Found March 30, 2013 on Run the Floor:
Last week I wrote about the numerous easy brackets the Florida Gators have lucked into over the past few years. Now I'm interested in a more historical perspective. Which teams have had the easiest paths in NCAA history? To win this tournament you need some skill and some luck. All you can do is play the teams that lay in front of you, but if you're lucky then you avoid the other 1s and 2s and 3s out there. I narrowed the search down to 1985-2013, as that is the window for 64-team brackets. Adding up the seeds played by each team to come up with a composite, it turns out there is a clear pattern. The 1-seeds automatically begin with a 16-seed and then the winner of the 8/9 game, and it's that third game where they sometimes draw a 12-seed where the true gifts begin. Of the 25 easiest paths, 20 were by 1-seeds. The others were two 2s, two 3s and a 4-seed. year team 64 32 16 8 TOTAL 2011 Kansas 16 9 12 11 48 2001 Michigan State 16 9 12 11 48 1991 North Carolina 16 9 12 10 47 1990 UNLV 16 8 12 11 47 2008 Kansas 16 8 12 10 46 2013 Florida 14 11 15 4 44 1993 Michigan 16 9 12 7 44 1999 Duke 16 9 12 6 43 1990 Arkansas 13 12 8 10 43 1986 Duke 16 8 12 7 43 1999 Michigan State 16 9 13 3 41 1985 North Carolina 15 7 11 8 41 2006 Memphis 16 9 13 2 40 2013 Ohio State 15 10 6 9 40 2005 Illinois 16 9 12 3 40 2000 Oklahoma State 14 11 10 5 40 1994 Arkansas 16 9 12 3 40 1986 Kentucky 16 8 5 11 40 1985 St. John's 16 9 12 3 40 2003 Oklahoma 16 8 12 3 39 1996 Massachusetts 16 9 12 2 39 1988 Temple 16 8 13 2 39 1987 Indiana 16 8 5 10 39 1987 UNLV 16 9 12 2 39 1992 UCLA 16 8 12 2 38 The table lists the seed lines played in each of the first four rounds: the 1st round, the round of 32, the Sweet 16 and the Elite 8. The final column is the total of those seeds. Kansas, from two years ago, and Michigan State from 2001 had the easiest paths. Kanas also had the 5th easiest path ever in 2008. No team appears in the 25-easiest more than twice, though Duke (1991) and Kansas (2012) each had totals of 37, which are tied for 26th all time. The only team in this year's tourney which qualifies is the Florida Gators, coming in with the 6th easiest bracket ever. This Gators team also has the easiest path ever for a non-1 seed, edging 1990 Arkansas.

Caption This Photo: FGCU Player and Florida Gator Cheerleader Together Pregame

Florida Gulf Coast University tried its best to weather the storm of the Florida Gators, but when the clock stroked 12 Cinderella didn’t have a chance as the Florida Gators went on to win earning themselves an Elite Eight spot. Although the game was grand, it’s what happened before the game that has some loyal fans puzzled. FGCU guard Sherwood Brown and a Gators cheerleader can...

Gators QB Jeff Driskel Needs to Watch his Tweets

A lot of college teams have banned their players from Twitter and with good reason. Too many kids tend to tweet without thinking (or while drinking) and fail to realize that there are thousands of people watching their every tweet. Any and every misstep is caught, retweeted, and used as fodder for late night jokes and bloggers everywhere. So it is easy to see why coaches...

Rosario goes off the back for crafty play

It turns out that FGCU isn’t the only school in Florida capable of highlight-reel plays. In fact, against Florida Gulf Coast, the Florida Gators reclaimed their dominance of the Sunshine State, and did so in style. In the last few minutes of the game, point guard Mike Rosario had a streetball-ish inbound pass off the back of an Eagles defender which he then turned into a vicious...

March Madness Update: Florida Gulf Coast Gets Slipper Crushed by Florida

Underdogs are fun to cheer for. We all like them. It's the idea that anyone can win on any given day that really appeals to us. We want to believe that it is not necessary to go to a big school or have a rich program to win. We want to believe that anyone can. But sometimes it is the powerhouse that wins. Everyone wanted FGCU to win and continue to make history...

Michigan steals inbounds pass against Florida, Gators show zero effort

The Florida Gators looked asleep on the court as Michigan steals an inbounds pass and lays it in for a slick basket.

Bench provides lift as Gators knock out FGCU

ARLINGTON, Texas -- They don't have a T-shirt with caricatures in their honor plastered across the front or even a nickname. As a collective group, this trio is more substance than flash. Reserves Will Yeguete, Michael Frazier and Casey Prather are critical to Florida's success but they garnered little attention leading into Friday night's showdown with Florida Gulf Coast...

Florida powers past Cinderella FGCU

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mike Rosario had 15 points and Florida is going to an NCAA regional final for the third year in a row after a 62-50 victory over Florida Gulf Coast, the No. 15 seed whose improbable tournament journey ended just before midnight Friday. Florida Gulf Coast, the high-flying team from "Dunk City" few people knew before this NCAA tourney, jumped out to an...

Florida Gulf Coast's Cinderella ride ends

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Early on, it looked like the guys from Dunk City could really do it. Florida Gulf Coast, the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, broke out to a 15-4 lead over Florida in Friday's South Region semifinal. Then Florida Gulf Coast hit a wall. Cinderella turned back into a pumpkin and Florida coasted to a 62-50 win at Cowboys Stadium. Florida...

Florida Gators appearance on the Today Show

FGCU should take note of what a proper/classy pep rally looks like. Not a single rap video or expletive uttered. Go Gators! Beat FGCU!…

Gators getting boat raced in North Texas

Michigan is scoring at will agains what is arguably a top-3 defense in the Florida Gators.  

Donovan and Starting FiveTalk Michigan

The Florida Gators are in familiar territory having been in the Elite-9 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament for the previous two years. The Gators are hoping to break a string of losses at this point and punch their ticket to the Final Four. Now the foe is Big-10 stalwart Michigan. The Gators have their hands fulll and they talk about it here.

Florida sends Florida Gulf Coast home

SEC champion Florida is going to its third straight NCAA regional final, while the improbable tournament journey for Florida Gulf Coast is over. The Eagles, the No. 15 seed few people even knew of on Selection Sunday, had their season ended just before midnight Friday with a 62-50 loss to one of the big schools from Florida. The high-flying team from ''Dunk City''...

Florida shuts out Ole Miss to clinch series

Metal clinked behind coach Kevin O’Sullivan as spoke with frustration and hope during Thursday’s batting practice. “It will turn at some point,” he said. At some point, it’ll all fall together: at-bats, solid starts on the mound, the elimination of small mistakes. Well this weekend, it turned. The Gators posted back-to-back shutouts against the Rebels for their first SEC...

Florida ends FGCU's dream, moves to Elite 8

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- SEC champion Florida is going to its third straight NCAA regional final, while the improbable tournament journey for Florida Gulf Coast is over. The Eagles, the No. 15 seed few people even knew of on Selection Sunday, had their season ended just before midnight Friday with a 62-50 loss to one of the big schools from Florida. The high-flying team from "...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.