When trying to find some interesting things to write about in the first year of the redesigned CIACsports.com we created a pair of posts looking at how successful the high seeds (1-4) had been in the spring and fall tournaments. Considering that was done several years ago, at the conclusion of the spring season, it seemed an appropriate time to revisit the project.
This looks back at the last five years of CIAC tournaments in all the sports that have pairings-style championships with seeding and at least 16 team brackets (so that excludes football, cross country, swimming, wrestling, indoor and outdoor track, golf, and boys tennis). Once again the caveat is that this is not intended to “prove” anything, or is expected to be in any way predictive of future results. It’s just an excuse to look through old results and see what patterns existed in previous years. At some point it will probably get extended beyond five years, just for the heck of it.
This time around we didn’t list the winning percentage of the top four seeds, we simply looked at how often those seeds reached the semifinals, finals, and won championships. We’ve included the full chart below to peruse at your leisure, but here were a few things that stood out.
- Number-one seeds in boys volleyball have been the most successful in terms of championships, winning eight of the 10 available contests (five-seed Ridgefield’s title this year is actually what sparked this project).
- Softball has the next highest success rate for top seeds over this span, with nine number-one seeds earning titles in the 20 championships.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum, baseball was the sport where top seeds had the least success in terms of claiming titles. Only two number one seeds earned championships over the past five years, and baseball was also the lowest percentage when expanding that success to seeds 1-4. At least in recent history if you’re looking for an unpredictable tournament (based on seeding) baseball is where to look.
- Boys soccer and field hockey joined boys volleyball as the only sports in which at least one number one seed earned a title each of the past five years. Boys soccer had exactly one top seed earn a crown in each of the past five years, giving it a fairly low percentage.
- Four sports had more championships come from a top-4 seed other than the number-one seed during this time. Girls lacrosse had four three-seeds win titles; girls tennis had the most success for third seeds as well with four championships; in baseball the fourth seed won five championships; and in boys ice hockey the number-two seed captured the most championships with five. Boys soccer actually had a tie with top seeds and four seeds each winning five championships.
So check out the document below (or download/view it here), and let us know if anything surprised you.