Bracketology Education: No. 7 Vs. No. 10 Seeding Trends

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Jay Pryce

Friday, March 10, 2017 5:01 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 10, 2017 5:01 PM UTC

In the seventh of an eight-part series exploring seeding trends for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, we examine the No. 7 and No. 10 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. 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. 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. 7 Vs. No. 10

The seventh seed has been the best betting pick historically in the first round, despite ending up 1-3 ATS in last year’s tournament. In the past 15 years, it is 40-24 SU and 36-28 ATS, winning by 3.5 points per game overall. Surprisingly, three 7 seeds tipped off as underdogs in the first round in 2016 with Wisconsin the only one to cover in a gutsy 47-43 win over Pitt as a 1-point pup. Oregon State fell to VCU 75-67 as a 4.5-point underdog, while Dayton, spotted a point, was sent packing 70-51 by Syracuse. Only Iowa went off as chalk (-7), needing overtime for a 72-70 win against AAC reps Temple.


No. 7 Post First-Round Performance

The Round of 32 tends to be the final destination for most 7 seeds. Since 2001, they are 13-27 SU and 20-19-1 ATS, going up against the No. 2 in all but a pair of games. Wisconsin got the better of Xavier 66-63 as 5-point underdogs last season, though Iowa, getting 6 points on the oddsboard, slumped to a 87-68 loss to eventual champions Villanova. 

Seven 7 seeds have reached the Sweet 16 since 2001. The Badgers met their match in this round last season, losing 61-56 to Notre Dame as a 1.5-point pup. All in all, they are 6-7 SU and ATS. Michigan State in 2015 and UConn in 2014 are the only two 7 seeds to win in the Elite Eight in the last 15 years. The Huskies won out and earned the honor of the only 7-seed to claim the National Championship Game in a 60-54 victory over Kentucky.


No. 10 Post First-Round Performance

There is perhaps no better value on the moneyline or spread in the second round than backing 10 seeds. They are 11-13 SU and 15-9 ATS since 2001. What’s most impressive is that all but three have squared off against higher 2 seeds, going 8-13 SU and 12-9 ATS. VCU narrowly missed upsetting Oklahoma 85-81 as a 6.5-point dog last season. Syracuse, meanwhile, cruised to a 75-50 victory over Middle Tennessee as 5-point chalk.

The Orangemen didn’t stop there. They became just the third 10 seed out of 11 during this span to move beyond the Sweet 16 with a 63-60 win over Gonzaga. Syracuse then topped ACC rival Virginia 68-62 as a 7.5-point dog in the Elite Eight to become the only 10 seed to crack the Final Four. An 83-66 loss to North Carolina in the Final Four ended the miraculous run. No 10th seed has reached the title game.

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