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Daniel Wilco | | December 17, 2017

March Madness: Getting to know the No. 4 seed

  The 1996-97 Arizona Wildcats were the first No. 4 seed to win the national championship.

*Note: All data is from the 1985 tournament to the present.

The 1997 4-seed Arizona Wildcats became the first team in the 64-team format to defeat three No. 1 seeds en route to the national championship. As tough as it was to defeat Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky, the Wildcats’ first game of the tournament was no walk in the park, thanks to No. 13 seed South Alabama. Arizona had to overcome a 10-point deficit before it eventually closed on a 22-4 run to beat South Alabama, 65-57 and start its championship run.

The number of upsets by No. 13 seeds over No. 4 seeds have decreased recently. The No. 4 seed has an .803 winning percentage and in three of the last four years, all four No. 4 seeds have moved out of the first round.

Last season was a fairly productive tournament for No. 4 seeds. Florida made the Elite Eight in the East region after knocking off Wisconsin on Chris Chiozza's buzzer beater in the Sweet 16. The other three No. 4 seeds – Purdue, Butler, West Virginia – each advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to the No. 1 seeds in their respective regions.

Louisville owns the most appearances as a No. 4 seed. The Cardinals maintain an 8-1 first-round record, with the lone loss in a 2011 thriller to Murray State. Two of Louisville's wins were by 19 points and 22 points but the rest were decided by single-digits including a two-point win over UC Irvine in 2015.