CHART OF THE DAY: Which Seeds Are More Likely To Advance In The NCAA Tournament?

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The NCAA men’s basketball tournament match-ups have been set. And when you are filling out your brackets today, you may want to keep this chart handy.

In the last 10 tournaments (2001-2010), there have been 40 teams representing each of the seeds, 1-16. Below is look at how often those seeds advance to the three key stages of the tourney (Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final 4).

NCAA Tournament Success by Seed

It is no surprise that 1-seeds have enjoyed a lot of success, with 35 of the 40 top seeds advancing to the Sweet 16 and 31 making it to the Elite 8. However, that success starts to drop off very quickly, with less than half of the 2-seeds making it to the Elite 8. Interestingly, 5-seeds tend to do a little better than 4-seeds, with 17 of 40 reaching the Sweet 16, compared to 14 for the 4-seeds.

We can also see one of the flaws of the seeded system when we look at 10-, 11-, and 12-seeds. Those seeds advance more often than either 8- or 9-seeds. Obviously, 8- and 9-seeds have to beat a 1-seed to get to the Sweet 16, something that has only happened five times. Meanwhile, if 10-, 11-, and 12-seeds can get past their first-round opponent, they will actually have an easier second-round opponent than the 8- or 9-seeds.

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