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Analyzing History

In getting prepared for the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament I have researched past history to get an idea of how the current season matchups, seed-wise, have fared over the 24 seasons since the NCAA Tournament Field expanded to 64 teams (beginning in 1985).

Over the 24 seasons there have been a total of 192 Sweet Sixteen games -- 8 per season for 24 seasons.

The four most frequent seeding matchups have been --

1 vs 4 -- 34 matchups -- there are 2 such matchups this season (Pitt vs Xavier and North Carolina vs Gonzaga)

1 vs 5 -- 32 matchups -- there is 1 such matchup this season (UConn vs Purdue)

2 vs 3 -- 29 matchups -- there are 4 such matchups this season (Duke vs Villanova, Memphis vs Missouri, Michigan State vs Kansas and Oklahoma vs Syracuse)

2 vs 6 -- 23 matchups -- there are no such matchups this season

Thus the 4 most frequent matchups account for 118 of the 192 Sweet Sixteen games, or 61+ percent of all Sweet Sixteen games.

The other matchup this season matches a 1 seed (Louisville) vs a 12 seed (Arizona), a matchup that has occurred 15 times in the 24 seasons.

Let's look at the historical results of the the 4 seeding matchups we'll see played Thursday and Friday.

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1 vs 4

The # 1 seed has won 24 of the 34 matchups straight up (70.6 %) but is just 19-14-1 (57.6%) ATS.

The # 1 seed has averaged being favored by 6.74 points and the average margin of victory has been 10.35 points.

When the # 1 seed has won straight up (24 times) the average margin has been 11.8 points and in the 10 wins by the # 4 seed the average margin has been 6.9 points.

The average score and total points in these matchups have been 78.8 to 68.5 for a total of 147.3 total points.

There have been 2 instances of the # 4 seed being favored over the # 1 seed. In 1990 Georgia Tech (# 4) defeated Michigan State (# 1) 81-80 but failed to cover as a 2.5 point favorite. In 2005 Louisville (# 4) defeated Washington (# 1) 93-79 and covered as a 1.5 point favorite.

This season's Lines and Totals are --
Pittsburgh -7.0 vs Xavier with a Total of 139.0
North Carolina -8.5 vs Gonzaga with a Total of 163.0

1 vs 5

The # 1 seed has won 27 of the 32 matchups straight up (84.4%) but is just 13-16-3 (44.8%) ATS.

The # 1 seed has averaged being favored by 7.55 points and the average margin of victory has been 9.53 points.

When the # 1 seed has won straight up (27 times) the average margin has been 10.1 points and in the 5 wins by the # 5 seed the average margin has been 6.2 points.

The average score and total points in these matchups have been 80.6 to 71.0 for a total of 151.6 total points.

The # 1 seed has been favored in all 32 prior matchups of a # 1 vs a # 5 seed.

This season's Line and Total is --
Connecticut - 6.5 vs Purdue with a Total of 135.0

1 vs 12

The # 1 seed has won ALL 15 of the prior matchups straight up (100%) and is a solid 9-6 (60.0%) ATS.

The # 1 seed has averaged being favored by 11.33 points and the average margin of victory has been 13.20 points.

The average score and total points in these matchups have been 80.7 to 67.5 for a total of 148.2 total points.

The # 1 seed has been favored in all 15 prior # 1 vs # 12 matchups.

This season's Line and Total is --
Louisville - 9.0 vs Arizona with a Total of 139.5

2 vs 3

The # 2 seed has won 19 of the 29 matchups (65.5%) and is 16-13 (55.2%) ATS.

The # 2 seed has averaged being favored by 2.90 points and the average margin of victory has been 9.62 points.

When the # 2 seed has won (19 times) the average margin has been 9.7 points and in the 10 wins by the # 3 seed the average margin has been 9.4 points.

The average score and total points in these matchups have been 78.9 to 69.3 for a total of 148.2 total points.

There have been 5 instances of the # 3 seed being favorted over the # 2 seed. In 1986 Louisville (# 2) upset North Carolina (# 3) 94-79 as a 2.0 point underdog. In 1989 Syracuse (# 2) upset Missouri (# 3) 83-80 as a 2.0 point underdog. In 1995 Connecticut (# 2) upset Maryland (# 3) 99-89 as a 2.0 point underdog. In 2007 Memphis (# 2) upset Texas A&M (# 3) 65-64 as a 3.5 point underdog. And last season, 2008, Louisville (# 3) defeated Tennessee (# 2) 79-60, covering as a 2.0 point favorite.

This season's Lines and Totals are --
Duke -2.5 vs Villanova with a Total of 148.0
Memphis -4.5 vs Missouri with a Total of 141.5
Michigan State -2.0 vs Kansas with a Total of 138.0
Oklahoma -1.0 vs Syracuse with a Total of 153.0

  
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