• Danny 'Bones' Vasta

25 Facts To Know Before Filling Out Your Bracket

Sick of losing every bracket pool to somebody who based their picks off their favorite colors of a specific mascot? No need to sweat, Bones has you covered!




We all know picking a winning bracket takes a ton of luck, but it also requires simple knowledge of the NCAA Tournament. I could give you facts and knowledge until the fourth of July, but here are my top facts to know before filling out your 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket.


1.) Since 1979 when seeding began, 38 of 41 seasons there has been at least one 1 SEED in the Final Four (93% chance, 1980, 2006 & 2011 only seasons without a 1 seed)


2.) 1 seeds have won it all 24 times out of the 41 seasons (over 58%); 1 seeds have won 4 of last 5 and the last 3


3.) A 5 seed has never won it all and a 12 seed has never even made the Final Four. The lowest seed to reach the Final Four has been the 11 seed.


4.) 31 out of 41 seasons, either a 1 or 2 seed has won it all (76%) 24 titles for 1 seeds & 7 for 2 seeds


5.) A team seeded 4th or better has won it all in 37 of the 41 seasons since seeding began (90.2%)


6.) Out of 41 seasons since seeding began, two #1 seeds have made it to the Final Four in the same tournament 20 times.


7.) Eight times we have had two 2 seeds in the same Final Four which is just under 20% of time. So, you are clearly better off taking a paid of one seeds compared to two's.


8.) 26 of 41 seasons at least one 2 seed has made the Final Four which is nearly a 66% chance


9.) Since 1990, the national champion has been ranked no worse than 18th in the AP Poll entering the dance, so don’t reach too far down to pick your champion


10.) Final Four appearances by seed all-time (out of 164 slots, 41 dances):

11 seeds : 4x

10 seed : 1x

9 seeds: 2x

8 seeds: 6x

7 seeds: 4x

6 seeds: 6x

5 seeds: 8x

4 seeds: 14x

3 seeds: 19x

2 seeds: 35x

1 seeds: 65x


11.) The LAST 11 NCAA Tournaments, a team seeded 3 or worse (3-16) has made the FINAL FOUR


12.) 40% of a yearly Final Four field is a 1 seed meaning there are nearly TWO per year (65 1 seeds out of 164 all-time slots)


13.) National Champions by seed:

1 seeds: 24x

2 seeds: 7x

3 seeds: 5x

4 seeds: 1x

6 seeds: 2x

7 seeds: 1x

8 seeds: 1x


14.) The last preseason team to win it all was North Carolina in 2009 (Gonzaga was the AP preseason No. 1, Baylor was the Coaches Poll No. 1)


15.) The Big Ten has not had a national champion since 2000 (Michigan State)


16.) BYU has now made the dance 30 times without a FINAL FOUR, which is the most ever without a trip to the FINAL FOUR. The next best are Xavier (29 if they make it in 2021) and Missouri (27)


17.) Since 2001, the Big Ten is 0-7 in title games; ACC is 8-2; Big 12 is 1-3


18.) The 16 seed is just 1-139 against 1 seeds thanks to UMBC over UVA, who was the top-ranked team in the AP Poll entering the dance, luckily had redemption the following season.


19.) 2008 is the only season that ALL ONE SEEDS made the Final Four (KU, UNC, Memphis, UCLA)


20.) Since 2010, 15 TWO seeds have failed to reach the Sweet 16


21.) Since 2010, 18 THREE 3 seeds have failed to make the Sweet 16


22.) 2000 was the last time Kansas was not a top 4 seed and they have set an all-time record of 31 straight trips to the tournament. Duke entering the season was next best at 24 with Michigan State at 22.

  • Tom Izzo: Most Final Fours (8) since 1998

23.) Roy Williams is 29-0 all-time in the round of 64 as only Dean Smith was nearly as good at 13-0

  • Roy also has the most wins in the dance since 2004 (45)

24.) 107-53 is the record of 5 vs 12 seeds since 1979. 67% of time only is not high enough a of a number and we nearly had all the five seeds lose in the last tournament. Auburn survived vs NMST on a wide open corner 3 air-ball (would have won it for the Aggies).


25.) 1985 was when the field expanded to 64 teams and 1979 was the first year that seeding began. We have had 14 occurrences in which a single conference has had multiple 1 seeds.....ACC has done it 6x (82, 98, 02, 05, 16, 19), Big East 3x (85, 06, 09), Big Ten 2x (93, 01), SEC 1x (80), Big 12 1x (03), P12 1x (00).


I will be going over all these facts on our podcasts in the month of March. Enjoy them and the dance!


LIKE & FOLLOW us @TakeCoverPOD on both Facebook & Twitter for all your winning selections & updates on our podcast. I will be posting my daily bracketology all season long @The_StatsGuru


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