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NCAA Tournament 1st Round Record by Seed


We have collected data from the past 32 NCAA Tournaments. This information below is from 1985 through 2016. The first year there were 64 teams in the tournament was 1985. The data shows the record of each seed in the first round of every tournament.


A few Fun Facts:

* A #1 seed has never lost to a #16 seed

* All four #1 seeds have only advanced to the final four 1 time

* The lowest seed to win a championship was a #8 Seed

* A #5 seed has never won the championship


Records by Seed Matchup

The table below shows the records for each pairing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. We analyzed data from 32 tournaments, and there are 4 matchups per tournament, per seeded pair, for a total of 128 games for each seed.

#1 Seed vs #16 Seed - 128-0 - 100% Winning Percentage #1 Seed

#2 Seed vs #15 Seed - 120-8 - 93.75% Winning Percentage #2 Seed

#3 Seed vs #14 Seed - 107-21 - 83.59% Winning Percentage #3 Seed

#4 Seed vs #13 Seed - 102-26 - 79.69% Winning Percentage #4 Seed

#5 Seed vs #12 Seed - 82-46 - 64.06% Winning Percentage #5 Seed

#6 Seed vs #11 Seed - 82-46 - 64.06% Winning Percentage #6 Seed

#7 Seed vs #10 Seed - 78-50 - 60.94% Winning Percentage #7 Seed

#8 Seed vs #9 Seed - 65-63 - 50.78% Winning Percentage #8 Seed


Here is the data made into a graph!

NCAA Tournament Upsets By Seed

What does the data show?

The data shows basically exactly what one would think, the closer the seed pairings, the more likely an upset is to occur. The only time this was not true is the #5 seed has been upset by the #12 seed the same amount of times the #6 seed has been upset by the #11 seed. Another thing to note is the #8 and #9 pairing is not far off from being split 50/50.


If you liked this article check out Final Four Appearances by Seed and NCAA Tournament Championships by Seed, where we go into detail about which seeds are most likely to advance to the Final Four and also win the tournament.