March Madness: Getting to know the No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament
*Note: All data is from the 1985 tournament to the present.
The 8 vs. 9 seed game is essentially a toss-up. In the last 30 years, 9 seeds have won 61 of 124 games, or 49 percent of the time. Over 60 percent of the games played have been decided by less than 10 points and the average margin in this game is less than half a point (0.04 points).
|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 9 seeds don’t have the success lower seeds teams have due to their second round match-up always being a one-seed, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t make a splash in the first round and beyond.
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Wichita State came into the 2013 tournament with an at-large bid from the Missouri Valley conference and breezed past eighth-seeded Pittsburgh, 73-55, in the first round.
The Shockers then upset number one seed Gonzaga, 13th-seeded La Salle and second-seeded Ohio State to make its second Final Four in school history.
One year after being knocked out by a 9 seed, Pittsburgh stormed back in 2014 as a 9 seed of its own to hand eighth-seeded Colorado the biggest upset between 9s and 8s. The Panthers only allowed 18 points in the first half, and Talib Zanna scored 16 of Pittsburgh’s 46 first half points before beating the Buffaloes, 77-48.