Sweet 16 Teams: The Usual Suspects with a Dose of Cinderella

Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIMarch 25, 2013

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts while taking on the Michigan State Spartans during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The first week of the 2013 NCAA men’s Div. I basketball tournament is in the books and we have our Sweet 16 contingent. Three of the four No. 1 seeds advanced, as did a trio of No. 2 seeds, three No. 3 seeds and a pair of No. 4 seeds.

Three double-digit seeds remain in the tourney as No. 12 Oregon, No. 13 LaSalle and No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast won two games to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Three double-digit teams in the Sweet 16 matches the three that made the round of 16 last year.

Back in 1985, the NCAA went to a 64-team field for this tournament. Since that year, 61.9 percent of the teams making it to the Sweet Sixteen were teams that started the tourney as a No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 or No. 4 seed.

Another way of looking at this stat is that in the past 29 years of the tournament, 177 teams that were a No. 5 seed or lower made it to the Sweet 16, an average of just over six teams per tournament (this year there are five teams seeded lower than a No. 4 seed still in the tourney).

Here’s a look at how many of each seed made it to the round of 16 in the tournament since 1985 (number of each seeds since 2010 is listed in parenthesis – total of 64 teams)

#1 seed…98 teams (13)
#2 seed…72 teams (11)
#3 seed…57 teams (8)
#4 seed…49 teams (8)
#5 seed…39 teams (3)
#6 seed…38 teams (4)
#7 seed…19 teams (1)
#8 seed…10 teams (1)
#9 seed…4 teams (2)
#10 seed…21 teams (3)
#11 seed…15 teams (4)
#12 seed…19 teams (3)
#13 seed…5 teams (2)
#14 seed…2 teams (0)
#15 seed…0 teams (1)
#16 seed…0 teams (0)

Here’s a few interesting notes about the seeds of the Sweet 16 teams from 1985 through 2013.

* No. 1 seeds: At least three of the No. 1 seeds have made it to the round of 16 every year since 2005. At least three No. 1 seeds have made the Sweet 16 in 27 of the 29 tournaments and at least two No. 1 seeds has made the Sweet 16 every year.

* No. 2 seeds: At least two #2 seeds have made the Sweet Sixteen every year since 2001.

* No. 3 seeds: The only year that there was not a single No. 3 seed in the Sweet 16 was 1997.

* No. 4 seeds: Three No. 4 seeds in the Sweet 16 last year was the most since 2000 when three No. 4 seeds made it to the round of 16.

* No. 5 seeds: No five seed made the Sweet 16 last year, breaking a streak of 19 straight tournaments that a No. 5 seed has been in the final 16.

* No. 6 seeds: This is only the third year in the past six that a No. 6 seed has made it to the round of 16.

* No. 7 seeds: No. 7 Florida last year was the first No. 7 in the Sweet 16 since 2008.

* No. 8 seeds: Only two No. 8 seeds have made it to the Sweet 16 in the last 11 years.

* No. 9 seeds: Wichita State, a No. 9 seed this year, is only the third No. 9 seed to make the Sweet 16 in the last 19 years.

* No. 10 seeds: Three No. 10 seeds made the final 16 in 1999.

* No. 11 seeds: A No. 11 seed has made the Sweet 16 in three of the last four years.

* No. 12 seeds: At least one No. 12 seed has made the Sweet 16 in nine of the last 13 tournaments.

* No. 13 seeds: No. 13 Ohio last year is the first No. 13 seed in the Sweet 16 since 2007.

* No. 15 seeds: This year’s Florida Gulf Coast team, seeded 15th, is the first No. 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16.

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