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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | March 20, 2022

How First Four teams do in the NCAA tournament

Cormac Ryan scores 29 in Notre Dame's win

Since 2011, the NCAA tournament welcomes 68 teams each year. But to get to 64, we first have to play the First Four. In those games, the last four automatic qualifiers and the last four at-large bids play.

Though these AQ teams, which are 16 seeds, have yet to win after the First Four, the at-large victors have had outsized success when it comes to their seeds once playing in the 64-team tournament. Don't sleep on these teams in your bracket. In the first year, 2010-11 VCU went from No. 11 and playing USC in Dayton in the First Four to playing in the Final Four in Houston. In 2020-21, UCLA also went First Four to Final Four after beating No. 1 Michigan in the Elite Eight.

So far, 2019 is the only tournament where at least one at-large First Four team failed to win a game in the 64-team bracket. In 2022, No. 11 Notre Dame beat No. 6 Alabama before falling to No. 3 Texas Tech.

Here's a look at how they do:

How at-large First Four teams do in the NCAA tournament

We listed post-First Four games, meaning only the winners of the at-large First Four games are here. Wins are in bold:

Team Seed Scores
2010-11 VCU (23-11) 11 W, No. 6 Georgetown, 74-56
W, No. 3 Purdue, 94-76
W, No. 10 Florida State, 72-71 (OT)
W, No. 1 Kansas, 71-61

L, No. 8 Butler, 70-62
2010-11 Clemson (21-11) 12 L, No. 5 West Virginia, 84-76
2011-12 South Florida (20-13) 12 W, No. 5 Temple, 58-44
L, No. 13 Ohio, 62-56
2011-12 BYU (25-8) 14 L, No. 3 Marquette, 88-68
2012-13 Saint Mary's (27-6) 11 L, No. 6 Memphis, 54-52
2012-13 La Salle (21-9) 13 W, No. 4 Kansas State, 63-61
W, No. 12 Ole Miss, 76-74

L, No. 8 Wichita State, 72-58
2013-14 Tennessee (21-12) 11 W, No. 6 UMass, 86-67
W, No. 14 Mercer, 83-63

L, No. 2 Michigan, 73-71
2013-14 NC State (21-13) 12 L, No. 5 Saint Louis, 83-80 (OT)
2014-15 Ole Miss (20-12) 11 L, No. 6 Xavier, 76-57
2014-15 Dayton (25-8) 11 W, No. 6 Providence, 66-53
L, No. 3 Oklahoma, 72-66
2015-16 Wichita State (24-8) 11 W, No. 6 Arizona, 65-55
L, No. 3 Miami (FL), 65-57
2015-16 Michigan (22-12) 11 L, No. 6 Notre Dame, 70-63
2016-17 USC (24-9) 11 W, No. 6 SMU, 66-65
L, No. 3 Baylor, 82-78
2016-17 Kansas State (20-13) 11 L, No. 6 Cincinnati, 75-61
2017-18 St. Bonaventure (25-7) 11 L, No. 6 Florida, 77-62
2017-18 Syracuse (20-13) 11 W, No. 6 TCU, 57-52
W, No. 3 Michigan State, 55-53

L, No. 2 Duke, 69-65
2018-19 Belmont (26-5) 11 L, No. 6 Maryland, 79-77
2018-19 Arizona State (22-10) 11 L, No. 6 Buffalo, 91-74
2020-21 Drake (25-4) 11 L, No. 6 USC, 72-56
2020-21 UCLA (17-9) 11 W, No. 6 BYU, 73-62
W, No. 14 Abilene Christian, 67-47
W, No. 2 Alabama, 88-78 (OT)
W, No. 1 Michigan, 51-49

L, No. 1 Gonzaga, 93-90 (OT)
2021-22 Indiana (20-13) 12 L, No. 5 Saint Mary's, 82-53
2021-22 Notre Dame (22-10) 11 W, No. 6 Alabama, 78-64
L, No. 3 Texas Tech, 59-53

The time you fill out your bracket, don't overlook the First Four teams. Two have even made the Final Four.

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