SPOKANE, Wash. — Since 1985, when the NCAA Tournament expanded to a 64-team bracket, only three times has one of the 12-seeds failed to upset a five-seed. Three times in the last 12 years, three No. 12 seeds have won, including last season, when Oregon upset Oklahoma State, California upset Nevada-Las Vegas and Ole Miss upset Wisconsin.
Over the 29 years of a full bracket, No. 12 seeds are 41-75 against No. 5 seeds. Over the last 12 years, No. 12 seeds are 21-27. So the fifth-seeded Sooners should beware North Dakota State.
“We’ve got to keep it a little more simple than that,” said North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips. “Those are random numbers drawn but doesn’t help when going against a team like Oklahoma. Our guys feel they can play with anyone. They’ve gone to some hostile environments and presented themselves pretty well. Their confidence is not a problem.”
The other 5-12 matchups are No. 5 Saint Louis vs. North Carolina State in the Midwest Regional, No. 5 Cincinnati vs. Harvard in the East Regional and No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth vs. Stephen F. Austin in the South Regional.