<
>

Tournament Challenge: First-round recap

play
Vitale: Middle Tennessee's win an all-time shocker (1:27)

Dick Vitale says Middle Tennessee's 90-81 victory over Michigan State ranks as one of the most stunning upsets in the history of the NCAA tournament and lists the teams that benefit from it the most. (1:27)

Who likes upsets? Apparently 41 percent of the 2016 NCAA tournament field, as 13 lower-seeded teams beat higher-seeded foes in the first round.

Friday late-slate recap

In Friday's late slate, three matchups went chalk, seed-wise, as 2-seed Xavier beat 15-seed Weber State (95.6 percent took the Musketeers), 6-seed Notre Dame defeated 11-seed Michigan (76 percent took the Irish) and 8-seed Saint Joseph's edged 9-seed Cincinnati (the Bearcats were slightly favored, winning in 53.7 percent of brackets).

Elsewhere, 11-seed Northern Iowa beat 6-seed Texas to become the third (!) No. 11 seed of the first round to pull an upset. The Panthers were picked in just 32.4 percent of brackets. However, Tournament Challenge participants don't have Northern Iowa going much further; 8.5 percent picked the Panthers to go to the Sweet 16 and 1.5 percent have them making the Elite Eight.

Bracket overview

At the top of the leaderboard, 12 brackets correctly picked 31 of 32 games, and another 297 correctly picked 30 of 32. The final two perfect brackets were busted when 5-seed Maryland defeated 12-seed South Dakota State (the 24th game of the tourney). One bracket stands out for its lack of correct picks, having notched just three out of 32 games.

Upset analysis

  • Of the 32 first-round games, 13 were won by lower-seeded teams (those seeded worse), putting an all-chalk bracket at 19-13 (21st percentile). Last year, after the round of 64, an all-chalk bracket netted a 27-5 record, good for the 98.7th percentile.

  • Multiple 9-seeds, 10-seeds, 11-seeds and 12-seeds advanced, along with a 13-seed, 14-seed and 15-seed. Only a 16-seed failed to advance out of all the possible upset seeds.

  • Just 127,934 entries (1 percent) predicted that 15-seed Middle Tennessee, 14-seed Stephen F. Austin and 13-seed Hawaii would all advance to the second round.

Here's an upset breakdown by seeds (credit Keith Lipscomb with the fantasy team for historical stats notes):

15 over 2:

  • 15-seed Middle Tennessee's enormous upset over 2-seed Michigan State caused the most waves in the first round.

  • The Spartans were picked to advance to the round of 32 in 97.8 percent of brackets (12.7-plus million, the second most). Just 2.2 percent of entries (second fewest) picked Middle Tennessee to advance to the round of 32.

  • From a historical perspective, the last time a 15-seed won was in 2013 when Florida Gulf Coast beat Georgetown. No. 15s went 10 years without a victory from 2002-11, then picked up three first-round wins between 2012-13, before going winless the last two years (all losses coming by double figures).

  • Per ESPN Chalk, Middle Tennessee's victory over Michigan State was the fourth-biggest upset of the past 20 years, according to the point spread. Michigan State closed as a 16.5-point favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

  • Where does MSU's loss rank among the tournament's all-time upsets? Nate Silver of 538 weighs in.

14 over 3:

  • 14-seed Stephen F. Austin beat 3-seed West Virginia despite being picked in just 8.8 percent of brackets.

  • 14-seeds have won at least one game for four straight years.

13 over 4:

  • 13-seed Hawaii beat 4-seed Cal (the Rainbow Warriors were picked to pull the upset in 21.2 percent of brackets).

  • The 2014 and 2015 tourneys were the first time that a No. 13 seed failed to win a game in back-to-back years.

12 over 5:

  • The popular 12-over-5 upset went down twice in the first round: Yale beat Baylor and Arkansas-Little Rock beat Purdue.

  • Only 633,675 entries (4.9 percent) predicted that both Yale and Arkansas-Little Rock would advance.

  • From 2008-14, No. 12 seeds won 15 of 28 matchups. However, last year was just the fourth time since 1985 that a No. 12 seed failed to win a game (also 1988, 2000 and 2007).

11 over 6:

  • Three 11-seeds won in the first round: Wichita State over Arizona, Gonzaga over Seton Hall and Northern Iowa over Texas.

  • 1,009,440 entries (7.8 percent) predicted Wichita State, Gonzaga and Northern Iowa would all advance.

  • Since 2010, 11-seeds are 15-13 against 6-seeds.

10 over 7:

  • A pair of No. 10s pulled upsets, including Syracuse over Dayton and VCU over Oregon State.

  • Coming into 2016, No. 7 seeds had won 61 percent of matchups with No. 10s since 1985 and had won nine of 12 meetings in the past three years.

9 over 8:

  • A trio of No. 9s won in the first round, including UConn over Colorado, Butler over Texas Tech and Providence over USC.

  • Last year, the No. 8 seeds swept all four meetings for the first time since 2002.

  • Coming into 2016, No. 8 seeds had won 15 of 20 meetings dating to 2011.

  • The last time No. 9 seeds won more than two meetings against No. 8 seeds in a tournament was nearly a decade ago, in 2007.

President Obama's bracket