2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament logo2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Sweet 16 Success: #1 Seeds, #2 Seeds, and ... #8 Seeds?

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Wayne Blackshear #25 of the Louisville Cardinals drives on Austin Thornton #13 of 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIMarch 27, 2013

Four regional semi-final games will be played Thursday and four on Friday as we get closer to finding out this year’s Final Four. How well have each of the seeds performed in past Sweet 16 games?

Since 1985, when the NCAA went to 64-team tournament, No. 1 seeds have won over 80 percent of their regional semi-final games; No. 2 seeds have won over 72 percent of their Sweet 16 games; and, No. 8 seeds have a 7-3 record (.700 winning percentage) in regional semi-final games. These are the only three seeds that have a winning record in regional semi-final contests.

If we look at the records of No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, these teams are 131-39 (.771 winning percentage) since 1985, while those teams seeded at No. 3 and below are 93-185 (.335 winning percentage) since ’85. Drop it down to the first four seeds and those teams are 175-101 (.634) in regional semi-final games since 1985 and those teams seeded 5th or below are 49-123 (.285 winning percentage).

Following are each seeds record and winning percentage in regional semi-final games from 1985-2012.

Seed number, win-loss record and winning percentage in Sweet 16 games

No. 1 seed 79-19 .806
No. 2 seed 52-20 .722
No. 3 seed 28-29 .491
No. 4 seed 16-33 .327
No. 5 seed 8-31 .205
No. 6 seed 13-25 .342
No. 7 seed 7-12 .368
No. 8 seed 7-3 .700
No. 9 seed 1-3 .250
No. 10 seed 7-14 .333
No. 11 seed 5-10 .333
No. 12 seed 1-18 .053
No. 13 seed 0-5 .000
No. 14 seed 0-2 .000
No. 15 seed 0-0 .000
No. 16 seed 0-0 .000

Here’s a few more interesting notes about the seed from regional semi-final (Sweet 16) games:

* No. 1 seeds are only 6-4 in the last three tournaments.

* At least one No. 2 seed has lost in the regional semi-finals in four of the last five years.

* At least one No. 3 seed has won a Sweet 16 game in 10 straight tournaments.

* No. 4 seeds are only 5-17 in regional semi-final games this century.

* No. 5 seeds are 3-0 in the last three tournaments.

* A No. 7 seed had not won a regional semi game from 2006-11. Last year, #7 Florida won a Sweet 16 game.

* The last time a No. 8 seed lost a regional semi-final game was in 2002.

* The last time a No. 9 seed won a Sweet 16 game was in 1994.

* A No. 13, No. 14, No. 15 or No. 16 seed has not won a Sweet 16 game since the 1985 format began.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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