NCAA Basketball Tournament: Sweet 16 Round (1991-2021)

by Al McMordie

The first 32 games of this tournament are in the books (36 games, if you include the "First Four" round), and the Sweet 16 starts this weekend with a Saturday/Sunday schedule for the first time.  

The match-ups are as follows:

Saturday:
1 Baylor vs 5 Villanova
3 Arkansas vs 15 Oral Roberts
8 Loyola-Chi vs 12 Oregon State
2 Houston vs 11 Syracuse

Sunday:
1 Gonzaga vs 5 Creighton
6 USC vs 7 Oregon
1 Michigan vs 4 Florida State
2 Alabama vs 11 UCLA

Let's take a look at how the seeds have done, historically, against the spread in the Sweet 16 round.  This data is from 1991 through 2019 (there was no Tournament played in 2020).

1 seeds:  53-43-4 ATS
2 seeds: 38-32-2 ATS
3 seeds: 28-36-1 ATS
4 seeds: 24-33-3 ATS
5 seeds: 15-18-2 ATS
6 seeds: 16-16-1 ATS
7 seeds: 10-10-1 ATS
8 seeds: 5-4-1 ATS
9 seeds: 5-2 ATS
10 seeds: 9-12 ATS
11 seeds: 9-6-1 ATS
12 seeds: 7-10 ATS
13 seeds: 3-2 ATS
14 seeds: 1-0 ATS
15 seeds: 1-0 ATS
16 seeds: none

In Sweet 16 match-ups, the better-seeded team has gone 113-111-8 ATS, including 10-6 ATS as an underdog, but just 7-14 ATS off an upset win (Arkansas and Loyola-Chi are off upset wins).  The worse-seeded team has gone 51-48-4 ATS off an upset win (Oregon, Oregon State, Oral Roberts, and Syracuse), but 8-13 ATS off a point spread loss.  Overall, favorites are 108-112-8 ATS in the Sweet 16 round.

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

Underdogs of +3.5 or less:  37-34-4 ATS
Underdogs +4 to +7.5: 45-40-2 ATS
Underdogs +8 to +11.5: 22-26 ATS
Underdogs of +12 or more: 8-8-2 ATS

Finally, some other ATS situations to note:

Same-season revenge:  11-9-1 ATS (Oral Roberts, Oregon)
Off double-digit wins (and foe not):  58-42-4 ATS (Florida State)
Off double-digit cover (and foe not): 55-51-2 ATS (Villanova, Oral Roberts, Florida State)
Off back-to-back covers (and foe not): 57-54-2 ATS (Villanova, Syracuse, Gonzaga, UCLA, USC (but Oregon only played 1 NCAA Tournament game))

Good luck, as always...Al McMordie




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