Upcoming Match-ups
  • Learn the all-time record of every seed in the first round of March Madness.
  • Is the #12 over #5 upset as frequent as the media makes it out to be?
  • Have #8 vs #9 matchups really been a toss-up since the field expanded in 1985? 

Everyone loves March Madness for the upsets. Which seeds have caused the most chaos over the history of the NCAA Tournament, which expanded to 64 teams in 1985? Find out below, as we detail the all-time record of every seed in the first round, their winning percentage, and their performance over the last five years.

#1 Seeds vs #16 Seeds

#1 Seeds vs #16 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 135-1
Winning Percentage 99.26%
Last 5 Years 19-1
Last Season 3-1

You know the story. A #16 seed had not beaten a #1 seed in the 33-year history of the tournament until 2018, when the #16 UMBC Retrievers stunned #1 Virginia.

Will we have to wait another 33 years before another #16 seeds does the previously unthinkable? Not likely.

#2 Seeds vs #15 Seeds

#2 Seeds vs #15 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 128-8
Winning Percentage 94.12%
Last 5 Years 19-1
Last Season 4-0

Richmond was the first #15 to upset a #2 all the way back in 1991 when the Spiders shocked Syracuse. From 2001-2011, the #2 seeds went undefeated, but four #15s have won games since 2012, including Florida Gulf Coast (aka Dunk City) in 2013.

#3 Seeds vs #14 Seeds

#3 Seeds vs #14 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 115-21
Winning Percentage 84.56%
Last 5 Years 16-4
Last Season 4-0

Once yet get to the #3 vs #14 matchups, upsets start to be pretty frequent. That said, #3 seeds are a perfect 8-0 the last two years and 11-1 over the last three.

Stephen F. Austin was the last #14 to advance, as Thomas Walkup’s beard brushed aside #3 West Virginia in 2016.

#4 Seeds vs #13 Seeds

#4 Seeds vs #13 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 108-28
Winning Percentage 79.41%
Last 5 Years 17-3
Last Season 2-2

The #13 seeds haven’t made many deep runs in the tournament, but they have won at least one game in 13 of the last 18 tournaments, including two last year: Buffalo over Arizona (89-68) and Marshall over Wichita State (81-75).

I guess the Wildcats should have clarified to Deandre Ayton that he was being paid to win, not just play.

#5 Seeds vs #12 Seeds

#5 Seeds vs #12 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 89-47
Winning Percentage 65.44%
Last 5 Years 14-6
Last Season 4-0

The #12s get a lot of pub for pulling more upsets than they should, and they are batting nearly 35% in the first round. That said, they’re just 1-7 the last two years and went 0-4 in both 2018 and 2015.

Middle Tennessee was the most recent #12 to advance, beating #5 Minnesota in 2017.

#6 Seeds vs #11 Seeds

#6 Seeds vs #11 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 85-51
Winning Percentage 62.50%
Last 5 Years 8-12
Last Season 2-2

The #11 seeds should be getting more attention after their sterling 12-8 performance over the last five years. They are now firmly ahead of the #12s when it comes to upsets after trailing for many years.

No fewer than two #11 seeds has advanced in each of the last five tournaments, and three advanced in both 2016 and 2017.

Last year, Loyola-Chicago’s historical run to the Final Four started on the #11 line.

#7 Seeds vs #10 Seeds

#7 Seeds vs #10 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 84-52
Winning Percentage 61.77%
Last 5 Years 14-6
Last Season 3-1

Don’t look now, #10 seeds, but the #11s are hot on your heels! The #7 vs #10 matchup should be relatively even, yet #7s are winning at an improbable rate recently. Only Butler advanced in 2018, knocking off #7 Arkansas.

#8 Seeds vs #9 Seeds

#8 Seeds vs #9 Seeds Outcome
All-Time March Madness Record 69-67
Winning Percentage 50.74%
Last 5 Years 12-8
Last Season 1-3

The Selection Committee has long said that there is no difference between the #8 and #9 seeds. The eight teams right in the middle of their rankings are all grouped into one big pot and treated the same.

You would expect that to lead to an even W/L record and it pretty much has, with the #8 seeds holding just a two-game edge up to this point.