After a wild weekend that saw four double-digit seeds make it through the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament unscathed (for the second year in a row, a tourney first), college basketball bettors are looking for any edge heading into the Sweet 16.
Whether you are cursing your luck or have a semi-clean bracket, there is still a chance for you to win a couple of bucks to salvage this basketball season – even if your school has already gone fishing.
Luckily we culled the data and noticed a couple of trends that stand out. As usual, if you still want a stake in the game, make sure you place your bets over at FOX Bet.
The first trend that pops out is the dominance of the 1-seeds in the Sweet 16. FOX Sports Research finds that since 1985, No. 1 seeds are 76-23 straight up (SU) when facing a 4-seed or 5-seed in the regional semifinals. Against the spread (ATS), the 1-seeds are 53-40-6 when facing the 4-seed or 5-seed over that same period.
Recently the trend has been even stronger, as No. 1 seeds have gone 18-1 SU in the Sweet 16 since 2014, and won five of the last six tournaments.
The 1-seed matchups this round are:
– (1) Gonzaga vs. (4) Arkansas
– Gonzaga is 0-2 ATS this tournament
– Gonzaga is 5-5-1 ATS and 5-6 SU in the Sweet 16 all-time
– Arkansas is 0-2 ATS this tournament
– (1) Arizona vs. (5) Houston
– Arizona is 7-3 SU when a favorite in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– Houston is 2-0 ATS this tournament
– A No. 5 seed has never won the NCAA Men’s Tournament
– (1) Kansas vs. (4) Providence
– Kansas is 10-12 ATS and 15-7 SU in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– Providence is 1-0 ATS and 1-0 SU when an underdog in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– Providence is 8-1 ATS as a dog this season
Moving away from the top seeds, our second trend has us focused on the Cinderellas. For Fox Sports Research, in eight of the last 10 tournaments, at least one team seeded between seven and 11 has made the Final Four.
Additionally, double-digit seeds from power conferences – like Michigan – are 9-3 ATS in the Sweet 16 since 2012. Most recently this was accomplished last season when 11-seed UCLA beat Alabama as a 7-point underdog en route to the Final Four.
The Cinderella matchups that fit this trend are:
– (4) UCLA vs. (8) A C
– North Carolina is 12-11 ATS and 17-6 SU in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– UCLA is 6-2 SU when a favorite in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– UCLA is 7-1 ATS in the NCAA tournament since 2021
– North Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games
– Four of the last five 8-seeds to win in the Sweet 16 made it to the Final Four
– (2) Villanova vs. (11) Michigan
– Villanova is 6-3 ATS and 6-3 SU in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– Villanova is 3-1 ATS and 4-0 SU when a favorite in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– Michigan is 6-5 ATS and 8-3 SU in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– Michigan is 3-1 ATS and 3-1 SU when an underdog in the Sweet 16 since 1985
– In both NCAA Tournaments that Villanova has faced Michigan (1985 + 2018), the Wildcats have gone on to win the National Championship
– (10) You love me vs. (11) Iowa State
– Iowa State is 2-0 ATS this tournament
– Miami is 2-0 ATS this tournament
– Iowa State is 6-0 ATS this season as a dog against non-conference foes
Other tidbits to consider:
– The numbers don’t look good for St. Peter’s, as no 15-seed has ever made the Elite Eight.
– Nine 11-seeds have won in the Sweet 16.
– Underdogs have been 46-40-1 ATS in the Sweet 16 since 2010.
– A double-digit seed has reached the Final Four in three of the last five NCAA Men’s Tournaments (No. 10 Syracuse in 2016, No. 11 Loyola-Chicago in 2018 and No. 11 UCLA in 2021).
– The ACC is 8-2 ATS and 8-2 SU this tournament, while the AAC is 4-0 ATS and 3-1 SU.
So which of these trends do you like, the top seeds or the Cinderellas? Regardless of which way you go, make sure to place your bets at FOX Bet.
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