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Wayne Staats | NCAA.com | March 20, 2023

How First Four teams do in the NCAA tournament

Full final 1:44 from FDU's legendary upset over Purdue

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.

In 2023, FDU made history as the first AQ First Four participant to win a game in the first round (round of 64), when the No. 16 Knights shocked No. 1 Purdue. FDU became only the second 16 seed to beat a 1 in NCAA men's tournament history (UMBC didn't play in the First Four in 2018, the year it beat Virginia).

But the at-large victors have also 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 AQ 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
FDU (19-15) No. 16 W, No. 1 Purdue, 63-58
L, No. 9 Florida Atlantic, 78-70

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
2022-23 Arizona State (22-12) 11 L, No. 6 TCU, 72-70
2022-23 Pitt (22-11) 11 W, No. 6 Iowa State, 59-41
L, No. 3 Xavier, 84-73

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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