NCAA 2014 Bracket Helpers
No one will ever fill out a perfect bracket, but here are some statistics to help make the selection process a little easier.
Which teams are most likely to pull off upsets? There have been 16 first round upsets by 11-seeds through 14-seeds in the past three seasons. 43% of the 11-seed through 14 seed upsets came from schools in the top 50 RPI even though they only make up 20% of the teams in that seed range. This means that they have almost won the same amount of games in one forth of the opportunities.
Top 50 RPI teams 11-14: Dayton, Harvard, Nebraska, North Dakota State, Tennessee, and Xavier.
It has become popular to pick a 15 seed over a 2 seed. The worst RPI for a 15 beating a 2 was Hampton with a 127 in 2001. Eastern Kentucky and American are the only 15 seeds with above a 127 ranking.
According to Forbes’ Roger Groves the RPI of an opponent is one of the greatest factors in finding teams that can be upset. According to his research from the past 13 years, half of the Final Four teams have ranked 17th or better in opponent RPI. He also found that there have been 40 teams seeded 8th or better with an opponent RPI rank worse than 60 and only 7/40 of those teams have made it to the sweet sixteen or further. Even number 11 and 12 seeds with opponent RPI ranks better than 17 are more successful then the top 8 seeded teams with opponent RPI ranks worse than 60; 20% make the sweet sixteen compared to 17.5%.
Top 8 seeds ranked 60 or worse in Opponent RPI: Cincinnati, Gonzaga, Saint Louis, San Diego State, Syracuse and Wichita State.
Looking ahead to further in the bracket:
As expected, the higher seeds have had the best winning percentage in the first round. In the second round things change. If a nine seed is able to beat an eight in the first round, they have only made it to the sweet sixteen 10% of the time. On the contrary, ten and eleven seeds win in the second round a mind-boggling 44% of the time. Twelve seeds also are a statistical anomaly; they win 32% of their first round games but win 45% of their second round games.
As far as the champions go:
In the past 20 years, 16 of the champions have won their conference’s regular season title. Also during that time only one team team seeded lower than 3 has won a championship.
Regular Season Champs seeded 3 or better: Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Villanova, Virginia, and Wichita State