2023 March Madness bracket information for males’s NCAA event

The anticipation is over. We have a 2023 NCAA event bracket. Let March Madness formally start.

There are many attention-grabbing storylines for this yr’s males’s basketball tourney, one in every of which is the thrill round there being no clear favourite to chop down the nets, making an already unpredictable occasion really feel much more troublesome to get a learn on. In addition, that is additionally the primary NCAA event in 40 years with out Mike Krzyzewski or Roy Williams on the sidelines!

Since a lot of our superb ESPN school basketball analysts might be breaking down all the important thing matchups and making their picks within the days to return, this column is designed to occupy a distinct lane, one based mostly solely on historic information.

There are so many enjoyable nuggets to debate — about seeds, convention success (or lack thereof) and notable tendencies for particular faculties and coaches within the 2023 tourney. In honor of the variety of groups within the area, we are going to slim it all the way down to 68 of our favorites under, with extra info and context supplied for every because it pertains to this yr’s bracket.

Just to be clear, this column will not be supposed to be predictive. That mentioned, as you fill out your ESPN Tournament Challenge brackets — you may submit as many as 25 of them — resolve whether or not any of the information under communicate to you and make you lean in a selected course. At the very least, hopefully you will discover one thing attention-grabbing to debate whilst you watch the Big Dance with your loved ones and/or associates.

NOTE: All stats referenced are since 1985 (additionally referred to as the “modern era” all through the column), until in any other case famous. Additionally, any historic reference to the “first round” pertains to the spherical of 64, and “second round” to the spherical of 32. The First Four stands by itself to keep away from confusion. In addition, all outcomes talked about ignore any subsequent vacating. For instance, we take into account Louisville the winner of the 2013 nationwide championship recreation, regardless that its look has been vacated by the NCAA.


First Four/Early Rounds

1. In 10 of the 11 tournaments the First Four has existed, not less than one in every of its at-large contributors has superior to the second spherical.
• Two have superior to the Final Four (UCLA in 2021 and VCU in 2011)
• Three others reached the Sweet 16
• This yr’s First Four at-large groups are Mississippi State, Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Nevada

2. At least one top-4 seed has misplaced within the first spherical in 13 of the previous 14 tournaments (32 of 37 total).
• Last yr, No. 2 seed Kentucky was the one sufferer when it was upset by Saint Peter’s

3. Each of the previous 4 No. 3 seeds to lose to a No. 14 seed got here from the Big 12 Conference.
• Texas (2021), West Virginia (2016), Baylor (2015), Iowa State (2015)
• Big 12 groups Baylor and Kansas State make up half of the No. 3 seeds on this yr’s tourney

4. In the previous 4 tourneys, 12 of the 16 matchups between No. 4 and No. 13 seeds had been determined by single digits, essentially the most of any first-round seed pairing.
• Interestingly, solely 4 of the 16 matchups between 8- and 9-seeds had been single-digit affairs
• No. 13 seeds have gained not less than one recreation in 26 of 37 tournaments

5. At least one No. 12 seed has defeated a No. 5 seed in 32 of 37 tournaments.
• Last yr, a pair of 12-seeds pulled upsets (Richmond def. Iowa, New Mexico State def. UConn)

6. There has by no means been a run of three straight tournaments with a win by a No. 15 seed.
• The previous two years, we’ve seen a 15-seed win a number of video games
• Last yr, Saint Peter’s superior to the Elite Eight, and Oral Roberts made the Sweet 16 in 2021
• No. 15 seeds are 10-138 in first-round video games. Eight of these 10 winners completed within the prime two of their convention standings.
• This yr, all 4 15-seeds completed first or tied for first of their convention standings: Colgate, UNC Asheville, Vermont and Princeton

7. Odd however true: At-large groups that completed 4 video games beneath .500 in convention play are 5-0 within the first spherical.
• Last yr, Eleventh-seeded Iowa State grew to become the primary such workforce to succeed in the Sweet 16
• West Virginia (7-11 within the Big 12) is the one at-large workforce on this yr’s area to complete 4 video games beneath .500 in convention play

8. Second-round shock: No. 3 seeds dominating No. 6 seeds however struggling vs. No. 11s
• 3-seeds are 9-1 up to now 10 conferences in opposition to 6-seeds
• They are 4-6 up to now 10 conferences in opposition to 11-seeds

Sweet 16

9. All 4 No. 2 seeds have reached the Sweet 16 simply twice up to now 25 tournaments.

10. In the previous 5 tournaments, solely as soon as has a No. 6 seed reached the Sweet 16.
• USC went on to succeed in the Elite Eight in 2021

11. At least one No. 11 seed has reached the Sweet 16 in 10 of the previous 12 tournaments.

12. A double-digit seed has superior to the Sweet 16 in 14 straight tournaments and 35 of 37 total.
• Four groups seeded tenth or worse have made it in every of the previous two years. In the earlier 35 tourneys, 4 or extra double-digit seeds survived the primary weekend simply twice!

Elite Eight

13. In six of the previous eight tournaments, not less than two groups seeded No. 6 or worse have reached the Elite Eight.

14. There has by no means been an Elite Eight with out not less than one No. 1 seed.
• Only as soon as up to now 12 tourneys did all 4 No. 1 seeds attain the Elite Eight (2016)

Final Four

15. At least one No. 1 seed has reached the Final Four in 10 straight tourneys and 14 of the previous 15.
• Either one or two No. 1 seeds have reached the Final Four in 30 of 37 tournaments (81%)
• The solely time all 4 No. 1 seeds made the Final Four was 2008

Read also  'We're behind the 8-ball': New-look Lakers want time they do not have

16. It’s been 31 years because the final time a No. 6 seed made the Final Four, simply the longest drought amongst seeds which have a Final Four look.
• The solely 6-seeds to make it: Michigan (1992), Kansas (1988), Providence (1987)

17. At least one workforce seeded No. 7 or worse has reached the Final Four in eight of the previous 9 tourneys.
• Comparatively, within the first 32 years of seeding (1979-2010), this occurred solely eight instances whole

18. Of the 34 groups that had been a top-2 seed and within the AP prime 10 after coming into the season unranked, none reached the Final Four.
• Purdue started the season unranked however earned a No. 1 seed and is presently ranked fifth within the AP ballot
• Five of the 12 groups seeded No. 1 to fulfill these standards misplaced within the first or second spherical
• Marquette started the season unranked however earned a No. 2 seed and is presently ranked sixth within the AP ballot • 14 of the 22 groups seeded No. 2 to fulfill these standards misplaced within the first or second spherical

Championship Game

19. Since seeding started in 1979, 71 of the 86 groups to succeed in the title recreation have been top-3 seeds.
• Surprisingly, No. 8 seeds account for 5 of the opposite 15 appearances, essentially the most by another seed

20. Each of the previous 5 champions have been No. 1 seeds, and 12 of the previous 15.
• No different seed has a couple of title in that span

21. However, it has been 10 years because the final time the total No. 1 seed gained the title (Louisville in 2013).
• Seven of the 18 earlier total No. 1s misplaced within the Sweet 16 or earlier
• They have been extra more likely to lose through the first weekend (4) than to be champions (three)
• This yr’s total No. 1 seed is Alabama

22. It’s been 33 years because the final time a champion got here from a convention that obtained fewer than 4 bids.
• UNLV in 1990 (three-bid Big West Conference) and Louisville in 1986 (three-bid Metro Conference) are the one faculties to take action within the trendy event period
• This yr, No. 1 seed Houston (two-bid American) and No. 3 seed Gonzaga (two-bid WCC) are the highest-seeded groups seeking to finish this streak

23. No workforce has ever gained a nationwide championship after shedding its first recreation within the convention event.
• Baylor (No. 3 seed) and Kansas State (No. 3 seed) are the one top-4 seeds that misplaced their convention tourney opener this yr

24. Florida is the final faculty to repeat as champion (2007). Since then, no defending champ has superior previous the Sweet 16.
• Only two of the 14 defending champs since then even reached the Sweet 16
• In every of the previous 5 tourneys, they misplaced within the first or second spherical
• Defending champion Kansas is a No. 1 seed this yr

25. Since 2002, when KenPom started monitoring it, 19 of 20 nationwide champions have completed prime 25 in adjusted offensive and defensive effectivity.
• The solely exception is UConn in 2014 (thirty ninth on offense, tenth on protection)
• Houston, Alabama, Texas, UConn and UCLA presently meet these standards coming into this yr’s tourney
• Purdue, Kansas, Creighton, Texas A&M, FAU, Maryland, Memphis and Saint Mary’s are moderately near qualifying as properly (prime 40 in each), so they might achieve this by the tip of the event

26. A No. 5 seed has by no means gained a championship, the one top-8 seed that hasn’t achieved so.
• Only three 5-seeds have reached the title recreation: Butler (2010), Indiana (2002), Florida (2000), all of which misplaced to No. 1 seeds
• This yr’s No. 5s are Duke, San Diego State, Miami (Fla.) and Saint Mary’s


With the caveat that expectations are completely different for energy conferences than they’re for mid-major and low-major leagues, there are conferences which have loved extra (or much less) relative success in recent times. Some merely have skilled a blended bag of outcomes or been an annual thorn within the facet of upper seeds.

Positive vibes

27. Big 12 is attempting to change into the primary convention in 30 years to win three consecutive nationwide titles.

• Baylor in 2021, Kansas in 2022
• The ACC did it final, with Duke (1991 and 1992) and North Carolina (1993)
• Big 12 has had a Final Four workforce in 4 straight tournaments for the primary time
• The convention has 4 top-4 seeds on this yr’s tourney: Kansas, Texas, Baylor and Kansas State

28. ACC has had not less than one workforce attain the Sweet 16 in all 37 tournaments.

• Multiple Sweet 16 groups in 32 of 37
• At least one Elite Eight workforce in 33 of 37
• At least one Final Four workforce in 25 of 37
• At least one workforce within the title recreation in 18 of 37

Negative vibes

29. Mountain West has by no means had a workforce get previous the Sweet 16 … but it surely will get worse.

• Since the convention’s formation in 1999-2000, 17 different conferences have had a workforce attain the Elite Eight
• MW groups are 0-7 within the first around the previous three tournaments (1-10 since 2016)
• The 4 years by which the MW earned 4 or extra bids (2010, 2012, 2013, 2022), the league gained 5 video games whole (none after the primary spherical)
• Mountain West groups seeded tenth or worse are 1-23 all time, with 20 straight losses because the solely win in 2002

30. It’s been a very long time since a Big Ten (23 years) or Pac-12 faculty (26 years) gained a nationwide title.

• Last yr, not one of the 9 Big Ten groups chosen superior previous the Sweet 16
• This yr, the Big Ten obtained eight bids, highlighted by No. 1 seed Purdue
• Meanwhile, the Pac-12 earned 4 bids this yr, together with a pair of excessive seeds in UCLA and Arizona.

31. The final time a Southern Conference workforce seeded Eleventh or worse gained an NCAA event recreation was 26 years in the past.

• This yr’s convention rep, Furman, is a No. 13 seed
• The SoCon has only one tourney win since Davidson’s Elite Eight run in 2008 (Wofford as a 7-seed in 2019)
• SoCon groups are 4-33 within the first spherical. Two of these wins had been by groups seeded Eleventh or worse (Chattanooga in 1997, East Tennessee State in 1992)

Read also  L.A. County agrees to $28.85-million settlement with Bryant household over crash photographs

Mixed bag

32. SEC has had an Elite Eight workforce in 24 of the previous 30 tourneys however hasn’t gained a title since 2012.

• The final SEC workforce to succeed in the title recreation was 8-seed Kentucky in 2014
• Since 2016, not one of the 15 SEC groups to earn a top-4 seed has reached the Final Four
• The solely two SEC groups to advance to the Final Four since 2016 had been seeded No. 5 (Auburn in 2019) and No. 7 (South Carolina in 2017)
• Alabama is the primary SEC workforce to earn a No. 1 seed since 2015 (Kentucky)

Thorns within the facet

33. Missouri Valley Conference has gained a first-round recreation in eight of the previous 10 tourneys.

• However, 17 of the 19 whole NCAA tourney wins in that span got here from groups not within the convention (Loyola Chicago, Wichita State, Creighton)

34. Conference USA and MAC groups have additionally loved early success just lately.

• C-USA has gained a first-round recreation in 5 of the previous seven tournaments regardless of by no means receiving a number of bids or having a workforce seeded higher than twelfth
• The MAC has had a workforce win a first-round recreation in three of the previous 4 tournaments

Droughts for former tourney “troublemakers”

35. It’s been greater than a decade since a workforce from the Horizon League (2011) or CAA (2012) gained a first-round recreation.

• Horizon’s final win got here from Butler, which left the league after the following season
• CAA’s final win got here from VCU in its remaining yr within the league

36. Atlantic 10 hasn’t had a workforce attain the Sweet 16 in 9 years.

• From 2008 to 2014, the convention had a Sweet 16 workforce annually
• This is the primary time since 2005 that the A-10 earned only one tourney bid (VCU is a No. 12 seed)


Although there may be at all times one thing to say about every of the 68 groups that made the tourney area, we wanted to be selective, so listed here are among the greatest tidbits and tendencies we may dig up. Schools are listed alphabetically to make them simpler to seek out.

Warning: Unfortunately, not all nuggets under paint a reasonably image, however they’re certainly factual.

37. Alabama

• This is its first time as a No. 1 seed. In three journeys as a 2-seed, it superior no additional than the Sweet 16, shedding to groups seeded sixth, tenth and Eleventh.
• The Crimson Tide have by no means reached the Final Four
• Their solely Elite Eight look was 19 years in the past as an 8-seed

38. Arizona

• Has reached the Final Four simply three of the 14 instances it has been a top-2 seed
• The Wildcats’ final Final Four look was 2001 (misplaced to Duke in title recreation)

39. Arkansas

• Trying to succeed in the Elite Eight three years in a row for the primary time at school historical past

40. Auburn

• 10-0 in first-round video games within the trendy period (no different faculty and not using a first-round loss has greater than three wins)
• Six of these 10 wins got here as a No. 7 seed or worse

41. Baylor

• This is the fifth time up to now eight tournaments the Bears have been a No. 3 seed or higher
• The earlier 4 cases on this span have introduced blended outcomes: a championship in 2021 however losses to Nos. 7, 8 and 14 seeds within the different three years

42. Boise State

• Still in search of its first NCAA event victory (0-8)
• This is the fourth time Leon Rice has taken the Broncos to the Dance. Two of his three losses have come within the First Four.

43. Charleston

• The Cougars’ solely NCAA event win got here in 1997 vs. Maryland as a No. 12 seed
• All six tourney video games at school historical past have been determined by 10 or fewer factors, regardless of Charleston being a 12-seed or worse in 4 of these 5 appearances

44. Creighton

• The Bluejays’ solely Sweet 16 look within the trendy period got here in 2021 as a No. 5 seed
• They have by no means defeated a top-4 seed (0-8, with seven video games determined by double digits … the exception: final yr vs. Kansas within the second spherical)
• Last win vs. a workforce seeded higher than No. 8 was in 2002 (in double-overtime vs. 5-seed Florida)

45. Duke

• This is the fourth time at school historical past Duke is not a top-4 seed. In the latest two earlier cases, it misplaced within the first spherical (2007 as a No. 6 vs. VCU, 1996 as a No. 8 vs. Eastern Michigan).

46. Florida Atlantic

• FAU, a No. 9 seed, is the highest-seeded workforce on this yr’s area that has but to win an NCAA event recreation. The Owls’ solely earlier look was in 2002.
• Since 2000, groups that had been single-digit seeds and in search of their first NCAA tourney win at school historical past are 4-2 within the first spherical

47. Gonzaga

• Only the second time up to now six tourneys the Zags are not a No. 1 seed. They reached the Sweet 16 as a 4-seed in 2018.
• They have made the Sweet 16 in seven straight tournaments, the longest energetic streak
• Gonzaga has gained 13 straight first-round video games

48. Houston

• First time as a No. 1 seed since 1983, when the Cougars misplaced to NC State within the championship recreation
• Houston has reached three straight Sweet 16s and back-to-back Elite Eights, together with a Final Four journey in 2021

49. Illinois

• Seeking first Sweet 16 since 2005, when the Fighting Illini fell to North Carolina within the title recreation
• They have not defeated a workforce seeded higher than No. 8 since then

50. Indiana

• Best seed since being a No. 1 in 2013, once they had been knocked out within the Sweet 16 by Syracuse
• Hoosiers have superior previous the Sweet 16 simply as soon as since 1994 (runner-up in 2002)

51. Kansas

• thirty third consecutive event look (longest streak ever) and twenty second straight as a top-4 seed
• Eleventh time in previous 13 tourneys as a top-2 seed
• Reached the Elite Eight or higher every of the previous 4 instances as a 1-seed (2016, 2017, 2018, 2022), highlighted by final yr’s championship
• Each of the previous 4 instances they weren’t a No. 1 seed, they misplaced within the second spherical (2014, 2015, 2019, 2021)

52. Kansas State

• Wildcats misplaced within the first spherical every of the previous two instances they had been a top-4 seed (2019 to No. 13 UC Irvine, 2013 to No. 13 La Salle)
• Reached the Elite Eight the opposite two instances they had been a top-4 seed (2010 as a 2-seed, 1988 as a 4-seed)

53. Kentucky

• This is simply the second time the Wildcats have been worse than a 5-seed beneath John Calipari. In 2014, Kentucky reached the title recreation as an 8-seed however misplaced to UConn.

54. Marquette

• Last tourney win was 10 years in the past when it reached the Elite Eight as a No. 3 seed. The Golden Eagles are 0-3 since then, with all losses by 19 or extra (as a 5-, 9- and 10-seed).
• It’s additionally been 10 years since Shaka Smart gained an NCAA event recreation (with VCU). He has misplaced six straight first-round video games (5 by 4 or fewer factors, together with three in OT), all as a 10-seed or higher, the longest such streak ever.

55. Maryland

• Since 2004, the Terps are 9-1 vs. groups seeded No. 7 or worse, however 0-8 vs. groups seeded No. 6 or higher
• The solely Sweet 16 journey on this span got here in 2016, once they defeated No. 12 seed South Dakota State and No. 13 seed Hawaii to get there
• Kevin Willard, who’s making his first tourney look with Maryland, is 1-5 within the NCAA event, all with Seton Hall and all when seeded between sixth and tenth

56. Miami (Fla.)

• Canes are attempting to win an NCAA tourney recreation in consecutive years for the second time ever (1999 and 2000 beneath Leonard Hamilton)
• Jim Larranaga has superior previous the Sweet 16 twice in his teaching profession, each instances as a double-digit seed (Final Four in 2006 with George Mason, Elite Eight final yr with Miami)

57. Missouri

• Tigers have not gained an NCAA event recreation since 2010
• They have misplaced 5 straight first-round video games (they had been favored or a 1-point underdog in every recreation)

58. NC State

• The Wolfpack’s most up-to-date three journeys to the Sweet 16 got here as Nos. 8, 10 and 11 seeds, courting to 2005.

59. Northwestern

• Trying to change into the fifth faculty since 1985 to win a first-round recreation in every of its first two NCAA event appearances
• In 2017, as a No. 8 seed, the Wildcats defeated Vanderbilt within the first spherical earlier than falling to No. 1 seed Gonzaga within the second spherical

60. Purdue

• First time as a No. 1 seed since 1996
• Seeking its first Final Four look since 1980
• The Boilermakers have superior previous the Sweet 16 simply as soon as in six earlier journeys as a top-2 seed (Elite Eight in 1994)
• They have made the Sweet 16 or higher in 4 of the previous 5 tournaments, however have been eradicated by No. 15 and 13 seeds the previous two years

61. Tennessee

• In seven earlier journeys as a top-4 seed within the trendy period, the Vols have by no means superior previous the Sweet 16. This yr, they’ve to beat the lack of level guard Zakai Zeigler (ACL).

• Only one in every of Rick Barnes’ 25 profession NCAA event victories has come in opposition to a higher-seeded workforce. His 1-11 mark in opposition to higher-seeded groups is the worst amongst coaches with not less than 10 video games vs. greater seeds.
• Since Barnes’ most up-to-date Elite Eight journey 15 years in the past with Texas, his groups haven’t overwhelmed a single-digit seed (0-7) and have made the Sweet 16 simply as soon as in 10 appearances

62. Texas

• The Longhorns have not gained a recreation after the primary spherical in 15 years. In equity, they’ve been a 6-seed or worse in eight of their 10 appearances since.
• Rodney Terry is attempting to change into the second interim head coach to win a males’s or ladies’s nationwide championship (Steve Fisher with Michigan males in 1989)

63. Texas A&M

• The Aggies have reached the Sweet 16 in every of their previous two tourney journeys (2018, 2016)
• In 5 earlier event appearances as a No. 6 seed or worse, Buzz Williams reached the Sweet 16 as soon as (2011 as a No. 11 seed at Marquette)

64. UCLA

• This is the primary time the Bruins are a top-2 seed since 2008, once they reached the Final Four as a No. 1 seed
• UCLA is in search of its third straight Sweet 16 look, a streak it has achieved simply two different instances within the trendy period (2006-08 and 2000-02)

65. UConn

• Huskies have only one tourney win since their 2014 nationwide championship season. This is their greatest seed since 2011, once they gained the nationwide title as a No. 3 seed.
• They have misplaced within the first spherical every of the previous two years beneath Dan Hurley. Before that, they had been 18-2 within the first spherical within the trendy period.

66. Utah State

• Since reaching the Elite Eight in 1970, the Aggies are 1-17 within the NCAA event
• The one win got here in extra time over Ohio State in 2001 as a No. 12 seed

67. Virginia

• Three of Cavaliers’ previous 4 event defeats have come in opposition to groups seeded not less than 9 spots worse than they had been: 2021 first spherical vs. No. 13 Ohio, 2018 first spherical vs. No. 16 UMBC and 2016 Elite Eight vs. No. 10 Syracuse

68. Xavier

• The Musketeers have by no means reached the Final Four in 28 earlier NCAA event appearances
• In 5 prior journeys as a top-4 seed, the Musketeers misplaced within the second spherical 3 times, Sweet 16 as soon as and Elite Eight as soon as
• Sean Miller’s groups at Arizona and Xavier have earned a No. 5 seed or higher seven earlier instances. Six of these seven groups reached the Sweet 16, and 4 reached the Elite Eight. However, he’s 0-4 within the Elite Eight and continues to be in search of his first Final Four look as a coach.

Special because of ESPN Stats & Information for its assist.

Read also  Figure skating world continues to indicate assist for Todd Sand