March Madness: Getting to know the No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament
*Note: All data is from the 1985 tournament to the present.
|Know your seed|
|No. 1||No. 9|
|No. 2||No. 10|
|No. 3||No. 11|
|No. 4||No. 12|
|No. 5||No. 13|
|No. 6||No. 14|
|No. 7||No. 15|
|No. 8||No. 16|
The average margin for 5 vs. 12 seeds is only 4.1 points, and the lower seed is 17-26 in games decided by four points or less.
While over 50 percent of the 12-seed who won in the first round fail to advance past the second round, 18 of the 44 teams made it it to Sweet 16.
DePaul got the ball rolling in 1986 after beating Virginia by four in opening round, and North Dakota State was the last 12 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in 2014. Eastern Michigan’s 20-point win over Mississippi State in 1991 still stands as the largest victory by a 12 seed over a 5 seed.
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Missouri is the only program to make it to the Elite Eight as a 12 seed. In 2002, the Tigers’ run through the West regional bracket began with a 93-80 win over fifth-seeded Miami (Fla.). That game featured a ferocious Tiger squad where six players -- including the entire starting lineup -- eclipsed double-digits in points. Led by senior guard Clarence Gilbert, Missouri raced out to an eight-point halftime lead and tacked on a few more for the 13-point upset victory.
The Tigers went on to upset fourth-seeded Ohio State and eighth-seeded UCLA before falling in the Elite Eight to second-seeded Oklahoma.
Utah State, who has been the No. 12 seed a record five times, is only 1-4 against No. 5 seeds. Its lone win came in 2001 against Ohio State.
|2001||Utah State||Ohio State||77-68|
|2010||Texas A&M||Utah State||69-53|
|2011||Kansas State||Utah State||73-68|
Eastern Michigan offered the biggest surprise in the first round, as the Eagles beat Mississippi State, 76-56, on March 15, 1991.