This NCAA tournament team is most likely to pull off a first-round upset, according to history
If you're looking for a double-digit seed to pick in a first-round upset, and you like learning from history, you should pick No. 10-seed Texas to take down No. 7-seed Nevada in the South region.
Sometimes, history tells us just as much as the numbers, which is why we've looked at the teams with the most first-round success as a double-digit seed. If history is bound to repeat itself, which team might be a good bet as a double-digit seed?
Texas and Gonzaga are the two programs tied with the most first-round wins as a double-digit seed, at five apiece. Richmond, Dayton, Xavier, and VCU each have four such wins of their own.
Those six teams’ combined first-round records as double-digit seeds? 26-21, and of those six, only Xavier has a losing record:
Look at Gonzaga and Texas, with a combined .714 win percentage as double-digit seeds in the first round! That’s abnormally high, especially considering 11-seeds and 12-seeds, the two most upset-prone double-digit seeds, only win games at a .410 rate.
Texas rattled off a streak of three straight seasons winning in the first round as a 10- or 11-seed, from 1995 to 1997, while Gonzaga hasn't lost as a double-digit seed in the first round since 2007.
In total, 48 different programs have pulled off multiple first-round upsets as double-digit seeds:
|Stephen F. Austin||2|
Of these 48 teams, there are five in this year's bracket, and the following are in as double-digit seeds: No. 10 Texas vs. No. 7 Nevada, No. 14 Stephen F. Austin vs. No. 3 Texas Tech, No. 15 Georgia State vs. No. 2 Cincinnati, No. 12 Murray State vs. No. 5 West Virginia, and No. 10 Butler vs. No. 7 Arkansas. If you'd like to rely on history when picking your first-round double-digit upset, those are your choices.
Their combined records as double-digit seeds is a serviceable 13-17, in this order:
|Stephen F. Austin||2-2|
If you take out Murray State, which has a long history of double-digit seeding, the other four teams have an 11-8 record, so you're picking with history on your side.
Texas, considering the nature of the 10-7 matchup and the Longhorns' history with a double-digit seed, would seem to be the best option at the moment.
But if you're looking for another choice, how about Georgia State? The Panthers are 2-3 all-time in the tournament, and while it'll be tough to pick against a strong Cincinnati team, eight 15-seeds have won since 1985, so it's doable. Plus...
...yeah, GSU's not a bad choice.
In any case, there's no such thing as a proven way to make the right pick. Upsets are always a little risky -- but that's the fun, right?