NCAA Tournament: How the Madness of the First Two Rounds Stacked Up

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The 2014 NCAA tournament has been a compelling one so far.

Between 14th-seeded Mercer shocking third-seeded Duke on Friday, the four 12 seeds very nearly completing a sweep of the five seeds, half of the four 11 seeds picking up wins over six seeds and a bunch of extra time being played, this year’s tournament has certainly provided its share of intrigue and excitement.

Mar 21, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Mercer Bears guard Kevin Canevari (3), forward Jakob Gollon (20) and guard Ike Nwamu (10) celebrates after beating the Duke Blue Devils in a men

Mar 21, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Mercer Bears guard Kevin Canevari (3), forward Jakob Gollon (20) and guard Ike N wamu (10) celebrate after beating the Duke Blue Devils (photo: USATODAY).

But while the 2014 tournament placed one quarter (seven of 28) of its double-digit seeds in the round of 32, that number was a bit less than in several other years, since the men’s tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, to 65 teams in 2001 and to 68 teams in 2011.

In 1989, all four 11 seeds won, marking the only time since 1985 that each of the same double-digit seed — lower than a 10 seed — won (four 10 seeds won in 1999).

Those four 11-seed winners in ’89 were half of the eight double-digit seeds that won that year.

After that tournament, there were eight others (1991, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2013) in which just as many double-digit seeds played for a trip to the Sweet 16.

And in 2012, that number was eclipsed, when nine double-digit seeds (two 10s, two 11s, two 12s, a pair of 15s and a 13) reached the round of 32.

The 2002 tournament matched this year’s with seven double-digit seeds advancing beyond the round of 64.

This year’s three 12 seeds winning also wasn’t so far out of the ordinary compared to recent years. The same happened just last year, and before that, in 2002 and ’09.

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