The 7-10 matchup is always one of the toughest picks on the NCAA tournament bracket. Sure, a No. 10 seed beating a No. 7 seed 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 No. 10 seeds vs. No. 7 seeds in March Madness.
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History of 10 vs. 7 seeds in March Madness
Here are all of the times No. 10 seeds have beaten No. 7 seeds in the past 11 years:
|2019||Florida def. Nevada||70-61|
|2019||Iowa def. Cincinnati||79-72|
|2019||Minnesota def. Louisville||86-76|
|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, No. 10 seeds hold a 55-85 record against No. 7 seeds since the NCAA tournament field expanded in 1985. That equates to a .393 winning percentage.
- 10-7 upsets aren't unusual, but blowouts are. West Virginia had the widest margin of victory for a No. 10 seed when it beat Temple, 82-52, in 1998.
- Creighton (which has the most appearances as a No. 10 seed with five) is winless as the lower seed, but 1-0 as a No. 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 35 years where No. 7 seeds were swept by 10s (1999).
- The current streak almost ended in 2010 but Brigham Young survived as the last No. 7 seed, beating Florida by six points.
- On the flip side, there have only been two tournaments where all four No. 7 seeds advanced: 1993 and 2007.
- No. 10 seeds went 3-1 against 7s in 2019. Florida, Iowa and Minnesota were the lower seeds who advanced. Wofford was the only No. 7 seed to win.
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 .371 winning percentage against No. 6 seeds since 1985, which is a bit lower than No. 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 72-68 edge favoring 9 seeds 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 2019 tournament saw three No. 10 seeds advance by an average of 8.7 points. First there was Florida over Nevada:
Minnesota over Louisville:
And Iowa over Cincinnati:
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 No. 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.