The Greatest 12 seed ever??
Every March when Cinderella goes to get her dress dry cleaned, it comes back with a #12 on it 35.94% of the time.
The 12 seed has defeated a 5 seed in 46 out of 128 tries since the tournament went to 64 teams. What’s more, the 12 seed has produced a respectable 10 wins since 2012. That’s an average of 2 wins in the first round in the last 5 tournaments. If we go a little deeper, we see the 12 seed is an impressive 21-11 ATS since 2009. These metrics leave little to be desired on the value a 12 seed can present…but who is the best one ever? It’s hard to look past Middle Tennessee State in this years tourney as a contender for the title and a quality lock for an “upset”.
MTSU comes into this game with an impressive 30-4 overall record and riding a 10 game win streak. They’ve had double digit wins in 8 of those 10 games, with a season long average margin of victory of 11.7 points. They aren’t afraid to put up points when and if needed. MTSU is led by a duo of Senior Power Forwards that score and board, and a Junior Point Guard who isn’t afraid to do either of those. JaCorey Williams is a transfer from Arkansas and has been incredibly impressive for the Blue Raiders. With marquee wins against fellow tourney contenders Vanderbilt (9 seed) and UNC Wilmington (12 seed), they need to be on your radar. Likely in the same conversation as Wichita State, I think MTSU was a tad under seeded.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers, on the other hand, are arguably the worst high seeded team in the tournament. At 24-9, and a 4th place regular season finish in the underwhelming Big Ten, they are seeded higher then the likes of Notre Dame, Iowa St, and SMU. All teams with far superior resumes in terms of big wins, regular season finish, and post season performance. Don’t forget the Gophers one year ago were 8-23 overall and 2-16 in the Big Ten. Give Richard Pitino his due, but this is his first trip to the dance with a team that doesn’t have a clear defined standout player. Being swept by Wisconsin and losing their second Big Ten Tournament game, surely justifies the current Vegas line of PickEm
In case your forgot MTSU as a 15 seed upset the 2 seed and #2 nationally ranked Michigan State Spartans in last year’s tournament. This is a team that has been here before and doesn’t fear a Big Ten opponent. I wouldn’t sleep on Cinderella, because we all know she won’t be late to the ball!
- Be Sharp, Stay Focused, Make Good Decisions