As a Quant, I dig into the numbers to see our chances of reaching the Sweet 16 as a #10 seed, and just looking at the raw numbers, it is actually not bad!!
The fact is, *IF* we can get past St. Mary's, we have a 50-50 chance of making to the Sweet 16! There were 40 times a #10 seed beat a #7 seed, and 3 times they face the #15 seed (#10 seed wins 3-0), and the other 37 times they face the #2 seed (with a respectable 17-20 record). So all in all, a #10-seed is 20-20 to get to Sweet 16 *IF* they win the first game.
The 2-10 matchup is actually a lot closer than most people realize. While #2 beats #7-seed 71% of the time, they only manage to beat #10-seed 54% of the time. 2-10 is actually more like 3-6 or 4-5 in terms of winning percentage by the favorite (their difference is within 2 percentage points). A #10-seed actually has a higher chance of reaching Sweet 16 (19.2%) than a #7-seed (18.3%), an #8-seed (9.6%) and a #9-seed (3.8%)!
It's a redundant point, but the key is really to focus on the next game and beat St. Mary's. A #10-seed fares better against a #2-seed in the second round (46% winning) than a #7-seed in the first round (38% winning). Or put it this way, under the condition that a #10-seed has proven it is better than a #7-seed, it is good at sneaking up on the #2-seed. My gut also says that Detroit will not just lay low and let Kansas run all over them, so overall I like our chances.
My only concern is that this just has NOT been a good year with streaks. At least for us. Our 26-game home winning streak was snapped this year. Wisky never wins at Mackey but they did this year. Our seniors never lost to IU but they did this year. And now our 13 winning streak in the first game of the NCAA Tournament comes to test ...