There truly is no better time of the year than March Madness, right? Exactly. And that’s why today, after my spree of statistical #tournyhistory tweets @udjrosen last night, I’m here today at WFNY to share some notable facts as we enter the Sweet 16. Here you go with my Elite 8 of neat facts:
No. 1: The 2 Ohio State-6 Arizona matchup will be the 27th between a 2-seed and a 6-seed since the tournament expanded to the 64-team format in 1985. In the previous 26 matchups, 2-seeds have a 20-6 record. This includes Ohio State’s victory over 6-seed Cincinnati in 2012.
No. 2: The 2013 tournament is the first ever with three 12-or-lower seeds to make the Sweet 16. (h/t @SportsCenter) In fact, a total of 15 teams seeded 9 or lower have made the Sweet 16 in the last four seasons. In the previous six, only 13 such teams had made the Sweet 16. Parity, eh?
No. 3: With three sub-12 seeds making the Sweet 16, I thought it’d be appropriate to rehash how these teams have done in this round: 1-25 (4%) all-time. Yikes. (More on this one win in a moment) It’s then significantly better for 10-11 seeds: 12-48 (20%). Logically, this would be because 12’s or 13’s historically are faced with a more daunting schedule in the regional semifinals.
No. 4: Now, the story of the tournament: the amazing 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. They’re obviously the first-ever 15-seed to make the Sweet 16. All-time, since 1985, 15-seeds now have a 7-109 (6%) record in the first round. They’re now 1-6 (14%) in the second round.
No. 5: Keeping with FGCU: Surprisingly, per ESPN, 0.95% of brackets submitted to their website had the Eagles in the Sweet 16. As crazy high as that may seem, it might actually be about right. Out of 116 regions, this is the first 15-seed to make the Sweet 16. So 1/100 is approximately about right. Good job, America.
No. 6: Also a first in 2013: Our first ever matchup between a 9-13. The 9-seed Wichita State Shockers will play the 13-seed La Salle Explorers in Los Angeles for an Elite 8 berth. Lowest-ever seed to make an Elite 8? That would be a 12-seed, once: 2002 Missouri. With an easier than normal matchup, La Salle could break that record.
No. 7: Speaking of La Salle, they became the second First Four team to advance all the way to the Sweet 16. Of course, 11-seed VCU also accomplished that feat in 2011 all the way to the Final Four. Also including 12-seed South Florida’s first-round upset in 2012, that makes First Four winners a combined 7-5 in three seasons (thus far).
No. 8: Finally, a nod to the only 1-seed that bowed out over the weekend: Gonzaga. The ‘Zags have actually made it to 15 consecutive NCAA tournaments, but only appeared in one Elite 8. Their record by round: 13-2 in Round of 64; 5-8 in Round of 32; 1-4 in Sweet 16; 0-1 in Elite 8. As my friend Nate pointed out too, that lone Elite 8 was actually the first of these 15 years as a 10-seed in 1999.
[Related: The Diff: Ohio State’s March Madness odds]