Bracket IQ

BACK TO Bracket IQ
basketball-men-d1 flag

Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 12, 2019

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 four-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 had been decreasing. Through 2017, the No. 4 seed had an .803 winning percentage. From 2014 to 2017, just one No. 4 fell in the opening round, with Cal losing to Hawaii by 11 points in 2016.

But luck for No. 4 seeds turned sour in 2018, when two were knocked out in the first round, and just one — Gonzaga — made it to the tournament's second weekend. Arizona was stunned by Buffalo in the first round, losing by 21 points, and Marshall upset Wichita State by six points. Gonzaga and Auburn narrowly won their first round games, each taking four-point victories. Auburn lost its next game, losing to Clemson in the second round.

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.

What is March Madness: The NCAA tournament explained

Here is everything (really!) you might want to know about March Madness — one of the biggest, most exciting and most fun events sports. Also known as the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, it's been played annually since 1939.
READ MORE

Who the world picked to win in the Final Four

There are only three games left in the 2019 NCAA tournament, and most brackets are very, very busted by now. But we looked at all of them to see who they had winning in the Final Four and championship game.
READ MORE

Tracking the best (and not best) celebrity NCAA brackets

We tracked dozens of NCAA brackets filled out by celebrities this year, and — just like the rest of us — some of them nailed it and some of them didn't. But one did better than all the rest.
READ MORE

Subscribe To Email Updates

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