How often do No. 12 seeds pull the upset? When was the last time both schools from the previous Finals failed to make the tournament the following year? The answers are inside.
Among the many things that March Madness brings is a cascade of fun and useful March Madness facts, so I decided to give it a go and dig some up myself. Here is the most fun and useful of what I found:
- Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin both have Kansas as the top-rated team this year statistically.
- There is a correlation between the distance a team travels for a game and the outcome, according to an analysis by the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. Over the past 12 years, teams playing within 100 miles won 77 percent of their games. At 250 miles, teams won 69 percent, and teams that traveled 500 miles or more won 46.5 percent.
- The odds of picking a perfect bracket randomly are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1, or more than nine quintillion to one. (So ... you're saying I have a chance ... )
- The No. 16 seeds are 0 for 92 vs. No. 1 seeds. (Well, at least they have a chance of picking a perfect bracket.)
- A No. 16 seed did once take a No. 1 seed, Michigan State, into overtime though, and there have also been two games decided by one point between 1's and 16's.
- No. 2 and No. 3 seeds are also a combined 46-2 since 2001.
- Notorious upsetters, No. 12 seeds were swept last year after winning almost half their showdowns with No. 5 seeds from 2001-06, going 11-13. Interestingly, No. 12 seeds that do win their first-round games also go on to win their second-round games almost 50% of the time, with a 14-15 record in Round 2.
- No. 9 seeds have a winning record overall against No. 8 seeds, at 50-42, including 3-1 last year.
- Since 1985, top seeds have won their brackets only 41% of the time. However, only in 2006 has no No. 1 seed made the Final Four.
- Two No. 1 seeds in the Championship game have faced each other five times since 1979.
- With both Florida and Ohio State failing to make it into the tournament this year, it is the first time since 1980 that both teams from the previous year’s finals didn’t make it in the following year.
- The term "March Madness" is a trademark jointly-held by the NCAA and the Illinois High School Association, who battled over it in court. The precedent-setting case created the legal concept of "dual-use trademark."
- The FBI estimates that more than $2.5 billion is illegally wagered annually on March Madness each year. Less than 4% of that amount is wagered legally in Nevada.
- Last year American businesses lost an estimated $1.2 billion in worker productivity during the NCAA tournament. (I bet the productivity of the guy who estimates American worker productivity goes down more than the national average during the NCAA tourney.)
- Texas-Arlington made the tournament for the first time in school history. The team doesn’t have a basketball arena or gym — it plays its home games on a theater stage.