*Note: All data is from the 1985 tournament to the present.
No program has seen greater success as a No. 5 seed than Michigan State. The Spartans have never lost to a No. 12 seed in the opening round and have advanced to a pair of Sweet 16s and Final Fours in six appearances as the No. 5 seed.
|1991||Michigan State||Green Bay||60-58|
|1992||Michigan State||Missouri State||61-54|
|2005||Michigan State||Old Dominion||89-81|
|2010||Michigan State||New Mexico State||70-67|
Michigan State's most memorable run occurred during the 2010 tournament. The Spartans squeaked past No. 12 New Mexico State before needing a buzzer-beater to defeat No. 4 Maryland in the second round. Eventually, the run concluded with a two-point loss to Butler in the Final Four.
Conversely, Virginia hasn't had a ton of luck with its 2-3 record against No. 12 seeds. Two of those losses came in back-to-back tournaments, in 1986 and 1987. The Cavaliers however did advance to the Elite Eight as the No. 5 seed after escaping Providence in the first round.
The No. 5 seeds still win over 60 percent of the time with an 85-47 record versus 12 seeds, but the margin of victory is minimal at under five points.
Last year, all four No. 5 seeds were out of the tournament after the first weekend, including a first-round loss by Minnesota to No. 12 seed Middle Tennessee.
However, if the No. 5 seed can get past the first round, they've been able to advance as far as the tournament final, where three teams have reached the championship but failed to win.