UNITED STATES—The time is here. March Madness is officially underway. Selection Sunday came and went and the match-ups are set with games already beginning.
This is a time of year where the cinderella story becomes a reality year in and year out. Who will be the George Mason of the 2016 tournament? The lowest seed to ever make a final four is an 11-seed which has happened three times throughout the history of the tournament: the LSU Tigers in 1986, George Mason in 2006, and VCU in 2011.
According to a report by USA Today, the Gonzaga Bulldogs have the highest percentage of double-digit seeds to reach the Sweet 16 at 27 percent. This is the ‘Zags 18th consecutive tournament appearance and they enter this year as an 11-seed, their first double-digit seeding since 2011.
The high seed with the second highest chance of reaching the Sweet 16 is the 10-seed VCU with a 22 percent chance.
The team ranked fifth or worse with the best chance to reach the Final Four is the Purdue Boilermakers. When looking at their regular season success, Purdue is perhaps the most under-seeded team in the tournament. The Prediction Machine’s Power Rankings has the Boilermakers ranked ninth, and gives them a nine percent chance to make the Final Four, the 13th best Final Four odds.
Of all of the number two seeds, Michigan State has to be considered the favorite. Tom Izzo’s squad always seems to show up big in March, and they have arguably the nation’s most complete college player in Denzel Valentine.
The Kansas Jayhawks come into the tournament as the number one overall seed and are a favorite for most in tournament brackets.
The Midwest Region has the highest probability to win it all with a with a 33.1 percent chance. The region has two of the top three teams according to the Prediction Machine’s Power Rankings, Virginia and Michigan State, and four of the top 13.
Anything goes in the Round of 64, and time will tell if Cinderella will find her glass slipper.