NCAA Tournament Round of 32 Trends, Data, Notes & More
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We started with 68 teams and will enter the weekend with just 32 who can win it all.
Let’s get into the 2023 NCAA Tournament Round of 32 with some trends, data, notes and more you need to know throughout the weekend.
Round of 64 Learnings
How do teams perform in the Round of 32 based off how they closed out their win in the Round of 64 (all since 2005 and via Bet Labs)?
- Teams to win by 30+ pts in R64 are 26-7 SU, but just 16-17 ATS in the R32
Team Match: UCLA
- Teams to win by 20+ pts in R64 are 74-36 SU, but just 47-62-1 ATS in the R32
- When spread in R32 is under -10 for the team off big win, 36-51-1 ATS.
- Teams to win by 20+ pts in R64 are 66-28 SU, but just 39-54-1 ATS ATS in the R32 when their opponent won by less than 20 pts in R64.
Team Match: UCLA, Texas, Alabama, Duke, Kansas
- How about teams who barely escape R64? Teams to win in R64 by three pts or less are just 24-57 SU and 39-40-2 ATS in R32.
Team Match: Furman, Tennessee, Maryland
- Does the split differ depending on seed? Top-6 seeds who win by three pts or less in R64 are just 10-16 SU, 11-14-1 ATS in R32 (favorites are 7-4 SU, dogs are 3-12 SU).
Team Match: Tennessee
- 7+ seeds who win by three pts or less in R64 are just 14-41 SU, but an over .500, 28-26-1 ATS.
Team Match: Furman, Maryland
- A sign of caution for Alabama and Kansas. 1 seeds who win by 20+ in the Round of 64 are 18-23 ATS since 2005 and 6-14 ATS since 2014.
Team Match: Alabama, Kansas
All team matches only from Thursday games as of now.
Round of 32 Games
San Diego State
- Furman knocked off Virginia. The past two teams to beat Virginia in the dance lost SU as dogs in their next game (21 Ohio, 18 UMBC).
- San Diego State is 8-17-2 against the second-half spread this season, the 3rd-worst in the NCAA Tournament and 5th-worst in the country.
- The Mountain West’s tournament struggles have been widely noted. How have they performed past the Round of 64? Well, they’ve never been to the Elite 8 and are 6-16 SU, 8-13-1 ATS in the Round of 32 and Sweet 16.
+ Rick Barnes is 19-33 ATS in the NCAA Tournament, with an even 26-26 straight-up record.
Barnes is just 2-14 ATS in his past 16 NCAA Tournament games, including games with Tennessee and Texas. That makes him the least profitable coach ATS in the tourney, per our Bet Labs database (since 2005).
- Duke is hot. Really hot. The Blue Devils have won 10 consecutive games straight up and five consecutive games against the spread. Only seven teams have been on that type of streak and been favored in the Round of 32 or later. Those teams went 6-1 straight up. Duke will be tough to beat.
+ Kansas got the cover in the Round of 64 against Howard. In the Jayhawks past three tournaments, they’ve failed to cover in the Round of 32 after a cover in the first round (2-5 ATS since 2010).
Overall, Kansas has lost four consecutive games against the spread in the Round of 32 and is 2-6 ATS in the round since 2014. Since the 2018 tournament, Kansas is the only team 0-4 ATS in Round of 32 (Tennessee is 0-3 ATS).
+ In Eric Musselman’s 14 NCAAT games, the under is 9-4-1 and the first half under is 10-4.
+ Princeton didn’t meet a single power conference team this season. They did, however, go 0-4 against top-100 competition in the regular season, before beating Yale in the Ivy Tournament title game and taking out Arizona in the Round of 64.
+ Since 2005, teams are 3-17 SU and 5-15 ATS in the next round after pulling off a double-digit upset in the NCAA Tournament.
These such teams were 0-9 SU between 2005 and 2013, a streak broken by Florida Gulf Coast in 2013.
- The 6-point spread is pretty low for a 15-seed …
Lowest Spreads for a 15 or 16 Seed in Round 64 or Later
- 1991 Richmond +2.5 — didn’t cover
- 2012 Lehigh +4 — didn’t cover
- 2016 Middle Tennessee State +6 — didn’t cover
- 2006 Winthrop +6 — covered
- 2023 Princeton +6.5
- Prior to last year, the previous 10 pre-tournament favorites have advanced to the Elite 8. Last year, Gonzaga lost to Arkansas in the Sweet 16. Here’s a list Houston doesn’t want to make.
Pre-Tournament Favorite Loses in Sweet 16 or Earlier
- 2010: Kansas +200 (R32)
- 2004: Kentucky +350 (R32)
- 1994: UNC +600 (R32)
- 1990: Oklahoma +250 (R32)
+ In 14 NCAAT games with Houston, the under is 11-4 under Kelvin Sampson.
+ When Bruce Pearl exits early and returns to the dance, he always advances further. Now is the biggest test to that “rule”…
- 2006, R32 → 2007, S16
- 2009, R64 → 2010, E8
- 2018, R32 → 2019, Final 4
- 2022, R32 → 2023, TBD
- Pearl is 8-3 ATS as an underdog in the NCAA Tournament. Pearl’s 72.7% ATS win percentage as an underdog puts him in the top seven for coaches in the seeding era. He’s 3-0 against the spread as an underdog with Auburn.
+ Texas is 2-11 ATS in its past 13 NCAA Tournament games after a cover against Colgate. The Longhorns are also 2-8 ATS when the game is played past the Round of 64.
+ Texas hasn’t advanced past the R32 since making it to the Elite 8 all the way back in 2008 — 10 straight appearances, this would be their 11th without a trip to the second weekend. Longhorns are 1-5 ATS in their past six Round of 32 games.
- Penn State has covered the spread in five straight games. The Nittany Lions have covered in nine straight as an underdog and in eight consecutive games on the moneyline as an underdog.
The good news for Penn State? Double-digit seeds are 25-18 ATS in the Round of 32 and are 13-5 ATS since 2016.
+ Overall, Mick Cronin has had tournament success with UCLA, going 8-2 straight up and against the spread.
- A bad omen? Cronin’s highest seed in his 13 NCAAT appearances prior to this year was back in 2018 when Cincinnati was the #2 seed and lost to the #7 seed Nevada in the R32.
- Saturday will be UCLA’s 32nd NCAA Tournament game played in the state of California. They are 30-1 straight up, and in the seeding era, they are 18-1 straight up and 12-7 against the spread. Their only loss? 2002 Sweet 16 against Missouri.
Northwestern has been the dog whispers lately. Since February 1st, the Wildcats are 6-2 straight up and 7-1 against the spread when listed as an underdog.
Northwestern won the second half against Boise State by two points. However, the Wildcats are 5-10 against the second-half spread in their past 15 games.
+ Alabama coach Nate Oats is 18-9-3 against the spread when coaching games on two days rest or less. The Tide are 9-2-1 ATS in their past 12 games in this spot with Oats.
- Alabama will play its fourth NCAA Tournament game in the state of Alabama on Saturday. The Crimson Tide are 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS with their only loss coming on a last-second shot by Texas A&M Corpus-Christi.
Maryland barely escaped with a two-point win against West Virginia. Since 2005, 8 or 9 seeds to win by three points or less in the Round of 64 are 10-5 ATS vs. the 1 seed in the Round of 32.
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