Bracketology Education: No. 5 Vs. No. 12 Seeding Trends

Jay Pryce

Thursday, March 2, 2017 7:58 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 2, 2017 7:58 PM UTC

In the fifth of an eight-part series exploring seeding trends for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, we examine the No. 5 and No. 12 seeds & their past betting trends with March Madness right around the corner.

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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. 5 Vs. No. 12

Since 2001, this matchup produces more first round upsets then any other. Five-seeds are 36-28 SU and 28-35-1 ATS. Last year, bettors witnessed two favorites go down: Baylor fell 79-75 to Yale as 5.5-point chalk, while Purdue were stunned 85-83 in overtime by Little Rock. The Sun Belt representatives, led by first-year head coach Chris Beard, tipped off as 8-point underdogs for the matchup. Do not hesitate to pencil in a bracket buster in this round.


No. 5 Post First-Round Performance

Five-seeds managing to avoid an opening-round slip up have fared well their second time out, despite often squaring off primarily against 4-seeds. In the last 15 years, they are 22-14 SU and 18-16-2 ATS in the Round of 32. Seven times, 5-seeds have faced 13-seeds, going 6-1 SU and 3-3-1 ATS with an average margin of victory of 7.1 points.

The Sweet 16 is where 5-seeds tend to bow out of the tournament, often paired up against No. 1 teams. Overall, they are 5-17 SU and 10-12 ATS since 2001. Twenty of these matchups have come against top-seeded representatives where 5-seeds own an abysmal 4-16 record. Last season, No. 1 Kansas routed No. 5 Maryland 79-63 as 5.5-point favorites, while top-ranked North Carolina dusted No. 5 Indiana 101-86 as 5-point chalk on the NCAA Basketball Odds.

The handful of 5-seeds to survive the third round dominated in the Elite Eight. They are 4-1 SU and a perfect 5-0 ATS, the only outright failure coming by a bucket when No. 3 UConn ousted Arizona 65-63 in 2011. Advancers have gone 2-2 SU in the Final Four.

Two 5-seeds have reached the Championship Game in the last 15 years, Indiana in 2002 and Butler in 2010. Each team loss, though the Bulldogs were a desperation shot away from upending Duke in a memorable 61-59 defeat.


No. 12 Post First-Round Performance

If you’re lucky enough to sniff out a first-round 12-seed winner, it may be a decent gamble doubling down in the Round of 32 if in the rare occasion it’s against lesser. Overall, 12-seeds are 10-18 SU and 17-11 ATS since 2001. Seven meetings have come against 13-seeds, where the higher-level teams are 5-2 SU and ATS, winning by 8.7 points per game. Often times it’s the 4-seed on deck, where 12-seeds are 5-16 SU and 12-9 ATS. Yale and Little Rock’s runs ended last year to higher-ranked Iowa State and Duke.

Only one 12-seed has been lucky enough to survive the Cinderella round: Missouri in 2002.  The Tigers ousted UCLA 82-73, the Bruins an 8-seed. The rest are 0-9 SU and 2-7 ATS in the Sweet 16, losing by 14.0 points per game on average. Ouch. What happened to Missouri? It managed to push a 6-point spread in a 81-75 loss to Oklahoma, a 2-seed. No 12-seed had made it to the Final Four.

Click Here To Read Our No. 3 vs. No. 14 Seeding Trends Article
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