Basketball: What does No. 12 seed mean to Cal?

With thanks and credit to ESPN.com, we pass along this history lesson involving No. 12 seeds at the NCAA tournament. We’ll let you figure out how it applies to Cal:

— Lower seeds holding their own
Not counting the First Four games, 12- and 13-seeds have combined to win 21 games in the past five years (six in 2008, five in 2009, three in 2010, three in 2011, four in 2012).

— Obligatory note about the danger 12-seeds pose
It’s one of the first things that comes to mind upon first glance at the bracket: Which 12-seed is going to beat a 5-seed in the round of 64? There’s a good reason for that. Excluding the First Four games, 12-seeds have won at least one game in 22 of the past 24 years (no wins in 2000 or 2007), and at least two games in 11 of the past 12 years.

— If you’re looking for a Sweet 16 sleeper, go with a 12-seed
Since 1985, in only three years have No. 12 seeds failed to win a round-of-64 game (1988, 2000, 2007). Going a step further, No. 12s have reached the Sweet 16s as many times as 7-seeds (19), more often than 11-seeds (15), more often than 8- and 9-seeds combined (14) and just two fewer times than No. 10s have (21).

— Stop at one, though!
Don’t get overzealous, expecting multiple 12s to get to the Sweet 16. Even with the relative success No. 12 seeds have had, only once have two 12s reached the Sweet 16 in the same year (2008).

— No. 12s not worthy of ‘Elite’ status
No. 12 seeds are 1-18 in Sweet 16 games, with Missouri in 2002 the only one to go any further. That year, the Tigers lost in the Elite Eight to second-seeded Oklahoma.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Eric

    Given the circumstances, I am thrilled with the seeding. Cal clearly has a realistic chance to win against UNLV, and even the next game. It just needs to play like it did against Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and UCLA.