March Madness 5 vs. 12 Upset a Tournament Tradition – But Don’t Tell That to the Bearcats

March Madness 5 vs 12 upset is a tournament tradition – just don’t tell that to the Cincinnati Bearcats.

In NCAA Basketball Tournament history, the 12 seed has upset the 5 seed about one-third of the time. This year, the talk on message boards and social media is which 12 seed is most likely to upset the 5 seed in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The team that comes up the most is Harvard. The Crimson received an automatic berth via their Ivy League Championship and will face a battle-tested Cincinnati Bearcats squad that received an at-large invitation to the “Big Dance.”

Harvard (12 seed) are 3-point underdogs vs Cincinnati (5 seed)

Harvard (12 seed) are 3-point underdogs vs Cincinnati (5 seed)








Both Harvard and Cincinnati defenses are stifling, but that is where the similarities end. Harvard’s 3 of 4 season losses came on the road away from historic Lavietes Pavilion in Boston. As opposed to Cincinnati, who faced Louisville twice among others in the AAC, the Crimson  were rarely tested by a ranked team – Colorado, ranked at the time, defeated the Crimson while also covering the point spread. Other than Colorado, Harvard has played no one of significance.

Harvard will surely give an inspired performance, and many in the Media (ESPN to name one) are picking an upset in this match up. Currently, the point soread at most spots in Las Vegas has Cincinnati listed as a 3-point favorite. But looking closely, this is a contest where Cincinnati, with solid coaching, athleticism, and a battle tested team that went up against top 10 squads, should a emerge a winner…….both straight up and against the spread.

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