Latest Sports Scores

Scoreboard

  • ALL
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • NCAAB
  • NBA
  • 2/23 7:00 PM EST
    POR0
    ORL0
  • 2/23 7:30 PM EST
    CHA0
    DET0
  • 2/23 8:00 PM EST
    NY0
    CLE0
  • 2/23 8:00 PM EST
    HOU0
    NO0
  • 2/23 10:30 PM EST
    LAC0
    GS0
  • 2/23 10:30 PM EST
    DEN0
    SAC0
  • NHL
  • 2/23 7:30 PM EST
    CGY0
    TB0
  • 2/23 7:30 PM EST
    NYR0
    TOR0
  • 2/23 7:30 PM EST
    NYI0
    MTL0
  • 2/23 8:00 PM EST
    COL0
    NSH0
  • 2/23 8:30 PM EST
    ARI0
    CHI0
  • 2/23 10:30 PM EST
    BOS0
    LA0
  • CBK
  • 2/23 7:00 PM EST
    MEM0
    CIN0
  • 2/23 7:00 PM EST
    NEB0
    MSU0
  • 2/23 9:00 PM EST
    WISC0
    OHIOST0
  • 2/23 9:00 PM EST
    UCLA0
    ARIST0
  • 2/23 10:00 PM EST
    USC0
    ARI0
  • 2/23 10:00 PM EST
    STMRY0
    PEPPER0
  • 2/23 10:00 PM EST
    GONZ0
    SD0

Last-minute NCAA bracket advice: No. 12 seeds a riskier pick than usual

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Mustard Minute: Is Your NCAA Tournament Bracket Better Than a Kitten's

Last year, No. 12 seeds failed to score an upset in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Everyone's favorite Cinderellas could be in line for more disappointment in 2016.

No. 12 seeds are considered a popular pick for the millions of folks who fill out brackets each year. And for good reason, as they've posted a relatively impressive 36.7 winning percentage in first-round games since 1985. However, the teams occupying the 12-line in this year's tournament — South Dakota State, Yale, Chattanooga and Arkansas-Little Rock — are extremely untested compared to No. 12 seeds of year's past.

In fact, these squads bear a striking resemblance to the four teams who failed to topple the No. 5 seeds in last year's tourney: Buffalo, Wyoming, Stephen F. Austin and Wofford. While at least one or two No. 12 seeds usually hail from storied basketball conferences like the ACC or Big Ten, all of the No. 12 seeds from this year and last year played in low- to mid-major conferences. And that's the crux of the problem — these teams have hardly any experience playing against other talented squads.

Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 68 teams in 2011, the four No. 12 seeds have played a combined average of 19.8 games against teams ranked in the top 50 of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), a metric the NCAA Tournament selection committee leans on to pick the field of competitors. This year's crop has played a total of just nine games against RPI top 50 teams, going 3-6. No team has more than one win against RPI top 50 squads, and South Dakota State doesn't even boast one, as the Jackrabbits lost their lone top 50 matchup against Texas Tech by 12 points.

They've also shown a tendency to lose to subpar competition, racking up a combined four losses to teams ranked outside the RPI top 200. That's tied for the most such defeats in a group of No. 12 seeds since the field expanded, along with last season's maligned bunch.

Why is this year's group of No. 12 seeds so uninspiring, you ask? Most experts have hyped this March as holding mega upset potential, pointing to a wacky regular season during which no overwhelming favorites emerged. And they're correct — but the carnage started a little too early.

Conference tournaments were ridden by upsets last week, wiping out 12 of the 13 No. 1 seeds in low- to mid-major conference tournaments through Thursday. They made a slight comeback through the weekend, but just seven of the low- to mid-major 25 No. 1 seeds ended up winning their league's qualifying bid. And since the likes of Monmouth, San Diego State, Saint Mary's and Valparaiso were thereafter snubbed by the selection committee, many potential giant killers were eliminated before they could even be penciled into the bracket.

As a result, the "Davids" who remain have very little experience dealing with the sort of Goliaths they're about to face.

By: Will Laws

Explore NCAA Basketball Team Profiles on PointAfter

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners