March Madness Matchups: 4 vs 13 Betting History & Trends

If a No. 13 seed upsetting a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament seems like a huge long shot, be aware that it has happened at least once in 14 of the past 19 tournaments, the exceptions being 2004, 2007, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

And four times since the tourney field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have been two upsets involving No. 13 seeds in the same year (1987, 2001, 2008 and 2018). In fact, 2014’s 4-0 sweep by the No. 4 seeds ended a string of six consecutive seasons in which there had been at least one No. 13 seed advancing past the first round in the March Madness bracket.

Buffalo and Marshall pulled off the upset as No. 13 seeds in 2018.

It was nearly a clean sweep for No. 4 seeds in 2016 and 2017, as the only higher seed to lose was Cal in ’16. The Golden Bears were upset 77-66 by Hawaii, despite closing as 5.5-point favorites, but Cal was missing several players due to injuries and popular assistant coach Yann Hufnagel following his dismissal amid sexual harassment allegations. Aside from Cal’s poor performance, Duke just barely held off a hard-charging UNC Wilmington team and won 93-85 while failing to cover the 10-point spread.

In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, No. 13 seeds Buffalo and Marshall upset Arizona and Wichita State, respectively. Both teams ended up falling in the Round of 32, however.

No. 13 seeds haven’t gone down without a fight even in years when they didn’t manage an upset. In 2015, they still went 3-1 ATS with Valparaiso (+5), UC Irvine (+8.5) and Harvard (+9.5) each covering the number in games that were decided by a combined seven points. In 2012 and 2013, the No. 13 seeds went 2-6 ATS but both teams that covered moved on to the next round. In 2010 and 2011, the No. 13 seeds went 5-3 ATS.

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Largest No. 13 Seed Upsets In March Madness History

There have been 29 No. 13 seeds that have pulled off upsets in the first round over the past 34 years of the NCAA Tournament. That includes the very first year of the bigger March Madness bracket in 1985 when Navy crushed LSU 78-55 for the largest margin of victory ever for the matchup.

Even though college basketball bettors have never seen a No. 13 seed win a Sweet 16 game, six have made it to the third round before getting knocked out at that point of the NCAA Tournament. The two most recent times saw La Salle (2013) and Ohio (2012) take down No. 12 seeds in the second round to make it to the Sweet 16, which has actually happened in three of the six occurrences overall.

Seed vs Seed Stats: 1 vs 16 | 2 vs 15 | 3 vs 14 | 4 vs 13 | 5 vs 12 | 6 vs 11 | 7 vs 10 | 8 vs 9

#4 Seed vs #13 Seed
#4 Seed Score #13 Seed Score Date ATS Win Win Seed ATS Seed
Kansas State 64 UC Irvine 70 2019-03-22 UC Irvine 13 13
Florida State 76 Vermont 69 2019-03-21 Vermont 4 13
Virginia Tech 73 St. Louis 47 2019-03-22 Virginia Tech 4 4
Kansas 87 Northeastern 53 2019-03-21 Kansas 4 4
Gonzaga 68 UNC Greensboro 64 2018-03-15 UNC Greensboro 4 13
Arizona 68 Buffalo 89 2018-03-15 Buffalo 13 13
Wichita State 75 Marshall 81 2018-03-16 Marshall 13 13
Auburn 62 Charleston 58 2018-03-16 Charleston 4 13
Florida 80 East Tennessee State 65 2017-03-16 Florida 4 4
Purdue 80 Vermont 70 2017-03-16 Purdue 4 4
West Virginia 86 Bucknell 80 2017-03-16 Bucknell 4 13
Butler 76 Winthrop 64 2017-03-16 Butler 4 4
Iowa State 94 Iona 81 2016-03-17 Iowa State 4 4
Duke 93 UNC Wilmington 85 2016-03-17 UNC Wilmington 4 13
Kentucky 85 Stony Brook 57 2016-03-17 Kentucky 4 4
California 66 Hawaii 77 2016-03-18 Hawaii 13 13
Maryland 65 Valparaiso 62 2015-03-20 Valparaiso 4 13
Louisville 57 UC Irvine 55 2015-03-20 UC Irvine 4 13
Georgetown 84 Eastern Washington 74 2015-03-19 Georgetown 4 4
North Carolina 67 Harvard 65 2015-03-19 Harvard 4 13
UCLA 76 Tulsa 59 2014-03-21 UCLA 4 4
San Diego State 73 New Mexico State 69 2014-03-20 New Mexico State 4 13
Louisville 71 Manhattan 64 2014-03-20 Manhattan 4 13
Michigan State 93 Delaware 78 2014-03-20 Michigan State 4 4
Kansas State 61 La Salle 63 2013-03-22 La Salle 13 13
Syracuse 81 Montana 34 2013-03-21 Syracuse 4 4
Michigan 71 South Dakota State 56 2013-03-21 Michigan 4 4
Saint Louis 64 New Mexico State 44 2013-03-21 Saint Louis 4 4
Michigan 60 Ohio 65 2012-03-16 Ohio 13 13
Indiana 79 New Mexico State 66 2012-03-15 Indiana 4 4
Wisconsin 73 Montana 49 2012-03-15 Wisconsin 4 4
Louisville 69 Davidson 62 2012-03-15 Louisville 4 4
Texas 85 Oakland 81 2011-03-18 Oakland 4 13
Wisconsin 72 Belmont 58 2011-03-17 Wisconsin 4 4
Kentucky 59 Princeton 57 2011-03-17 Princeton 4 13
Louisville 61 Morehead State 62 2011-03-17 Morehead State 13 13
Maryland 89 Houston 77 2010-03-19 Maryland 4 4
Wisconsin 53 Wofford 49 2010-03-19 Wofford 4 13
Purdue 72 Siena 64 2010-03-19 Purdue 4 4
Vanderbilt 65 Murray State 66 2010-03-18 Murray State 13 13
Wake Forest 69 Cleveland State 84 2009-03-20 Cleveland State 13 13
Xavier 77 Portland State 59 2009-03-20 Xavier 4 4
Gonzaga 77 Akron 64 2009-03-19 Akron 4 13
Washington 71 Mississippi State 58 2009-03-19 Washington 4 4
Vanderbilt 62 Siena 83 2008-03-21 Siena 13 13
Connecticut 69 San Diego 70 2008-03-21 San Diego 13 13
Washington State 71 Winthrop 40 2008-03-20 Washington State 4 4
Pittsburgh 82 Oral Roberts 63 2008-03-20 Pittsburgh 4 4
Southern Illinois 61 Holy Cross 51 2007-03-16 Southern Illinois 4 4
Texas 79 New Mexico State 67 2007-03-16 Texas 4 4
Virginia 84 Albany 57 2007-03-16 Virginia 4 4
Maryland 82 Davidson 70 2007-03-15 Maryland 4 4
Kansas 73 Bradley 77 2006-03-17 Bradley 13 13
Illinois 78 Air Force 69 2006-03-16 Illinois 4 4
LSU 80 Iona 64 2006-03-16 LSU 4 4
Boston College 88 Pacific 76 2006-03-16 Boston College 4 4
Syracuse 57 Vermont 60 2005-03-18 Vermont 13 13
Louisville 68 Louisiana-Lafayette 62 2005-03-18 Louisiana-Lafayette 4 13
Florida 67 Ohio 62 2005-03-18 Ohio 4 13
Boston College 85 Pennsylvania 65 2005-03-17 Boston College 4 4
Kansas 78 Illinois-Chicago 53 2004-03-19 Kansas 4 4
Cincinnati 80 East Tennessee State 77 2004-03-19 East Tennessee State 4 13
Wake Forest 79 Virginia Commonwealth 78 2004-03-18 Virginia Commonwealth 4 13
Maryland 86 Texas El Paso 83 2004-03-18 Texas El Paso 4 13
Louisville 86 Austin Peay 64 2003-03-21 Louisville 4 4
Dayton 71 Tulsa 84 2003-03-20 Tulsa 13 13
Stanford 77 San Diego 69 2003-03-20 Stanford 4 4
Illinois 65 Western Kentucky 60 2003-03-20 Western Kentucky 4 13
Illinois 93 San Diego State 64 2002-03-15 Illinois 4 4
Ohio State 69 Davidson 64 2002-03-14 Davidson 4 13
USC 89 UNC Wilmington 93 2002-03-14 UNC Wilmington 13 13
Kentucky 83 Valparaiso 68 2002-03-14 Kentucky 4 4
Oklahoma 68 Indiana State 70 2001-03-16 Indiana State 13 13
Kansas 99 CS Northridge 75 2001-03-16 Kansas 4 4
UCLA 61 Hofstra 48 2001-03-15 UCLA 4 4
Indiana 73 Kent State 77 2001-03-15 Kent State 13 13
Illinois 68 Pennsylvania 58 2000-03-17 Illinois 4 4
Tennessee 63 Louisiana-Lafayette 58 2000-03-17 Louisiana-Lafayette 4 13
Syracuse 79 Samford 65 2000-03-16 Syracuse 4 4
LSU 64 SE Missouri State 61 2000-03-16 SE Missouri State 4 13
Tennessee 62 Delaware 52 1999-03-12 PUSH 4
Arizona 60 Oklahoma 61 1999-03-12 Oklahoma 13 13
Ohio State 72 Murray State 58 1999-03-11 Ohio State 4 4
Arkansas 94 Siena 80 1999-03-11 Arkansas 4 4
Mississippi 69 Valparaiso 70 1998-03-13 Valparaiso 13 13
New Mexico 79 Butler 62 1998-03-13 New Mexico 4 4
Michigan State 83 Eastern Michigan 71 1998-03-12 Michigan State 4 4
Maryland 82 Utah State 68 1998-03-12 Maryland 4 4
Clemson 68 Miami (Ohio) 56 1997-03-14 Clemson 4 4
Saint Joseph’s 75 Pacific 65 1997-03-13 Saint Joseph’s 4 4
Arizona 65 South Alabama 57 1997-03-13 South Alabama 4 13
Villanova 101 Long Island 91 1997-03-13 Long Island 4 13
Syracuse 88 Montana State 55 1996-03-14 Syracuse 4 4
UCLA 41 Princeton 43 1996-03-14 Princeton 13 13
Utah 72 Canisius 43 1996-03-14 Utah 4 4
Marquette 68 Monmouth 44 1996-03-14 Marquette 4 4

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