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History of 6 vs. 11 seeds in the NCAA Tournament

We go over how often the 11-seed has upset the 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

TCU Horned Frogs guard Mike Miles Jr. (1) brings the ball up court during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at T-Mobile Center. William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NCAA Tournament is here, and it’s time to uncover some sneaky underdog picks. One recurring source of upsets comes from the 11-seed putting up fights against a 6-seed. Below, we’ll break down the history of the 6 vs. 11 seed matchup in the NCAA Tournament.

History of 6 vs. 11 seed matchup in NCAA Tournament

Since 1985, the 11-seed has won this matchup 37.5 percent of the time. However, that rate has climbed dramatically in more recent years. Check this out: an 11 seed has beaten a 6 seed at least twice in six of the last seven NCAA Tournaments.

Since 2014, No. 11 seeds have beaten 6 seeds in 15-of-28 total first round matchups. That’s a 53.4% win rate for the supposed underdog. Even though 11 seeds haven’t been historically great in the first round, that trend has changed dramatically in recent years.

2023 6 vs. 11 matchups

West: No. 6 TCU vs. No. 11 Arizona State/Nevada
South: No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 11 NC State
East: No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Providence
Midwest: No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Mississippi State/Pittsburgh

Recent data tells us that one of the 6-seeds is going to go down. Kentucky finds itself only a 3.5-point favorite over Providence at DraftKings Sportsbook. Creighton is also on upset alert in their matchup against NC State, as they are installed as only five-point favorites.