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March Madness: Ranking the Most Likely 12/5 Upsets

Over the past 17 NCAA Tournaments, there have been 27 instances of a 12 seed upsetting a 5 seed, meaning the 12 seed wins at a 39.7% clip in that span. Only three times in the past 17 seasons has there been a Big Dance without a 12/5 upset, with one of those instances coming a year ago.

Looking at just the past two editions of March Madness, chalk has prevailed in the 12/5 battles. In addition to no 12/5 upsets last season, and there was just one such upset in 2017 (Middle Tennessee knocking off Minnesota). But there were some close calls. While 5 seeds have gone 7-1 in the past two tourneys, four of those seven games were decided by eight points or fewer.

Everyone wants to nail upset picks, and hitting on the 12/5 games can give you a leg up in your pool.

Using our metrics, let's take a look at this year's 12/5 games and see which are most likely to end in a 12 seed winning, ranking them from least to most probable, according to our game projections. For those of you who may be new to numberFire, nERD measures the number of points we'd expect a team to win by against an average opponent on a neutral court.

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