NCAA Basketball Tournament: Elite Eight Round (1991-2021)

by Al McMordie

Monday, Mar 29, 2021
We're 15 games away from crowning the champion of this 2021 NCAA Basketball Tournament, and I would say it's gone as well as could have been expected, given the extenuating circumstances.  Only one game (VCU/Oregon) was cancelled/forfeited due to COVID-19, and there have been upsets galore.  The Elite Eight round starts today with a Monday/Tuesday schedule for the first time.  

The match-ups are as follows:

1 Baylor vs 3 Arkansas
2 Houston vs 12 Oregon State

1 Gonzaga vs 6 USC
1 Michigan vs 11 UCLA

Let's take a look at how the seeds have done, historically, against the spread in the Elite Eight round.  This data is from 1991 through 2019 (there was no Tournament played in 2020).

1 seeds:  34-44-2 ATS
2 seeds: 23-29-2 ATS
3 seeds: 13-18-1 ATS
4 seeds: 11-5-1 ATS
5 seeds: 8-0 ATS
6 seeds: 3-6 ATS
7 seeds: 5-3-1 ATS
8 seeds: 5-1 ATS
9 seeds: 1-2-1 ATS
10 seeds: 4-2 ATS
11 seeds: 4-1-1 ATS
12 seeds: 0-0-1 ATS
13 seeds: none
14 seeds: none
15 seeds: none
16 seeds: none

In Elite Eight match-ups, the better-seeded team has gone 43-68-5 ATS, including 7-12 ATS as an underdog, 4-7 ATS off an upset win, 2-4-1 ATS with revenge, and 12-19 ATS off a point spread loss.  The worse-seeded team has gone 68-43-5 ATS, including 34-16-3 ATS off an upset win (UCLA and Oregon State), and 19-5-1 ATS with revenge, but just 8-9 ATS off a point spread loss (Arkansas).  Overall, favorites are 48-63-5 ATS in the Elite Eight round.

Now, let's review how various point spread ranges have done:

Underdogs of +3.5 or less:  30-19-1 ATS
Underdogs +4 to +7.5: 19-19-3 ATS
Underdogs +8 to +11.5: 13-8-1 ATS
Underdogs of +12 or more: 1-2 ATS

Finally, some other ATS situations to note:

Off double-digit wins (and foe not):  22-26-2 ATS (Houston, Baylor)
Off double-digit cover (and foe not): 23-19-3 ATS (Oregon State, USC)
Off back-to-back covers (and foe not): 33-25-1 ATS (Oregon State and Baylor)

Good luck, as always...Al McMordie

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