If you follow college basketball at all, you’re probably aware of the fact that no No. 16 seed has ever beaten a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament history.
That doesn’t exactly seem to bode well for Penn men’s basketball’s chances against top-seeded Kansas (in Wichita, Kan. no less), but more than a few prominent college basketball analysts and publications have gone on the record giving the Quakers a fighting chance.
Seth Davis, as seen on Selection Sunday, might have been the first to get the ball rolling with this tweet, and The Ringer’s NCAA Tournament Breakdown highlighted Penn with “Historic 16-over-1 upset-watch" status. FiveThirtyEight, ESPN's statistical analysis website, broke down how Penn stacked up to other No. 16 seeds throughout history.
According to The Spun, ESPN's Pablo Torre also gave the Red and Blue a shout-out, calling Penn the "strongest" No. 16 seed of all-time.
Even The New York Times got in on the fun and featured the Quakers as one of six "NCAA Bracket Busters" to be wary of (and the main photo in that article shows none other than Penn junior guard Jackson Donahue celebrating from the bench).
But perhaps the most encouraging endorsement of the Red and Blue's chances has come from Kansas coach Bill Self himself.
"They are really, really solid. Steve [Donahue] has done a great job with them," Self told The Kansas City Star. "They’ve got our attention. We’re going to focus in on Penn even though we know it’s a two-game weekend if you win, but our focus is on Penn."
While all the national attention is exciting, the earliest betting lines still favor the Jayhawks by 15.5 points. That might seem like a steep set of odds to overcome, but it's a smaller spread than any of the other No. 1 vs No. 16 game, or even all of the No. 2 vs No. 15 match-ups.
In other words, don’t get a “Greatest Upset Ever” tattoo just yet — but it wouldn’t hurt to make an appointment.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.