Historical Performance of NCAA seeds

Submitted by OysterMonkey on March 16th, 2011 at 10:38 AM

[Ed-M: Bumped anyway!]

I was going to put all this into a diary and make it totally clever and informative and interesting before the tournament really kicks off, but I'm not going to have the time to do that so, in lieu of that, some unanalyzed charts for your pleasure.

I got all this information by compiling data from running searches at this database: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/ncaa/mens-basketball/search/.

First I recorded the winning percentage of all 16 seeds in each round of the tournament:

 

Win % in Rounds

 

 

 

 

Seed

First

Second

Sweet 16

Elite Eight

Final Four

Championship

1

100%

88%

82%

60%

56%

64%

2

96%

67%

72%

48%

48%

36%

3

85%

60%

49%

50%

62%

38%

4

79%

54%

32%

64%

22%

50%

5

66%

55%

18%

86%

50%

0%

6

68%

52%

35%

23%

67%

50%

7

60%

29%

33%

0%

0%

0%

8

46%

19%

67%

50%

33%

100%

9

54%

7%

25%

0%

0%

0%

10

40%

45%

37%

0%

0%

0%

11

32%

36%

33%

50%

0%

0%

12

34%

51%

6%

0%

0%

0%

13

21%

18%

0%

0%

0%

0%

14

15%

13%

0%

0%

0%

0%

15

4%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

16

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

0%

Then using this I calculated the percentage of chance a given seed had to get to each level of the tournament:

 

% Chance to make round

 

 

 

Seed

Second

Sweet 16

Elite Eight

Final Four

Championship

To win it all

1

100.00%

88.00%

72.16%

43.30%

24.25%

15.52%

2

96.00%

64.32%

46.31%

22.23%

10.67%

3.84%

3

85.00%

51.00%

24.99%

12.50%

7.75%

2.94%

4

79.00%

42.66%

13.65%

8.74%

1.92%

0.96%

5

66.00%

36.30%

6.53%

5.62%

2.81%

0.00%

6

68.00%

35.36%

12.38%

2.85%

1.91%

0.95%

7

60.00%

17.40%

5.74%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

8

46.00%

8.74%

5.86%

2.93%

0.97%

0.97%

9

54.00%

3.78%

0.95%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

10

40.00%

18.00%

6.66%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

11

32.00%

11.52%

3.80%

1.90%

0.00%

0.00%

12

34.00%

17.34%

1.04%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

13

21.00%

3.78%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

14

15.00%

1.95%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

15

4.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

16

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

0.00%

Using this I calculated the expected wins for a team at each seed:

Seed

Total wins Exp

1

3.43

2

2.43

3

1.84

4

1.47

5

1.17

6

1.21

7

0.83

8

0.65

9

0.59

10

0.65

11

0.49

12

0.52

13

0.25

14

0.17

15

0.04

16

0

And using this I calculated the expected wins that each conference should get in this year's tournament:

 

Big East

 

Big Ten

 

PAC-10

 

Big 12

 

SEC

 

ACC

 

Seed

#

Ex.W

#

Ex.W

#

Ex.W

#

Ex.W

#

Ex.W

#

ExW.

1

1

3.43

1

3.43

 

0

1

3.43

 

0

1

3.43

2

1

2.43

 

0

 

0

 

0

1

2.43

1

2.43

3

2

3.68

1

1.84

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

4

1

1.47

1

1.47

 

0

1

1.47

1

1.47

 

0

5

1

1.17

 

0

1

1.17

1

1.17

1

1.17

 

0

6

3

3.63

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

7

 

0

 

0

2

1.66

1

0.83

 

0

 

0

8

 

0

1

0.65

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

9

1

0.59

1

0.59

 

0

 

0

1

0.59

 

0

10

 

0

2

1.3

 

0

 

0

1

0.65

1

0.65

11

1

0.49

 

0

 

0

1

0.49

 

0

 

0

12

 

0

 

0

1

0.52

 

0

 

0

1

0.52

13

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

14

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

15

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

16

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

11

16.89

7

9.28

4

3.35

5

7.39

5

6.31

4

7.03

So, the B1G's 7 teams should total 9.28 wins based on seeding to meet historical expectations. Since Michigan is going to win six, I don't see this as being a problem at all.

Comments

MichLove

March 16th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

I was a little surprised to see the 46% to 54% in favor of the 9 seed. I know its a toss up but I would still expect for the slight lead all time to be in favor of the higher seed.

zlionsfan

March 16th, 2011 at 11:59 AM ^

between mediocre power-conference teams at 8 and strong mid-majors at 9.

My hypothesis looks decent when reading the list of 8/9 teams who've advanced to the Sweet 16. The only 8 seed not from a power conference to do so was Rhode Island in 1998 against Kansas; the only 9 seed from a power conference was Boston College in 1994 against North Carolina. (Kansas was victimized three times, North Carolina twice, Stanford twice - once by North Carolina - and then a bunch of schools once, including (sigh) Purdue and Michigan. Also, DePaul lost twice as a 1 between 1979 and 1985, when teams were seeded but the bracket wasn't 64 teams.)

Dan Man

March 16th, 2011 at 3:18 PM ^

I had almost the opposite thought.  I was thinking that because the eight seed is somewhat expected to win, there is more pressure on them.  I think that a lot of teams "freak out" in the tournament with all the added attention, and maybe being a nine seed underdog takes away some of that pressure.

Tater

March 16th, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

The committee usually gets it right.  If you aren't a one seed, or one of the best four teams, you don't have much of a chance to win.  If you aren't at least a three, you pretty much have no chance, at least the last twenty years.  That's why I don't think any bubble teams really have a reason to bitch.  They weren't going to win, anyway.