Bracket Tactics: 16 Tips for All 16 Seeds

March 7th, 2012

Each year,'s Jon Teitel comes through with nifty stats and tips that can help you win your NCAA Tournament Pool. Here are 16 actionable Bracket Tips for the 16 tournament seeds:


#16 seed: Only one 16 seed has ever taken a #1 seed to OT (Purdue beat Western Carolina 73-71 in 1996)

What this means: Whatever you, don't pick a 16 seed to upset a #1 seed.


#15 seed: The last to win a game was Hampton in 2001

What this means: While a couple 15 seeds have won a game, don't start picking upsets until the 14 seeds


#14 seed: Only 2 have made the Sweet 16 since 1985 (1986 Cleveland State and 1997 Chattanooga)

What this means: Over the last decade, Cinderella runs have focused on 12 or 11 seeds. Perhaps this year will be different?


#13 seed: Morehead St won a game last year.

What this means: While everyone focuses on 12 over 5 upsets, there's a decent chance a 13 will win a game this year (they just might not go to Sweet 16.)


#12 seed: At least one 12 seed has made the Sweet 16 each year since 2008 (including Richmond in 2011)

What this means: 12 seeds have been hot in recent years, ride the wave and pick a 12 seed to reach the Sweet 16 again.


#11 seed: VCU made it to the Final 4 as an 11 seed in 2011

What this means: The last few years have shown how much parity there is in college basketball.


#10 seed: Florida St made the Sweet 16 in 2011 from this spot.

What this means: Teams that play great D, like FSU and Butler last year, can always be dangerous in the tourney.


#9 seed: Only four 9 seeds have made the Sweet 16 since 1985 (1992 UTEP, 1994 BC, 2004 UAB, 2010 UNI)

What this means: 9 seeds often beat 8 seeds, but 8 seeds rarely win another game.


#8 seed: Only 4 8 seeds have made it to the Final 4 since 1985 (1985 Villanova [won title], 2000 WI, 2000 NC, 2011 Butler)

What this means: If an 8 seed knocks off a #1 seed in the 2nd round, they can easily run to the Final Four.


#7 seed: The last to make the Sweet 16 was WVU in 2008

What this means: 6 and 7 seeds are often overrated power conference teams that fizzle out early.


#6 seed: The last 6 seeds to make the Sweet 16 were Xavier and Tennessee (both in 2010)

What this means: See 7 seed above.


#5 seed: The last 5 seeds to make the Final Four were Butler and Michigan St (both in 2010)

What this means: Although 5's struggle against 12's in the opening round, once they get through, look out.


#4 seed: Only two 4 seeds have reached the title game since 1985 (1996 Syracuse, 1997 national champ Arizona)

What this means: While 4 seeds are usually Top 20 pedigree teams, don't pick one to win it all.


#3 seed: Four 3 seeds have won the title (1989 MI, 2003 Syracuse, 2006 Florida, 2011 Connecticut)

What this means: There's often been a substantial jump in success between 3 and 4 seeds.


#2 seed: Great in the 2nd round if they made it to their conference tourney final, but below-average if they did not.

What this means: When 2 seeds fizzle out in their conference tourneys, its usually a sign of things to come.


#1 seed: Only twice since 1985 has there been a Final 4 without at least one #1 seed (2006 and 2011)

What this means: It's fun to have a risky bracket, but silly not to pick a Final Four without a 1 seed.


Check out's Bracket Tips for more help picking your bracket.