16 Over 1: Will It Ever Happen?

Loren SchumanContributor IMarch 14, 2010

14 Mar 2002: Tim Szatko #35 of Holy Cross moves against the defense of Drew Gooden #0 of Kansas during the first round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Kansas defeated Holy Cross 68-59 DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Elsa  /Getty Images
Elsa/Getty Images

    As sports fans across the country clamor to fill out their brackets, serious projection-makers sniff out the upsets that can make or destroy a one's chances in their office pool. 

    The 12 over 5 is a fan favorite, and is so popular that it becomes a low-risk maneuver to choose the underdog with virtually everyone picking at least one 5 to go down.  Not surprisingly, 12s have beaten 5s 34% of the time.

    13 over 4, (21% of the time 13s win)and 14 over 3 (15% of the time 14's win) are increasingly elusive.  Therefore, if one can predict one of these results correctly, it can mean the difference between finishing in the money and finishing with nothing. 

    While the 15 over the two has occured 4 times out of one hundred; the chance at earning bragging rights if one somehow foresees such a bewildering result is logically not worth the ridicule one would receive around the office for inaccurately prognosticating when the 2 seed wins by 40.  Though, the most stupefying of all has yet to occur as a one seed has never been dismissed in it's first match pursuit of the final four.

    0 for 100 is not an inspired stat for all 16s, but the cinderella-lover in all of us hopes for the day in the near future when a mighty top four team flies home on the first weeked of the tournament.  On the other hand, it may not happen ever; and 15-seeded Richmond, (1991) Santa Clara, (1993) Coppin State (1997) and Hampton (2001) may not be replaced as the co-holders of the biggest upset banner. 

    One of the most intriguing near victories for a 16 reisdes came in recent memory for many on March 14th, 2002 as the Patriot League Champion Holy Cross Crusaders led at halftime by 2 against the championship favorite Kansas Jayhawks.  Pool competitors around the country began to crumple their grids whose center-most box were filled in with Kansas and future NBA players Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich, Nick Collison, Aaron Miles and Wayne Simien. At the end of 40 minutes, the Jayhawks prevailed 70-59 with a late run that erase the doubt when the Crusaders came within one with just over 6 minutes remaining.

    Though David may not have slain Goliath, he gave him a broken nose and a bloody lip.  Near bracket busters such as the aforementioned give a dash of hope to fans of those nearly unknown programs that have their names called on selection sunday evening immediately following one of the four squads adorned with the esteemed #1 besides their school's title.  Before anyone at these schools steadies their aim with a slingshot, the case of Holy Cross vs. Kansas should actually reaffirm how truly implausible a victory for the 16 would be. 

    It may be a little a little presumptuous to say a 16 will never face an eight or nine,  but it may be a little insane to ever take a 16 to do so.  The fact that Holy Cross put everyhting they had into a an effort against a Jayhawk team playing about as poorly as they a could, and only lead by 2 at half shows that even a near miracle may not be enough. 

    The truth is the Crusaders could only hold off for so long, until the inevitable run by the Hawks left them as double-digit losers.  It probably will be the case that the same will be true for any 16 seed hoping to dance on Saturday or Sunday

    Whether or not you agree a 1 will suffer a first round loss any time in the foreseeable  future; just do your bracket a favor and never actually pick one. If you do, your coworkers will rightfully call for you to be commited even if you envoke Miss Cleo and somehow see the world becoming shocked.