Upset Alerts

Current RatingsHistorical Team Ratings
Upset AlertsCinderella Watch
Dark HorsesDraw Difficulty

Heat Check CBB defines a “first-round upset” as a win by any team seeded 6th or better falling in the tournament’s first round. Thus, wins by 10-seeds and 9-seeds are not considered upsets for our purposes.

An “Upset Alert” occurs when a team’s first-round win probability is at least one standard deviation below the seed matchup average.

Seed MatchupAverage Win Probability“Upset Alert” Win Probability Threshold
16 vs. 15.4%7.1%
15 vs. 29.1%12.6%
14 vs. 315.9%21.2%
13 vs. 418.1%24.8%
12 vs. 529.7%39.2%
11 vs. 638.7%51.4%
Ex.: If a 16-seed’s first-round win probability exceeds 7.1 percent, the matchup will be marked as an “Upset Alert.”

Since 2013, a total of 34 teams have been put on “Upset Alert” by the Tournament Index. Let’s see how teams with the “Upset Alert” label have performed compared to those that didn’t.

Seeds 1-3

StatOn “Upset Alert”Not on “Upset Alert”
Avg. Tournament Wins1.802.53
Reached Second Round80.0%91.4%
Reached Sweet 1653.3%66.7%

Seeds 4-6

StatOn “Upset Alert”Not on “Upset Alert”
Avg. Tournament Wins0.471.25
Reached Second Round36.8%68.8%
Reached Sweet 1610.5%40.2%