The 7-10 matchup is always one of the toughest picks on the NCAA tournament bracket. Sure, a 10 beating a 7 is technically an upset. But it happens so often that it's rarely a surprise when it does.
Here's everything you need to know about 10 seeds vs. 7 seeds in March Madness.
History of 10 vs. 7 seeds in March Madness
Here are all of the times 10 seeds have beaten 7 seeds in the past decade:
|2018||Butler def. Arkansas||79-62|
|2017||Wichita State def. Dayton||64-58|
|2016||VCU def. Oregon State||75-67|
|2016||Syracuse def. Dayton||70-51|
|2015||Ohio State def. VCU||75-72|
|2014||Stanford def. New Mexico||58-53|
|2013||Iowa State def. Notre Dame||76-58|
|2012||Xavier def. Notre Dame||67-63|
|2012||Purdue def. St. Mary's||72-69|
|2011||Florida State def. Texas A&M||57-50|
|2010||Georgia Tech def. Oklahoma State||64-59|
|2010||Missouri def. Clemson||86-78|
|2010||St. Mary's def. Richmond||80-71|
|2009||USC def. Boston College||72-55|
|2009||Maryland def. California||84-71|
|2009||Michigan def. Clemson||62-59|
Some more tidbits:
- In total, 10 seeds hold a 52-84 record against 7 seeds since the NCAA tournament field expanded in 1985. That equates to a .382 winning percentage.
- 10-7 upsets aren't unusual, but blowouts are. West Virginia had the widest margin of victory for a 10 seed when it beat Temple, 82-52, in 1998.
- Creighton (who has the most appearances as a 10 seed with five) is winless as the lower seed, but 1-0 as a 7 seed.
- The lower-seeded team is 11-15 in games decided by three points or less.
- There has been only one tournament in the past 33 years where 7 seeds were swept by 10s (1999).
- The current streak almost ended in 2010 but Brigham Young survived as the last 7 seed, beating Florida by six points.
- On the flip side, there have only been two tournaments where all four 7 seeds advanced: 1993 and 2007.
- 10 seeds went 2-2 against 7s in 2018. Nevada and Butler were the lower seeds who advanced.
How much more likely is a 10 beating a 7 than an 11 beating a 6?
There's hardly a difference. Eleven seeds hold a .375 winning percentage against 6 seeds since 1985, which is just a bit lower than 10 seeds.
How much more likely is a 9 beating an 8 than a 10 beating a 7?
This is where you see some separation between 8s and 9s and 7s and 10s. The 8-9 matchup has a dead-even 68-68 record since 1985, so a 10 beating a 7 is much less likely than a 9 beating an 8.
Recent/most memorable 10-7 moments
The 2018 matchup between Nevada and Texas was a lot of fun. The Wolf Pack prevailed by a score of 87-83, but the Longhorns took them to overtime.
Butler's win over Arkansas in the same year wasn't quite as nerve-wracking; the Bulldogs dominated from start to finish.
Wichita State would lose in a nail-biter to Kentucky in the next round, but it took down Dayton in the first round of the 2017 tournament:
Remember Syracuse's magical Final Four run in 2016? It started with a decisive win over Dayton in the first round:
And before Syracuse, the last time a 10 seed reached the Elite Eight, Steph Curry's Davidson Wildcats pulled out a six-point win over Gonzaga to start one of the best Cinderella stories in college basketball history.