March Madness Matchups: 5 vs 12 Betting History & Trends

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the No. 5 seeds both won and covered the spread in all four March Madness opening round matchups last season. Unusually strong fifth-seeded teams may have something to do with it, as Duke, Miami, San Diego State and Saint Mary’s were the No.5’s.

Having said that, No. 12 seeds have had success as March Madness bracket busters historically. 12 seeds have an impressive 35% winning percentage in the first round. Interestingly enough, No. 12 seeds have at least one victory in 17 of 22 NCAAB Tournaments since 2000. Two years ago, both UConn and Iowa fell as No. 5 seeds. While Oregon State knocked off Tennessee 70-56 in 2021.

However, it’s important to keep in mind 12-seeds are just 14-26 SU and 21-18-1 ATS over the last 10 tournaments (40 games).

2024 5 vs 12 Seed March Madness Matchups

The vaunted No. 12 seeds are represented by James Madison, UAB, Grand Canyon, and McNeese State in this year's March Madness opening round.

South: No. 5 Wisconsin vs No. 12 James Madison

East: No. 5 San Diego State vs No. 12 UAB

West: No. 5 Saint Mary's vs No. 12 Grand Canyon

Midwest: No. 5 Gonzaga vs No. 12 McNeese State

Seed vs Seed Stats: 1 vs 16 | 2 vs 15 | 3 vs 14 | 4 vs 13 | 5 vs 12 | 6 vs 11 | 7 vs 10 | 8 vs 9

#5 Seed vs # 12 Seed
#5 SeedScore#12 SeedScoreDateATS WinWin SeedATS Seed
Wisconsin61James Madison722024-03-22James Madison1212
San Diego St.69UAB652024-03-22UAB512
Saint Mary's66Grand Canyon752024-03-22Grand Canyon1212
Gonzaga86McNeese St.652024-03-21Gonzaga55
San Diego State63Col. Of Charleston572023-03-16San Diego State55
Duke74Oral Roberts512023-03-16Duke55
Saint Mary’s 63VCU512023-03-17Saint Mary's55
Saint Mary’s82Indiana532022-03-17Saint Mary’s55
UConn63New Mexico State702022-03-17New Mexico State1212
Tennessee56Oregon State702021-03-19Oregon State1212
Creighton63UC Santa Barbara622021-03-20UC Santa Barbara512
Mississippi State76Liberty802019-03-22Liberty1212
Marquette64Murray State832019-03-21Murray State1212
Auburn78New Mexico State772019-03-21New Mexico State512
West Virginia85Murray State682018-03-16West Virginia55
Clemson79New Mexico State682018-03-16Clemson55
Ohio State81South Dakota State732018-03-15South Dakota State512
Minnesota72Middle Tennessee812017-03-17Middle Tennessee1212
Virginia76UNC Wilmington712017-03-16UNC Wilmington512
Iowa State84Nevada732017-03-16Iowa State55
Notre Dame83Princeton712017-03-16Notre Dame55
Maryland79South Dakota State742016-03-18South Dakota State512
Purdue83Little Rock852016-03-17Little Rock1212
Northern Iowa71Wyoming542015-03-21Northern Iowa55
Utah57Stephen F. Austin502015-03-20Stephen F. Austin55
West Virginia68Buffalo622015-03-20West Virginia55
Virginia Commonwealth75Stephen F. Austin772014-03-21Stephen F. Austin1212
Oklahoma75North Dakota State802014-03-20North Dakota State1212
Saint Louis83North Carolina State802014-03-20PUSH5 
Virginia Commonwealth88Akron422013-03-21Virginia Commonwealth55
Oklahoma State55Oregon682013-03-21Oregon1212
Temple44South Florida582012-03-16South Florida1212
Wichita State59Virginia Commonwealth622012-03-15Virginia Commonwealth1212
New Mexico75Long Beach State682012-03-15New Mexico55
Kansas State73Utah State682011-03-17Kansas State55
West Virginia84Clemson762011-03-17West Virginia55
Michigan State70New Mexico State672010-03-19New Mexico State512
Texas A&M69Utah State532010-03-19Texas A&M55
Butler77Texas El Paso592010-03-18Butler55
Florida State59Wisconsin612009-03-20Wisconsin1212
Illinois72Western Kentucky762009-03-19Western Kentucky1212
Purdue61Northern Iowa562009-03-19Northern Iowa512
Drake99Western Kentucky1012008-03-21Western Kentucky1212
Notre Dame68George Mason502008-03-20Notre Dame55
Michigan State72Temple612008-03-20Michigan State55
Virginia Tech54Illinois522007-03-16Illinois512
Tennessee121Long Beach State862007-03-16Tennessee55
Butler57Old Dominion462007-03-15Butler55
Pittsburgh79Kent State642006-03-17Pittsburgh55
Washington75Utah State612006-03-16Washington55
Syracuse58Texas A&M662006-03-16Texas A&M1212
Michigan State89Old Dominion812005-03-18Michigan State55
Georgia Tech80George Washington682005-03-18Georgia Tech55
Villanova55New Mexico472005-03-18Villanova55
Illinois72Murray State532004-03-19Illinois55
Mississippi State46Butler472003-03-21Butler1212
Notre Dame70Wisc-Milwaukee692003-03-20Wisc-Milwaukee512
Wisconsin81Weber State742003-03-20Wisconsin55
Ohio State68Utah State772001-03-15Utah State1212
Connecticut75Utah State672000-03-17Utah State512
Kentucky85St. Bonaventure802000-03-16St. Bonaventure512
Texas77Indiana State612000-03-16Texas55
Wisconsin32Missouri State431999-03-12Missouri State1212
Charlotte81Rhode Island701999-03-12Charlotte55
TCU87Florida State961998-03-13Florida State1212
Illinois64South Alabama511998-03-12Illinois55
Tulsa81Boston University521997-03-14Tulsa55
Boston College73Valparaiso661997-03-13Valparaiso512
Maryland66College of Charleston751997-03-13College of Charleston1212
Mississippi State58Virginia Commonwealth511996-03-14Mississippi State55
Iowa State74California641996-03-14Iowa State55
Penn State80Arkansas861996-03-14Arkansas1212

Why Should You Bet On A No. 12 Seed Over The No. 5 Seed?

Over the last 14 tournaments, No. 12 seeds are an impressive 33-22-1 against the spread while also going 24-32 straight up. In 2019, three No. 12 seeds won SU with just Auburn winning as a favorite but failing to cover.

For college basketball bettors, it is not so much whether you are going to pick an upset involving a No. 12 seed every year, but how many you are picking. In 2017, Middle Tennessee took out Minnesota although the lower-seeded Blue Raiders closed as the betting favorites.

In 2016, two No. 12 seeds survived and advanced when Yale and Little Rock upset Baylor and Purdue, respectively.                                   

Will A 12 Seed Win March Madness?

No. 12 seeds seldom advance deep into the NCAA Tournament, with just two teams making it as far as the Elite Eight. But out of 52 No. 12 seeds that have upset No. 5 seeds in the first round since the tourney field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, 14 of them (25 percent) have followed that up with another victory.

In 2021, Oregon State advanced to the Elite Eight before getting knocked off by Houston. The Beavers making it to the Elite Eight marked only the second time that a 12 seed was able to achieve that feat. The other was the Missouri Tigers back in 2002.

March Madness 5 vs 12 Betting History FAQ

Where can I bet on the 5 vs 12 seed March Madness games?

You can bet on the 5 vs 12 seed March Madness games at the best March Madness betting sites online. There, you will find the top sites to bet on March Madness. We can assure you that every NCAA basketball sportsbook is ranked and reviewed as the best place to bet on March Madness.

How do I make a bet on the 5 vs 12 seed March Madness games?

Our How to Bet on March Madness guide offers everything you need to know when it comes to making a bet on the 5 vs 12 seed March Madness games. With March Madness betting strategy and March Madness betting tips, you’re guaranteed to find the best way to place a bet on any March Madness matchup.

When was the last time a 12 seed beat a 5 seed in March Madness?

The last time a 12 seed beat a 5 seed in March Madness was in 2022 when two of the lower seeds posted upsets.  No. 12 Richmond got past No. 5 Iowa 67-63 and 12th-seeded New Mexico State handled 5 seed UConn 70-63.

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