Fans love the NCAA tournament because of the Madness. The Big Dance started relatively tame but chaos broke out when Villanova, Duke and Louisville all lost over the weekend. How many upsets will there be in the Sweet 16?
To answer that question we pulled every Sweet 16 game since 1985, when the field expanded to 64 teams, using Sports-Reference.com, to determine how often an upset occurs: when a lower seed beats a higher seed.
Since 1985, there have been 256 Sweet 16 games played and 71 (27.7%) of them have resulted in an upset by seed. That means on average there are 2.2 upsets per Sweet 16 each tournament.
There could be more upsets this year than normal if the trends by seed hold. Based on expected upset rate and the matchups we have this tournament, there are 2.6 upsets projected.
Based on our simulations, no higher seed is projected to lose outright in the Sweet 16 but the games are expected to be competitive. North Carolina has the highest projected win rate at 66.1% over Butler.
Sweet 16 Upset Results since 1985
|Seed||Upsets||Total Games||Expected Upset Rate||2017 Sweet 16 Games||Expected Upsets|
No. 4 Florida vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
There is a Pro System pick for this game that is 70-45 (61%) ATS