The Most Common Seed to Win March Madness

March Madness favorite

Updated: May 30, 2023

Planning on betting on March Madness? Awesome! It is one of the best basketball events to lay your bets on, and a ton of people all over the US bet on it every single year.

But who should you bet on?

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Well, you could always pull up an article that lists ‘March Madness' favorites.

In fact, that is pretty much always going to be your best option.

However, surprisingly, you can also get a rough idea of which teams may be walking away with the NCAA Championship just by looking at their seed number.

On this page, we are going to look at the most common seed to win March Madness.

What Is The Most Common Seed to Win March Madness? (Examples and Table)

Let's start by giving you an overview of the win percentage for each seed. Note how we haven't included anything beyond seed 8.

 This is because no team seeded above 8 has ever won a March Madness

So, their win percentage is 0%.

We will discuss this chart a bit more shortly.

Seed Win Percentage Number of Times Won
1 64.9% 24
2 13.5% 5
3 10.8% 4
4 2.7% 1
5 0% 0
6 2.7% 1
7 2.7% 1
8 2.7% 1

What Is The Most Common Seed To Win March Madness? – A Discussion

We know this may be obvious to some of you, but we do want to point out that there will be multiple seed 1s in an NCAA tournament.

So, you can't just look at a single seed 1 and say they have a 65% chance of winning.

That 65% chance of winning comes only if you bet on each one of the Seed 1s in the tournament.

So, obviously, if you are betting on seed 4 through to 8, your chance of winning is incredibly slim.

If you want to stand the best chance of winning March Madness, then your best option is to bet on anything from Seed 1 to 3.

After that, the chances of winning shoot all the way down. It is a rarity. Only one tournament each, after all.

If you are betting on progression through the tournament, the seed 1 teams will get through to Round 2 99% of the time, and there is a 40% shot of any seed 1 team making the final 4.

The Most Common Seed to Win March Madness – Examples

We talked about how seed 1 is the most common seed to win the tournament.

2 times, a seed 1 has won the tournament 5 years in a row. That's how common it is.

However, interestingly, seed 1 has only filled all four slots in the final 4 once, back in 2008.

This is when we saw the following teams in the final four:

  • Memphis
  • North Carolina
  • UCLA
  • Kansas

Interestingly, it is quite rare for there to be more than 2 seed 1 teams in the final four.

It has only happened 6 times out of all the tournaments (including the previous example).

This means that if you are betting on March Madness, then you may want to have a bet on a decent team from seeds 2 to 4 to get into the final four, because you have a decent chance of winning.

Although, we doubt that you are going to win the whole tournament like that. Not unless you get lucky.

Obviously, beyond seed 4, the chance of winning March Madness goes all the way down.

The lowest-seeded team to win March Madness (Villanova) won in 1985.

Since then, it is pretty much only seed 1 and 2 that have dominated the rankings.


If you want a ‘safe' bet for March Madness, then focus on betting on the seed 1 teams.

With a 65% chance of a seed 1 team taking the tournament, the risk is kept to the minimum.

You won't win big, but sometimes the safest bets are the best route to go down when you want a steady flow of cash trickling in.


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