How often do upsets happen in the first round of the NCAA Tournament?

Here’s a glimpse of initial-round surprises by seeding matchup since the tournament field grew in 1985:

It’s the shock of all shocks, and it has occurred only once.

The Retrievers went off in the second half to make a historic victory of 74-54, but the score was knotted at 21-21 at halftime. In the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, pulled off one of the most shocking results in tournament history by beating No. 1 seed Virginia.

UMBC is the only team entering the 2022 tournament that has ever beaten a No. 1 seed, as they were the No. 16 seed in 1985 when they defeated the No. 1 seed, making it an all-time record of 143-1 for No. 1 seeds since the field expanded to 64 teams.

What is the frequency of No. 15 seeds surprising No. 2 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

Throughout the period from 1985 to 2021, No. 2 seeds have had a remarkable record of 135-9 when facing off against No. 15 seeds. It is worth noting that only a total of nine No. 15 seeds have managed to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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In the opening round of the 2021 State Ohio tournament, No. 2 seed Roberts Oral emerged victorious, while No. 15 seed Missouri narrowly defeated Norfolk State and Duke caused an upset by defeating Lehigh. The matchup between the 2nd and 15th seeds is one of the few highlights of the 2012 season.

How frequently do No. 14 seeds surprise No. 3 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

The second round has seen more than double the number of No. 14 seeds advancing compared to No. 15 seeds.

Since 1985, there have been 36 tournaments where a No. 14 seed has won in the first round of the game, and this has happened three times in the same tournament. In the first round, No. 3 seeds have been upset by No. 14 seeds with a score of 122-22.

Abilene Christian achieved the feat in the 2021 tournament against their in-state rival Texas.

What is the frequency of No. 13 seeds causing upsets against No. 4 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

Since 1985, No. 13 seeds have a historical record of 31-113 when facing No. 4 seeds. No. 13 seeds have a slightly higher probability of progressing compared to No. 14 seeds.

Ohio and Texas North became the latest No. 13 seeds to advance past the first round, almost having a 50-50 chance of winning against No. 5-7 seeds from 2018-2021.

What is the frequency of No. 12 seeds causing upsets against No. 5 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

We’re now entering the phase of the initial round where “surprise” is a more flexible expression.

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Only on five occasions, did all four No. 5 seeds advance in the identical competition. Starting from 1985, No. 12 seeds have managed a 51-93 score against No. 5 seeds, resulting in a respectable .354 success rate.

In 2013, 2014, and 2019, No. 12 seeds triumphed over No. 5 seeds. They have nearly succeeded, but four No. 12 seeds have never progressed in the same tournament.

How frequently do No. 11 seeds surprise No. 6 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

They are currently on a hot streak, winning the last five tournaments. However, it is only slightly more likely for No. 11 seeds to advance than No. 12 seeds in the all-time records.

Since 1985, there have been six instances where the No. 6 seeds have won against the No. 11 seeds, with a winning percentage of .375 (54-90). However, over the stretch of 9-11 games, the No. 6 seeds are more likely to win than the No. 11 seeds. In every tournament since 2005, there has been at least one upset where the No. 11 seed defeated the No. 6 seed.

The competition in 1989 stands as the only occurrence in which all four No. 11 seeds triumphed in their matchups against No. 6 seeds.

How frequently do No. 10 seeds surprise No. 7 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

No. 10 seeds have defeated No. 7 seeds approximately 40% of the time, with a record of 57-87 since 1985.

In only two tournaments (1993 and 2007), the teams seeded seventh have completely defeated the teams seeded tenth. Only once (in 1999), all four teams seeded tenth have progressed in the same tournament, similar to the teams seeded eleventh.

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How frequently do No. 9 seeds surprise No. 8 seeds in the NCAA Tournament?

It’s almost a complete toss-up when No. 8 seeds come against No. 9 seeds, with the underdogs having a slight advantage.

In the years since 2016, the initial matchups where teams seeded ninth have achieved a record of 12-8, indicating a more positive trend in recent times for these teams. From 1985 to 2021, teams seeded ninth had a win-loss record of 73-71 when facing teams seeded eighth.

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