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How 12 Seeds do in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament
March Madness seeds play a prominent role in the NCAA Tournament as they are crucial to the construction of the bracket.
The Tournament earned the “March Madness” title thanks to its unpredictable nature. While double-digit seeds generally enter with low expectations, they provide some of the greatest thrills the Tournament offers. 12 Seeds are among the most prevalent low-seeded upset artists.
The fortunes of NCAA Tournament 12 seeds aren’t great historically but they've had their moments. No 12 seed has ever won. In fact, the next team to enter the Tournament as a 12 seed and advance to the Final Four will be the first.
For the opening round, 12 seeds boast a 53-95 record against 5 seeds since 1985. In the 2022 tournament, two teams, Richmond and New Mexico State, both won in the first round as 12 seeds.
Only five NCAA Tournaments have seen each 12 seed fail to pull off the upset, while as many tournaments have seen three of four 12 seeds advance past the first round.
Teams that earn 12 seeds are pegged as underdogs in the Tournament. Their odds to win a game, let alone make a run, aren’t favorable. Still, history informs us that at least one 12 seed is likely to ruin some brackets in any given season.