Monday, March 25, 2013

Why a 15-Seed in Sweet 16 Was Only a Matter of Time

History was made Sunday night when 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) upset 10-seed San Diego St., becoming the lowest-seed ever to reach the men's basketball Sweet 16.  But, really, it was only a matter of time.

See, since the NCAA chased big dollar signs in 2011 and expanded the tournament from 64 to 68 teams, the quality of the 15- and 16-seeds has gotten better.  Because of the play-in games, 16-seeds are no longer limited to the four worst teams in the tournament - now its the six worst teams.

And 15-seeds, which used to be the fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-worst teams in the tournament are now the seventh-, eighth-, ninth-, and tenth-worst teams in the tournament.

Don't think the slight shift is significant?  Three 15-seeds have defeated 2-seeds in the last two years after just four teams had done it the previous 20 years.

And while no 16-seed has ever defeated a 1-seed in the men's tournament, the quality of the "best" 16-seeds is improving as well, it may only be a matter of time before we see more history made in March.

1 comment:

  1. Even if it out of the worst 8-10-20 teams, they still shouldn't beat a top 8 program...
    Though whats seems to be under estimated about FGCU that most other small schools will never have is it's "swagger". To live it up by the beaches of sw Fl I believe gives them more of an advantage over schools in towns in the middle of nowhere...
    Also, with Florida for the 1st time having 3 teams in the sweet 16, I think the success of the Orlando Magic before Dwight left, and the Heat has a lot to do with helping kids in Florida chose basketball over football, sort of like how Yoa Ming did for China OR Paul Bryant's Alabama squads did for HS football in AL...