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 9-7 against 6s over the past four 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.
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History of 11 vs. 6 seeds in March Madness
There have been 52 No. 11 seeds that have defeated No. 6 seeds (37.1 percent) since the NCAA tournament field expanded in 1985. Here's a list of all of them:
|2019||Ohio State def. Iowa State||62-59|
|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 No. 11 seeds. That year, every No. 11 seed won against the No. 6 seeds, by an average of 5.75 points.
- No. 11 seeds have been particularly successful against 6s lately. The last 10 years, 11s have a 21-19 record over 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.
How much more likely is an 11-6 upset than a 12-5 upset?
There have been 50 12-5 upsets since the NCAA tournament field expanded. That means No. 12 seeds hold a 50-90 record against 5s, which equates to a 35.71 win percentage. Thus, an 11-6 upset is 1.43 percentage points 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 55-85 record against No. 7 seeds. That equates to a 39.29 win percentage. So, a 10-7 upset is just 2.15 percentage points more likely to happen than an 11-6.
Recent/memorable 11-6 games
The 2019 tournament was the first time in six seasons that multiple No. 11 seeds didn't reach the Round of 32. Ohio State was the lone representative for No. 11 seeds in the second round after upsetting Iowa State:
Who can forget Donte Ingram's shot against Miami to send Loyola-Chicago to the second round in 2018? It was the start of a magical run for the Ramblers:
And of course: Northern Iowa's Paul Jesperson hit a legendary shot in 2016 to push the Panthers past Texas: