Purdue Basketball: Do The Top Seeds Usually Win March Madness?

Posted on March 1, 2022

We all remember March Madness for the upsets, but how often do the top teams actually end up winning the tournament? It’s worth finding out since Purdue University is one of the top teams in the country.

The Boilermakers are the No. 8 seed according to the latest AP Poll. The team even briefly claimed the top spot in the country earlier this season.

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What March Madness seed will Purdue be?

Purdue Basketball has been one of the highest-ranked teams throughout the entire season.

Despite that, the Boilermakers haven’t gone without some hiccups here and there.

It was looking like Purdue would stay in the mix for a No. 1 seed after the NCAA’s Top 16 reveal on Feb. 19. Those weren’t final March Madness seedings, but they did provide a nice glimpse into the committee’s thought process.

Many of the top teams in the country lost last week, including No. 3 Auburn and No. 5 Kansas.

That left an opening for a team like Purdue to make a late-season push to claim one of the final No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately for the black and gold, the team’s loss to Michigan State likely put an end to those hopes. Teams like Auburn, Baylor, Kentucky and Kansas are in a better position to slide into the top spots.

That likely paints the Boilermakers as March Madness No. 2 seeds for the first time since 2018. That would be the fourth time in program history for Purdue.

The Big Ten Tournament could make some waves in Purdue’s favor, but it’s a little early to know if that will end up being anything more than wishful thinking.

Success in regular season transfers

There’s a reason that the weekly college basketball rankings are so important. As it turns out, they’re actually a solid gauge of postseason success.

No. 1 seeds have won the most National Championships by a long shot, followed by, unsurprisingly, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds consecutively.

Below is a quick look at how the number of times each March Madness seed has made it to the various stages of the NCAA Tournament. The data goes all the way back to 1985 when the tournament expanded to 64 teams.

SeedFinal FourChampionship Game
National Champions
1593623
230125
317124
41331
5730
6321
7311
8531
9100
10100
11-16500

It’s called March Madness for a reason

The best teams throughout the year usually end up winning the tournament, but anything can happen once squads start hitting the hardwood.

The top-two seeds in the tournament have won nearly 78% of the National Championships since 1985. That bodes well for Purdue’s chances as a likely No. 2 seed.

However, even if a top-two seed ends up winning March Madness, there’s no guarantee that it will be Purdue. There are four No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in every tournament, so the Boilermakers will only be one of those eight teams.

That just serves as another reminder that there’s no such thing as an easy path to a National Championship.

Jaden Ivey and company are a talented bunch, but they’ll have their work cut out for them during their quest for Purdue’s first college basketball banner.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a sports writer based in Indianapolis, IN. He's an Indiana University graduate who's spent time as a sports reporter covering teams at the prep, collegiate and professional levels.

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