basketball-men-d1 flag

Joe Boozell | NCAA.com | February 13, 2019

History of 11 seeds vs. 6 seeds in March Madness

First Round: Northern Iowa stuns Texas

The 11-6 March Madness upset pick isn't as sexy as the 12-5, but it's had a higher hit rate lately. No. 11 seeds are 8-4 against 6s over the past three years and have had a good amount of historical success in general.

Here's everything you need to know about 11s vs. 6s in March Madness.

MARCH MADNESS GUIDE: What is the selection committee, and who's on it?

History of 11 vs. 6 seeds in March Madness

There have been 51 11 seeds that have defeated 6 seeds (37.5 percent) since the NCAA tournament field expanded in 1985. Here's a list of all of them:

11 vs. 6 upsets
Year Result Score
2018 Loyola-Chicago def. Miami (FL) 64-62
2018 Syracuse def. TCU 57-52
2017 Rhode Island def. Creighton 84-72
2017 USC def. SMU 66-65
2017 Xavier def. Maryland 76-65
2016 Northern Iowa def. Texas 75-72
2016 Gonzaga def. Seton Hall 68-52
2016 Wichita State def. Arizona 65-55
2015 Dayton def. Providence 66-53
2015 UCLA def. SMU 60-59
2014 Tennessee def. UMass 86-67
2014 Dayton def. Ohio State 60-59
2013 Minnesota def. UCLA 83-63
2012 Colorado def. UNLV 68-64
2012 NC State def. San Diego State 79-65
2011 Marquette def. Xavier 66-55
2011 VCU def. Georgetown 74-56
2011 Gonzaga def. St. John's 86-71
2010 Washington def. Marquette 80-78
2010 Old Dominion def. Notre Dame 51-50
2009 Dayton def. West Virginia 68-62
2008 Kansas State def. USC 80-67
2007 Winthrop def. Notre Dame 76-64
2007 VCU def. Duke 79-77
2006 Milwaukee def. Oklahoma 82-74
2006 George Mason def. Michigan State 75-65
2005 UAB def. LSU 62-68
2003 Central Michigan def. Creighton 79-73
2002 Wyoming def. Gonzaga 73-68
2002 Southern Illinois def. Texas Tech 76-68
2001 Georgia State def. Wisconsin 50-49
2001 Temple def. Texas 79-65
2000 Pepperdine def. Indiana 77-57
1998 Washington def. Xavier 69-68
1998 Western Michigan def. Clemson 75-72
1996 Boston College def. Indiana 64-51
1995 Texas def. Oregon 90-73
1994 Penn def. Nebraska 90-80
1993 Tulane def. Kansas State 55-53
1991 Creighton def. New Mexico State 64-56
1991 UConn def. LSU 79-62
1990 Loyola Marymount def. New Mexico State 111-92
1989 Minnesota def. Kansas State 86-75
1989 Evansville def. Oregon State 94-90
1989 South Alabama def. Alabama 86-84
1989 Texas def. Georgia Tech 76-70
1988 Rhode Island def. Missouri 87-80
1986 LSU def. Purdue 94-87
1985 Boston College def. Texas Tech 55-53
1985 UTEP def. Tulsa 79-75
1985 Auburn def. Purdue 59-58

Some more tidbits:

  • The 1989 NCAA tournament was a special one for the 11 seeds. That year, every 11 seed won against the 6 seed, by an average of 5.75 points.
  • No. 11 seeds have been particularly successful against 6s lately. The last five years, multiple 11s have beaten 6s.
  • No. 11 seeds went a combined 6-2 against 6s in 2016 and 2017.
  • LSU, George Mason and VCU all made history as the lowest seeds to ever make the Final Four and all won by considerable margins against their first-round match-ups. Loyola-Chicago also made the Final Four as an 11, but its first round game was much closer than those.
  • Pepperdine beat Indiana in a 20-point blowout, 77-57, in Bobby Knight’s last game as the Hoosiers’ coach. It was the largest 11 over 6 margin ever.

Why the 13 over 4 upset pick is undervalued in March Madness brackets

How much more likely is an 11-6 upset than a 12-5 upset?

There have been 47 12-5 upsets since the NCAA tournament field expanded. That means 12 seeds hold a 47-89 record against 5s, which equates to a 34.56 win percentage. Thus, an 11-6 upset is 2.94 percent more likely to happen than a 12-5.

How much more likely is a 10-7 upset than an 11-6 upset?

No. 10 seeds hold a 53-83 record against 7 seeds. That equates to a 39.0 win percentage. So, a 10-7 upset is just 1.5 percent more likely to happen than an 11-6.

Recent/memorable 11-6 games

Who can forget Donte Ingram's shot against Miami to send Loyola-Chicago to the second round? It was the start of a magical run:

Loyola Chicago's fantastic finish to beat Miami

It wasn't quite as dramatic, but Syracuse defeated TCU by a score of 57-52 to keep up its winning NCAA tournament ways:

Syracuse beats TCU 57-52

Three 11 seeds advanced to the next round in 2017. There was USC over SMU:

First Round: USC shocks SMU

Xavier over Maryland: 

First Round: Musketeers moving on

And Rhode Island over Creighton:

First Round: Rhode Island rams Creighton

And of course: Northern Iowa's Paul Jesperson hit a legendary shot in 2016 to push the Panthers past Texas:

UNI vs. UT: P. Jesperson buzzer-beater

 

2020 NCAA bracket: Printable March Madness bracket .PDF

Here is the official, printable 2020 NCAA bracket for the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, also known as March Madness.
READ MORE

21 most entertaining college basketball players to look for in next season

From dunks to block shots, Andy Katz looks at 21 players who will dazzle in a variety of ways, or even those who can stuff the stat sheet in high volume and provide plenty of interest in the 2019-20 college basketball season.
READ MORE

Zion vs. Ja and 8 more must-watch NBA games for hoops fans

The Zion Williamson- Ja Morant game in January is one of nine matchups to watch between former college basketball stars during the 2019-20 NBA season.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners