Sidelines with John Clay

Kentucky basketball: Have No. 5 seeds really been ripe for NCAA upsets?

Middle Tennessee State players react during the second half of its upset win over No. 5 seed Minnesota in an NCAA college basketball tournament first round game on Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Milwaukee.
Middle Tennessee State players react during the second half of its upset win over No. 5 seed Minnesota in an NCAA college basketball tournament first round game on Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Milwaukee. Associated Press

Loyal followers of the NCAA Men’s Tournament know that the No. 5 seed versus the No. 12 seed has been the source of repeated first-round upsets. In fact, the No. 12 seed has knocked off the No. 5 seed in the first round 47 times since the committee started seeding teams in 1985.

And, of course, as a No. 5 seed, Kentucky plays No. 12 seed Davidson on Thursday night in Boise.

So how have the No. 5 seeds fared against No. 12 seeds lately? Over the past 10 tournaments, the No. 5 seed has just a 22-18 record over the No. 12 seeds. During that period, at least one No. 12 has knocked off a No. 5 in every year but 2015.

Here’s the list, with upsets in bold:

2017

▪ No. 5 Virginia beat No. 12 UNC Wilmington 76-71

▪ No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 12 Princeton 60-58

▪ No. 5 Iowa State beat No. 12 Nevada 84-73

▪ No. 5 Minnesota lost to No. 12 Middle Tennessee 81-72

2016

▪ No. 5 Maryland beat No. 12 South Dakota State 79-74

▪ No. 5 Baylor lost to No. 12 Yale 79-75

▪ No. 5 Indiana beat No. 12 Chattanooga 99-74

▪ No. 5 Purdue lost to No. 12 Little Rock 85-83 in 2 OTs

2015

▪ No. 5 West Virginia beat No. 12 Buffalo 68-62

▪ No. 5 Arkansas beat No. 12 Wofford 66-63

▪ No. 5 Northern Iowa beat No. 12 Wyoming 71-54

▪ No. 5 Utah beat No. 12 Stephen F. Austin 57-50

2014

▪ No. 5 VCU lost to No. 12 Stephen F. Austin 77-75 in OT

▪ No. 5 Cincinnati lost to No. 12 Harvard 61-57

▪ No. 5 Oklahoma lost to No. 12 North Dakota State 80-75 in OT

▪ No. 5 Saint Louis beat No. 12 NC State 83-80 in OT

2013

▪ No. 5 Oklahoma State lost to No. 12 Oregon 68-55

▪ No. 5 Wisconsin lost to No. 12 Ole Miss 57-46

▪ No. 5 VCU beat No. 12 Akron 88-42

▪ No. 5 UNLV lost to No. 12 California 64-61

2012

▪ No. 5 Wichita State lost to No. 12 VCU 62-59

▪ No. 5 New Mexico beat No. 12 Long Beach State 75-68

▪ No. 5 Vanderbilt beat No. 12 Harvard 79-70

▪ No. 5 Temple lost to No. 12 South Florida 58-44

2011

▪ No. 5 West Virginia beat No. 12 Clemson 84-76

▪ No. 5 Arizona beat No. 12 Memphis 77-75

▪ No. 5 Vanderbilt lost to No. 12 Richmond 69-66

▪ No. 5 Kansas State beat No. 12 Utah State 73-68

2010

No. 5 Michigan State beat No. 12 New Mexico State 70-67

No. 5 Butler beat No. 12 UTEP 77-59

No. 5 Temple lost to No. 12 Cornell 78-65

No. 5 Texas A&M beat No. 12 Utah State 69-53

2009

▪ No. 5 Utah lost to No. 12 Arizona 84-71

▪ No. 5 Purdue beat No. 12 Northern Iowa 61-56

▪ No. 5 Florida State lost to No. 12 Wisconsin 61-59 in OT

▪ No. 5 Illinois lost to No. 12 Western Kentucky 76-72

2008

▪ No. 5 Notre Dame beat No. 12 George Mason 68-50

▪ No. 5 Clemson lost to No. 12 Villanova 75-69

▪ No. 5 Michigan State beat No. 12 Temple 72-61

▪ No. 5 Drake lost to No. 12 Western Kentucky 101-99 in OT

By the way, here are the other 5-12 games this year: No. 5 Ohio State vs. No. 12 South Dakota State; No. 5 West Virginia vs. No. 12 Murray State; No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 12 New Mexico State.

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