Diff. California||61-57|
|1994||The defeat of Tulsa. UCLA||Is 112–102|
|1995||Miami (Ohio) defeat. Arizona||71–62|
|1996||Drexel Diff. Memphis||75-63|
|1996||Defeated Arkansas. Penn State||86-80|
|1997||Defeated the College of Charleston. Maryland||75-66|
|nineteen ninety eight||Florida State’s defeat TCU||96-87|
|1999||Detroit Diff. UCLA||56-53|
|1999||Missouri State Defeat TCU||96-87|
|2001||Utah State debacle. Ohio State||77–68 (OT)|
|2001||Gonzaga Diff. Virginia||86-85|
|2002||The defeat of Tulsa. Marquette||71–69|
|2002||Missouri debacle. Miami (Fla.)||93–80|
|2002||Creighton def. Florida||83-82 (2OT)|
|2003||Defeated Butler. Mississippi state||47-46|
|2004||Pacific’s defeat frugality||66-58|
|2005||Defeated Milwaukee. Alabama||83-73|
|2006||Defeated Montana. Nevada||87-79|
|2006||Defeated Texas A&M. Syracuse||66-58|
|2008||Defeated Villanova. CLEMSON||75-69|
|2008||Defeated Western Kentucky. fly||101–99 (OT)|
|2009||Defeat of Wisconsin. Florida State||61-59 (OT)|
|2009||Defeated Arizona. Utah||84-71|
|2009||Defeated Western Kentucky. Illinois||76-72|
|2010||Cornell Diff. Tample||78-65|
|2011||Richmond Diff. Vanderbilt||69–66|
|2012||Defeated South Florida. Tample||58-44|
|2012||Defeated VCU. Wichita State||62-59|
|2013||Ole Miss defeat Wisconsin||57-46|
|2013||Defeated California. UNLV||64–61|
|2013||Oregon Diff. Oklahoma State||Is 68-55|
|2014||Defeated Harvard. Cincinnati||61-57|
|2014||North Dakota State Defeats Oklahoma||80-75 (OT)|
|2014||The defeat of Stephen F. Austin. VCU||77–75 (OT)|
|2016||Little Rock def. Purdue||85-83 (2OT)|
|2016||Yale necklace. Boiler||79–75|
|2017||Defeated Middle Tennessee. Minnesota||81-72|
|2019||Oregon Diff. Wisconsin||72-54|
|2019||Liberty Diff. Mississippi St.||80-76|
|2019||Defeated Murray St. Marquette||83-64|
MORE: 14 most outrageous first-round jokes in Big Dance history
12 seeds vs 5 seeds by numbers
- 50-90: Record for 12 seeds vs number 5 seeds
- 35.7 percent: Overall win percentage for 12 seeds since 1985
- 20: Largest margin of victory for a 12 seed; Eastern Michigan over Mississippi State (76-56)
- 1 is Smallest margin of victory for a 12 seed; Four times, first by Ball State (54-53) over Oregon State
- 7: Number of 12 seeds won once in overtime
- 2: Won multiple times by winning 12 seeds in double overtime.
- 1: Buzzer-Butter won for 12 seeds: Western Kentucky at Drake (101-99)
- 21: 12 seeds to reach sweet 16
- 1: 12 seeds to reach the elite eight
Has March Madness Won a 12 Seed Ever?
No, a 12 seed has never won the NCAA tournament, but you should put the idea in the “not very possible but impossible” category. Remember, there are many 11 seeds to crash the Final Four, and crazy things can happen in a 40-minute basketball game.
Out of 21 12 seeds to reach the Sweet 12, only the 2002 Missouri Tigers actually won the Sweet 16 contest to advance to the Elite Eight. It was a talented but inconsistent team, rectified by Kareem Rush with a left-handed smoothie shot, featuring Rico Pauling and Arthur Johnson, and shot-happy senior Clarence Gilbert.
The Tigers defeated the opener in the opener (Miami), then trailed 4-seeded Ohio State by 16 in the second round. Instead of facing the No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16, he played No. 8 UCLA; The Bruins had Cincinnati overtime twice. Mizzou also captured UCLA and won 82–73. Elite in eight games against No. 2 Oklahoma – a big 12 opponent entering the game 34-5 and beating the Tigers by 13 points in their single-season season matchup – with Mizzou foul trouble and Gilbert shooting Despite being given a tough fight (he finished the game 1-for-16 from the field).
The Tigers held Oklahoma’s lead to 70-67 with three points within three minutes, but never came close to it in an 81-75 loss.
More: March Madness Cinderella Players We Will Never Forget
Lowest seed to win NCAA tournament
After the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, we have seen four double-digit seeds reach the final four:
- 11 seed LSU in 1986
- 11 Seed George Mason in 2006
- 10 seed syracuse in 2016
- 11 seed loyola chicago in 2018
All four lost before the title reached the game. Only four teams below the No. 3 seed 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 5 seeds ever live. The Villanova story is an item of legend; A brilliant, methodical 8 seed that reached the title game by grinding out a series of narrow wins (three points or less) and competing against Georgetown Hoys in the championship game.
It is considered by some to be the biggest flaw in NCAA tournament history. But here’s one thing: It makes for a great David and Goliath story, but Villanova was very good. In the 1985 and 1986 NBA Draft, the top 30 picks from that 1985 team went to the top 30 picks (Ed Pinckney in 10 and Dwayne McClain in 27 in 1985 and Harold Presley in 17 in 1986; Gary McCain went to the seventh round in 1985). Factor in that Villanova had already played the Georgetown Tough Twies that year – a loss of just two points and seven points – and, sorry, it doesn’t bother the top-five all-time.
However, it does make for a pretty cool championship story.