How 3 Seeds do in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

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How 3 Seeds do in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

Author: americangambler | Last Updated: February 6, 2024

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The seeding system is one of the more compelling aspects of the NCAA Tournament.

March Madness is notorious for the surprising results that come from a 64-team field. Higher-seeded teams win more often than not, but history remembers the early-round upset artists as much as – perhaps more than – it remembers the champions.

How have 3 seeds performed historically in the NCAA Tournament?

Since the tournament expanded to its current format in 1985, third-seeded teams have won 4 of 37 National Championships. Here's how they stack up among the other top-seeded teams:

SeedNCAAM TitlesOverall Percentage of Tournaments
12465%
2514%
3411%
413%

3 seeds have enjoyed a similar level of success as 2 seeds, but both are dwarfed considerably by 1 seeds. Here's a look at all 3 seeds to capture the title in a 64-team field

  • Connecticut (2011)
  • Florida (2006)
  • Syracuse (2003)
  • Michigan (1989)

It isn't uncommon to see 3 seeds during the final weekend, with 17 total runs to the Final Four of the tournament, and have a striking 11-6 record in the semifinal round. They are just 4-7 in the Title Game.

In the opening weekend, 3 seeds have a dominant with 122-22 record against 14 seeds. Texas became the most recent 3 seed to lose on opening weekend after falling to 53-52 to Abilene Christian in 2021.