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History of 5 vs. 12 seeds in the NCAA Tournament

We go over the infamous 5-12 matchup in the NCAA Tournament and how often there is an upset.

Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) drives to the basket against Florida State Seminoles guard Terance Mann (14) during the first half of a game in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at XL Center. David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the most famous of the upset seeding lines, and it happens so often it has almost become a cliche. Below we take a look at the history of the 5 vs 12 seed matchup.

History of 5 vs. 12 seed matchup in NCAA Tournament

According to NCAA.com since the NCAA Tournament field expanded back in 1985, the 12 seed is 51-93 against the 5 seed. And since 2017 this upset has occurred five times, including three times in 2019. The only 5 seed we saw defeat the 12 seed in 2019 was Auburn defeating New Mexico State 78-77, as the Aggies missed the potential game winning shot at the buzzer.

A big 12 vs 5 upset that stood out over the past few years was Oregon State over Tennessee in the 2021 tournament. The Beavers were a team who had no shot at an at-large bid for March Madness before winning the Pac-12 Tournament. They went onto the Elite 8 where they fell just short to the 2 seed in Houston.

Another standout 12 over 5 upset was Murray State over Marquette in 2019. The Racers were led by Ja Morant and had all the hype. After blowing Marquette out Murray State fell short to Florida State, but it set the stage for one of the most exciting players in the NBA today.

Here are the 5-12 matchups for the 2022 NCAA Tournament:

West: No. 5 UConn vs. No. 12 New Mexico State
South: No. 5 Houston vs. No. 12 UAB
East: No. 5 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 12 Wyoming/Indiana
Midwest: No. 5 Iowa vs. No. 12 Richmond

You’d think just from looking at the 5-seeds the most likely to lose is St. Mary’s. Houston, Iowa and UConn are all trendy picks to go on a deep run from the No. 5 seed.

We’ll see who the Gaels end up playing, but as of now the shortest favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook are the UConn Huskies, who are the seven-point chalk over New Mexico State.