As the rounds progress in March Madness, the games only get more meaningful. In the Sweet 16, the true national title contenders separate from the pack and move on to the Elite 8.
Like any round in the NCAA Tournament, the Sweet 16 is another where your bracket can flourish. How do we know if we are giving ourselves the best possible chance to succeed in brackets? What should we look at?
We have you covered, the March Madness data series is back. Following the trends can help narrow down potential picks and give you an outline of what kind of teams to pick along the way.
Here are some of the most useful pieces of data for the Sweet 16 of March Madness.
Sweet 16 Data
The useful data for the Sweet 16 goes on:
- Only 2 times in the last 24 tournaments have all four No. 2 seeds made the Sweet 16.
- In the last 8 tournaments, 10 teams were unranked in the AP Poll as of February 1 but received a top-four seed in March Madness.
- Out of the 10 teams, Arkansas in 2021 is the only team to get past the Sweet 16.
- Six 11 seeds have made the Sweet 16 in the last 5 tournaments.
- 2019 was the only tournament in the last 7 where an 11 seed did not make the Sweet 16.
- An average of 2 double-digit seeds have made the Sweet 16 since 2016.
- 11 upsets — which will be defined as lower seeds winning — have happened in the Sweet 16 since 2016.
- This is an average of 2.2 upsets in the Sweet 16 in the last 5 tournaments.
- The year 2016 was the only one with no upsets in the Sweet 16. Last year, there were a whopping 4 upsets in the Sweet 16.
- Since 2000, there have been 11 chalk regions in the Sweet 16, which is when a region’s top-four seeds are all alive.
- This comes out to 13.1% of regions that have been chalk in the last 21 tournaments.
- 2 chalk regions within one bracket have only happened twice since 2000, in 2009 & 2019.
- At least two No. 1 seeds have won in the Sweet 16 since 2016.
- At least one No. 2 seed has won in the Sweet 16 since 2016.
- A No. 3 seed has won in the Sweet 16 in 4 of the last 5 tournaments.
Among this wealth of information, several stand out from the rest. First off, a double-digit seed appearing in the Sweet 16 for 13 straight tournaments is an important piece to your bracket. While selecting the right double-digit seed to advance this far is easier said than done, it would be a big leg up on the competition.
Several pieces of data can help in picking the right double-digit seed to go this far. For example, we know a good ranking in Kenpom’s defensive efficiency is key. In our Rounds of 64 and 32 data, the better defensive team won in about 75% of matchups since 2016. That trend continues in the Sweet 16 with about 72.5% of better defensive teams winning their matchup since 2016.
In addition, our Round of 64 data found 46 of 50 teams who pulled off upsets in the first round since 2016 were all ranked in the top 100 of Kenpom. Picking a double-digit seed inside the top 100 of Kenpom with a solid defense could be a good selection to make the Sweet 16.
If you looked over our Rounds of 64 and 32 data you may have already known what to look for in a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16. Overall, the data for each round of March Madness can interlink and relate to data in later rounds.
Continue to follow along with the March Madness data series to ensure the best possible chance for bracket glory. Next up is the Elite 8!