March Madness Sweet 16 betting trends
March Madness lived up to its billing in the first and second rounds of the 2022 NCAA Tournament and produced an unlikely Sweet 16 in the process.
Heading into the regional semifinal round, set to begin Thursday, March 24, three No. 1 seeds remain, while just one pair of No. 2 seeds survived the weekend action, and a No. 15 seed advanced past the second round for just the third time in history.
To get you ready for what's sure to be another shocking stage of the NCAA Tournament, let's look at the top Sweet 16 betting trends ahead of this week's games.
A No. 15 seed has never made it to the Elite Eight
The Saint Peter's Peacocks and head coach Shaheen Holloway may be a new fan favorite after knocking off No. 2 Kentucky and No. 7 Murray State last weekend, but the clock is likely about to strike midnight for the 15th-seeded Cinderella.
Only two other No. 15 seeds have previously advanced to the regional semifinal round, and both of those teams — Florida Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts — lost to No. 3 seeds in the Sweet 16.
The Eagles from Florida fell 62-50 to No. 3 Florida in the 2013 regional semifinal, while the Golden Eagles from Oklahoma lost by two points to Arkansas in 2021.
The Peacocks face No. 3 seed Purdue on Friday and are listed as a sizable underdog in the matchup.
Fri, March 25 2022, 11:09 PM
Nine No. 11 seeds have won in the Sweet 16
Michigan and Iowa State both defeated No. 3 seeds in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament to land a spot in the Sweet 16.
Unlike Saint Peter's, the Wolverines and Cyclones have a decent shot at moving on to the Elite 8, considering nine No. 11 seeds have won in the third round of the tournament.
As recently as 2021, UCLA (which was a No. 11 seed out of the First Four round) defeated No. 2 Alabama 88-78 in overtime of last year's Sweet 16.
UCLA beat Alabama as a 7-point underdog. The Bruins are the 9th 7-point underdog to win in this NCAA Tournament.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 29, 2021
That's the most in a single tournament since the field expanded to 64 in 1985.
In the last NCAA Tournament in 2019, 7-point underdogs went 0-24. pic.twitter.com/3zwJFgs9PL
Before that, Loyola Chicago downed No. 7 Nevada 69-68 in the 2018 regional semifinal, and Xavier beat No. 2 Arizona 73-71 in 2017.
The first No. 11 seed to reach the Elite Eight was LSU in 1986.
Michigan is a five-point underdog in its Sweet 16 matchup with No. 2 Villanova on Thursday, and Iowa State is a 2.5-point underdog against No. 10 Miami on Friday.
Sat, March 26 2022, 1:59 AM
A No. 10 seed has not reached the Elite Eight since 2016
Miami is the lone No. 10 seed remaining in the 2022 NCAA tournament and will attempt to become the ninth No. 10 seed in history to advance to the Elite Eight.
Syracuse is the most recent No. 10 seed to reach the Elite Eight, and went on to appear in the Final Four that same year, in 2016.
Prior to Syracuse's run, Davidson, in 2008, was the last No. 10 seed to win in the regional semifinal round.
A No. 8 seed has reached the Elite Eight eight times
Blueblood North Carolina ousted No. 1 Baylor in overtime on Saturday and will confront UCLA in the Sweet 16 on Friday.
Sat, March 26 2022, 1:39 AM
The last time a No. 8 seed won in the Sweet 16 was 2014, when Kentucky defeated in-state rival Louisville, which was a No. 4 seed that year.
Four of the last five No. 8 seeds that won in the Sweet 16 went on to play in the Final Four, and the two most recent No. 8 seeds to win in the Sweet 16 were eventual national runners-up that year (Kentucky in 2014 and Butler in 2011).
In 2000, both UNC and Wisconsin advanced to the Elite Eight as No. 8 seeds, and both won in the regional final to secure a berth in that year's Final Four.
Only one No. 5 seed has won since 2015
Fresh off a trip to the Final Four in 2015, Houston is back in the Sweet 16 as a No. 5 seed and will clash with No. 1 Arizona on Thursday night.
Fri, March 25 2022, 1:59 AM
Unfortunately for Kelvin Sampson's squad, the odds are not in Houston's favor in this round of the tournament.
No. 5 seeds are 1-9 straight up in the Sweet 16 since 2015, and just five No. 5 seeds have reached the Final Four since the inaugural NCAA Tournament in 1939.
Even worse, no No. 5 seed has won a championship in the 83-year history of the NCAA Tournament.
No. 1 seeds are 18-1 SU in the Sweet 16 since 2014
Dating back to 2014, No. 1 seeds have won 18 of their last 19 games in the Sweet 16, which bodes well for the three top seeds remaining in the 2022 NCAA Tournament — Gonzaga, Arizona, and Kansas.
Sweet 16 notes: 13 major conference teams, with Gonzaga, Houston and Saint Peter’s. Three teams from last year’s Final Four. Of the four double-digit seeds, three are Power 5 teams (Miami, Michigan, Iowa State).— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) March 21, 2022
Both Gonzaga and Kansas will take on No. 4 seeds Arkansas and Providence, respectively, while Arizona will get a date with No. 5 Houston, who reached the Final Four in 2021.
A No. 1 seed has gone on to win the national championship five of the last six tournaments and eight times since 2010.
The last time a No. 1 seed failed to win an NCAA banner was in 2016, when No. 2 Villanova shocked No. 1 UNC on a last-second shot in the national championship game.
Also of note, the No. 1 seed in the South region has won the national title in four of the last six NCAA Tournaments.