The "Upset Fault"

WHAT'S IN A NUMBER?

5-12...6-11...7-10...Let's Call It The "UPSET FAULT"

The word FAULT has many meanings. My fault, faulty data, a fault (or tear) in the established order, such as a fault line that can open and cause an earthquake as well as many others. Of course the latter mentioned meaning truly comes to mind when used as metaphor for the discussion of the NCAA Tournaments.

That's right, as metaphor, because as history repeats itself and that history bears truth, then there really is a FAULT when we look at the opening week of the NCAA Tournament and just how deep a rending of the order there is when the number 10, 11 and 12 seeds pull opening round UPSETS of the 7, 6 and 5 seeds. A FAULT that as often as not gets deeper in round two.

By now it has almost become a canard that the number 12 seed is as likely as not to win over the number 5 seed in the opening round. But that attention grabber only begins to scratch the surface of some deeper truths buried within the potential FAULT LINES. Because if you look close enough you'll find a number of factors that can help you predict when the eruption might occur.

One of the more pronounced of these potential FAULT UPSET patterns involves the aforementioned 5-12, 6-11 and 7-10 seed opening AND even more important second round actualities.

Each year there are a number of opening round UPSETS as the 12, 11 and/or 10 seeds beat the 5, 6 and/or 7 seeds. But what is more striking is the fact that those opening round upset winners just as often as not go on to win their second round games as well and move into the Sweet Sixteen.

Over the course of the last ten years, just a tad more than half of the UPSET winners in round one have gone on to win their second round games and as you might expect, these 10, 11 and 12 seed teams are almost always playing lower seeds (as in lower number seed) so the second round is an UPSET as well.

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Let's take a look at 2011 and 2010 as examples.

2011

(5) West Virginia - 84
(12) Clemson - 76 (X)

(6) Xavier - 55
(11) Marquette - 66 (W)...(11) Marquette - 66 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(3) Syracuse - 77.................(3) Syracuse - 62
(14) Indiana State - 60

(7) Washington - 68
(10) Georgia - 65 (X)

(5) Arizona - 77
(12) Memphis - 75 (X)

(6) Cincinnati - 78
(11) Missouri - 63 (X)

(7) Temple - 66
(10) Penn State - 64 (X)

(5) Kansas State - 73
(12) Utah State - 68 (X)

(6) St. John's - 71
(11) Gonzaga - 86 (W)...(11) Gonzaga - 67 (LOSE ROUND TWO)
(3) BYU - 74......................(3) BYU - 89

(7) UCLA - 78
(10) Michigan State - 76 (X)

(5) Vanderbilt - 66
(12) Richmond - 69 (W)...(12) Richmond 65 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(13) Morehead State - 62...(13) Morehead State 48
(4) Louisville - 61

(6) Georgetown - 56
(11) Virginia-Commonwealth - 74 (W)...(11) VCU - 94 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(3) Purdue - 65............................................(3) Purdue - 76
(14) St. Peters - 43

(7) Texas A&M - 50
(10) Florida State - 57 (W)...(10) Florida State - 71 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(2) Notre Dame - 69..............(2) Notre Dame - 57
(15) Akron - 56 (2)

SUMMATION...A total of 5 of the 12 seeds 10 through 12 made it to the second round. Of the 5 to make it 4 were once again winners (80%)

2010

(5) Michigan State - 70
(12) New Mexico State - 67 (X)

(6) Tennessee - 62
(11) San Diego State - 59 (X)

(7) Oklahoma State - 59
(10) Georgia Tech - 64 (W)...(10) Georgia Tech - 66 (LOSE ROUND TWO)
(2) Ohio St. - 68.......................(2) Ohio State - 75
(15) Cal-Santa Barbara - 51

(5) Butler - 77
(12) UTEP - 59 (X)

(6) Xavier - 65
(11) Minnesota - 54 (X)

(7) BYU - 99
(10 Florida - 92 (X)

(5) Temple - 65
(12) Cornell - 78 (W)...(12) Cornell - 87 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(4) Wisconsin - 53........(4) Wisconsin - 69
(13) Wofford - 49

(6) Marquette - 78
(11) Washington - 80 (W)...(11) Washington - 82 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(3) New Mexico - 62.............(3) New Mexico - 64
(14) Montana - 57

(7) Clemson - 78
(10) Missouri - 86 (W)...(10) Missouri - 59 (LOSE ROUND TWO)
(2) West Virginia - 77.....(2) West Virginia - 68
(15) Morgan State - 50

(5) Texas A&M - 69
(12) Utah State - 53 (X)

(6) Notre Dame - 50
(11) Old Dominion - 51 (W)...(11) Old Dominion - 68 (LOSE ROUND TWO)
(3) Baylor - 68...........................(3) Baylor - 76
(14) Sam Houston State - 59

(7) Richmond - 71
(10) Saint Mary's - 80 (W)...(10) Saint Mary's - 75 (WIN ROUND TWO)
(2) Villanova - 73...................(2) Villanova - 68
(15) Robert Morris - 70

SUMMATION...A total of 6 of the 12 seeds 10 through 12 made it to the second round. Of the 6 to make it 3 were once again winners (50%)

This is important information because it means that you can look at second round UPSETS to happen as often as not. And since in the case of the 7 Round Two repeat wins 5 of them were vs lower (better ) seeds so you are getting points. Additionally, since 7 of the 11 were outright winners and 5 were underdogs, a money line wager on all 11 would have been WELL WORTH THE EFFORT.

Keep this in mind as you move on to Round Two because there is no reason to think that those UPSET FAULTS won't be ripping their way through the NCAA Tournament Landscape.

20
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