Why to Pick a No. 12 Over No. 5 Upset in the March Madness Bracket

March 18, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

At least one No. 12 seed will win in the first wound of the NCAA tournament, if recent history is any indication.

No. 12 seeds over the past three years have won eight of their 12 games, and six of their last eight.

“Going back to 1995, No. 5 seeds have been upset 33 times in 80 games. Their 59 percent win rate compares unfavorably to the 66 percent win rate of No. 6 seeds,” noted FiveThirtyEight.

In fact, the No. 5 seeds have not gone 4-0 since 2007. For those looking for good upset picks in the first round, these matchups represent some of the safer choices.

Best Choice

Buffalo has relatively strong 33 percent odds to take out West Virginia, especially when taking into account WVA’s recent history.

Bob Huggin’s squad has lost twice in the first round in their last five visits. Meanwhile, former Duke star Bobby Hurley has propelled Buffalo into their first NCAA tournament, making a compelling Cinderella case.

Hurley went to three Final Fours in his four years under Coach K., so he has plenty of big game experience. 

Next Best Choice

Wofford has the next best odds of beating their opponent, which is Arkansas, at 24 percent. Tough scheduling also plays a part in the potential upset.

“Arkansas, which just played Sunday, Saturday, and Friday, now has to turn around, fly to Florida, and play again late Thursday night,” noted Epoch Times college basketball expert Dave Martin.

“It’s a quick turnaround, and playing at night means Wofford will have a chance to see if any other upsets happened during the day, which can be contagious.”

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