Bracketology Education: No. 3 vs. No. 14 Seeding Trends

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Jay Pryce

Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:30 PM GMT

In the third of an eight-part series exploring seeding trends for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, we examine the No. 3 and No. 14 seeds & their past betting trends with March Madness right around the corner. 

Selection Sunday for the 2017 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament takes place March 12, but it's never too early to begin handicapping the much-anticipated event. To help, we will roll out an updated version of the eight-part series on March Madness seeding trends painstakingly put together last year by SBR Picks contributor LT Profits. It poured through historic betting market data since 2001 to provide ATS records and more for each of the first-round pairings. Look for updated write-ups on Thursday and Friday of each week heading into the Big Dance. Do note the results look over the past play-in game arrangement involving the 64th and 65th seeds as well as the expanded 68-team format starting in 2011.

No. 3 Vs. No. 14

The No. 3 seed is a danger spot in recent years. The tournament has seen a trio of high-profile teams get knocked out in the first round over the last two seasons, including Baylor and Iowa State in 2015 and West Virginia last year. The Mountaineers tipped off 7-point NCAA betting favorites over Stephen F. Austin yet were thoroughly handled 70-56 by the Lumberjacks. Since 2001 the 3rd seed is 56-8 SU and 33-39-2 ATS, winning by a 10.4-point average margin overall.

No. 3 Post First-Round Performance

Moving on to Round 2, third seeds are 37-19 SU and 29-24-3 ATS on NCAA basketball picks in the last 15 years, winning by 4.8 points per game on average. It is the Sweet 16 where the group tends to hit a wall. Three seeds are 17-20 SU and 16-21 ATS in this round. They often run into 2 seeds in this pairing, going 7-14 SU and 9-12 ATS. Texas A&M and Miami (FL) were sent home last season after drawing No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 2 Villanova, respectively. Against No. 4 seeds or lower in the Sweet 16, third seeds are 10-6 SU and 7-9 ATS.

In the Elite Eight, 3 seeds are 7-10 SU and 8-9 ATS since 2001. They often run into top seeds here and the results are respectable, going 5-8 SU and 7-6 ATS overall. Seven 3 seeds have climbed to the Final Four in the last 15 years, where they are 4-3 SU and ATS. Those making it to the title game have fared very well, winning and covering in three of four trips. UConn was the last to do so in 2011.

No. 14 Post First-Round Performance

The Cinderella fairy tale has come to an abrupt end for the eight No. 14 seeds to advance beyond the first round. All have faltered in the Round of 32, going 2-6 ATS. Stephen F. Austin came the closest to reaching the Sweet 16 last season, losing a 76-75 stunner to Notre Dame courtesy of a tip-in basket with 1.5 seconds to play. The much-underrated Lumberjacks went off as only 2-point underdogs in the matchup.

Check Out 1-16 Trends As Well As 2-15 Trends