How do double-digit seeds fare in the Sweet 16 and beyond?


Editor's note: The St. Peter’s Peacocks have become the first No. 15 seed to make the Elite Eight after defeating No. 3 Purdue 67-64.

The Saint Peter’s Peacocks have flown into the national spotlight this March, and now they have a chance to cement their name in the history books.

The MAAC champions pulled off the early upset of the tournament, beating Kentucky in the first round on Thursday. It was just the 10th win ever by a No. 15 seed over a No. 2 seed since the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament expanded its field to 64 teams in 1985.

The run didn’t end there, though. Saint Peter’s came back on Saturday and beat No. 7 Murray State 70-60, becoming just the third No. 15 seed to ever reach the Sweet 16.

Saint Peter’s is hoping to avoid the same Sweet 16 results as those other two No. 15 seeds. Florida Gulf Coast lost to Florida in 2013, while Oral Roberts fell to Arkansas just last season. Waiting for Saint Peter’s in this year’s Sweet 16 is No. 3 Purdue, which is hoping to get to the Elite Eight for the second time in three tournaments.

Regardless of the Saint Peter’s-Purdue outcome, a double-digit seed is guaranteed to make the Elite Eight on Friday. No. 10 Miami is squaring off against No. 11 Iowa State in the final tipoff of the Sweet 16, with one team moving on to the Midwest Regional Final. The Hurricanes upset No. 7 USC and No. 2 Auburn in the first two rounds, while the Cyclones beat No. 6 LSU and No. 3 Wisconsin. 

No. 11 Michigan is the fourth double-digit seed to reach the 2022 Sweet 16. Juwan Howard’s team beat No. 6 Colorado State in the first round and outlasted No. 3 Tennessee in the second round, setting up a Sweet 16 matchup against No. 2 Villanova in the South Region.

Before Saint Peter’s, Miami, Iowa State and Michigan take the floor, let’s look back on how other double-digit seeds have fared in the Sweet 16 and beyond:

How many double-digit seeds have reached the men’s Elite Eight?

Nineteen double-digit seeds have advanced to the Elite Eight since 1985. Eight were No. 10 seeds, nine were No. 11 seeds and two were No. 12 seeds:

No. 10 seeds

  • LSU, 1987
  • Texas, 1990
  • Temple, 1991
  • Providence, 1997
  • Gonzaga, 1999
  • Kent State, 2002
  • Davidson, 2008
  • Syracuse 2016

No. 11 seeds

  • LSU, 1986
  • Loyola Marymount, 1990
  • Temple, 2001
  • George Mason, 2006
  • VCU, 2011
  • Dayton, 2014
  • Xavier, 2017
  • Loyola Chicago, 2018
  • UCLA, 2021

No. 12 seeds

  • Missouri, 2002
  • Oregon State, 2021

How many double-digit seeds have reached the men’s Final Four?

Only six of those 19 teams won once they got to the Elite Eight.

  • No. 11 LSU in 1986
  • No. 11 George Mason in 2006
  • No. 11 VCU in 2011
  • No. 10 Syracuse in 2016
  • No. 11 Loyola Chicago in 2018
  • No. 11 UCLA in 2021

Despite making it to the Final Four, none of those six squads made it to the national championship game, let alone win the title.

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