#5 vs. #12 Men’s NCAA Tournament Seeds – Upset Analysis
A lot of great basketball games are on the horizon with the 2012 NCAA tournament in full swing. It’s a tradition when filling out your NCAA Tournament brackets to do some upset forecasting on the road to the Final Four. Many experts and fans alike look at the #12 versus #5 seeds first – and with good reason! Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, a #12 seed has beaten a #5 seed 35 times. That’s about once in every three games played! In fact, it’s been since 2007 that we’ve seen all the #5 seeds get through their first game matchups. Last year, it was Richmond’s turn as they upset Vanderbilt in the 2011 NCAA tournament:
This year’s NCAA tournament upsets are sure to come from all over the brackets, but today, we’ll take a look at which #12 seed has the best chance of continuing the tradition by taking out a #5 seed in round two.
(All times are Eastern Standard Time)
12th Seed VCU vs. 5th Seed Wichita State – South Region
Thursday, 7:15, CBS (check local listing)
Just because VCU surprised us last year with their Cinderella rise to the final four doesn’t mean we should all jump on the bandwagon this year. Wichita State has had a tremendous season, going into the tournament with an overall season record of 27-5 and they managed to maintain an efficiency margin of 26.6 while going up against a difficult schedule this year. VCU will keep the game moving quickly with their “havoc” style of defense, but Wichita State is ready for the challenge.
12th Seed Harvard vs. 5th Seed Vanderbilt – East Region
Thursday, 4:40, TNT (DISH channel 138)
As far as 5-12 matchups go for the 2012 NCAA tournament, this pairing is probably the most evenly matched. Both teams have an impressive record (Harvard: 26-4, Vanderbilt 24-10); however, the Commodores have faced much tougher opponents this year and the likelihood that Harvard will pull out an upset is minimal. Vanderbilt was victorious against the South’s #1 seed Kentucky last Sunday and they are unlikely to let the Crimson tournament rookies (Harvard hasn’t been to a tournament since 1946) take them out in the first round.
12th Seed Long Beach State vs. 5th Seed New Mexico – West Region
Thursday, 4:10, TBS (DISH channel 139)
Now we’re getting somewhere. Long Beach State (25-8) has been surprisingly efficient this year while taking on opponents like San Diego State (where they lost 73-77 in OT) and Xavier (where they won 68-58). It is no surprise that they were named the #12 seed and New Mexico will certainly have a challenge on their hands in the first round. As a 12-5 upset pick for March Madness basketball, this game is not a bad choice.
12th Seed Winner of California/USF (Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. on TruTV (DISH Channel 204) vs. 5th Seed Temple – Midwest Region
Friday, 9:50, TNT (DISH channel 138)
The Midwest’s #12 seed will be decided with the California Golden Bears vs South Florida Bulls game on Wednesday night and that team will go on to face Temple in the first round. With a better season record and higher offensive stats, California is the favorite in the early matchup and if they do win then then the battle against Temple will be one to watch on Thursday. Even though the Golden Bears aren’t as good as Temple offensively, they surpass them in all defensive aspects of the game. This may be the least statistically likely 12-5 upset, but picking California is not without merit. If South Florida and their 12 Big East wins get past California on Wednesday, they’ll look to slow the game down against Temple and rely on defense to produce a low scoring affair. They also play a clean game which will limit Temple’s ability to get to the free throw line.
If you’re looking for a #12 seed to upset a #5 seed in your Tournament Bracket, look at Long Beach State or California (if they make it past South Florida) as the most likely #12 seed to make their way through.
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For DISH Customers:
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