12 seed

Do You Feel Like A 12 Seed?

I know we are all busy filling out NCAA tournament brackets today, so I will keep this short…


How often do you really feel like a boss? Do you wake up feeling like a top-notch, out of this world, authority in your field?

If we were strapped to a lie detector test, I would bet the results would show we experience this feeling very rarely.

I wish I could say we all spring out of bed in the morning, feeling like the best at our job, but that is not always true. We do not always feel like champions, or 1 seeds.

Most of the time we feel like the last person that should be invited to the dance.

In the NCAA tournament, this feeling should equate to a 12 seed. The teams that are selected as 12 seeds are usually among the last of the teams picked for the tournament. Teams that are 12’s are in the bottom quarter of all the team’s ranked the bracket. They are the last selected and should be first expected to lose, right?


The 12-5 match-up is the classic first round upset. I have no stat to back this up, but nearly everyone who fills out a NCAA tournament bracket will pick at least one 12 seed to defeat a 5 seed.

Why? Why do so many people decide to back a team that barely made the tournament?

Because these underdogs win. And they win a lot.

In the last 3 years, a 12 seed has defeated a 5 seed 66% of the time. Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the 12 seed has beaten the 5 seed 44 times. Compare that to the 11-6 match-up, where the upset has happened 41 times.

Why has the 12-5 match-up created more upsets than the more statistically equal 11-6 match-up?


Once upon a time, 12 seeds thought that, with a little luck, they might be able win. And somewhere along the way, 12 seeds really started knowing they can win. Teams are happy to be picked as 12 seeds because, what should be a dreaded ranking, has become a coveted title.

On selection Sunday, 12 seeds don’t get any more talented. They don’t add any new players. The players they have, do not develop special new skills. They are the same exact team they would be if they were given a 13 or 11 ranking. Only one thing has changed.


The change has less to do with the challenge ahead of them and more to do with what is inside of them. They believe they can win. And because of that, they do win.






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