March Madness has finally arrived! Here we will examine the history of the 4 seed versus the 13 seed and deliver game lines for this year’s matchups. The No. 4 seeds are often those teams ranked between 12-20 in the final Associated Press poll. They are often teams from the power conferences or the best teams from the next tier of conferences. The No. 13 seeds are almost always from the smaller or non-power conferences, and most of them earned an automatic bid by winning their conference tournaments.
4 vs 13
Here are the 4 vs. 13 seed matchups and for the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament along with the spreads for each game.
Virginia vs Furman
Virginia opened as a -5.5 favorite. The Paladins nailed a 3 with under a second left to stun Virginia, 68-67.
Tennessee vs Louisiana-Lafayette
Tennessee opened as a -10.5 favorite. The Vols had to sweat a bit but a second-half comeback by Louisiana fell short, though they did cover in the 58-55 loss.
UCONN vs Iona
Connecticut opened as a -10 favorite over Iona. The over/under for the Huskies vs. Gaels is 144.5 points.
Indiana vs Kent State
Indiana opened as a -5.5 favorite over Kent State. The game total opened at 141.5 points.
BRACKET AND ODDS
The 2023 NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed on Selection Sunday. View our interactive NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket with live odds, including the 4 vs. 13 matchups.
4 vs 13 history
Here are the matchups and 4 vs 13 seed odds from last year’s NCAA tournament:
- West: Arkansas vs. Vermont +6
- East: UCLA vs. Akron +15
- South: Illinois vs. Chattanooga +8
- Midwest: Providence vs. South Dakota State +2.5
There were no 4 vs 13 seed upsets in 2022, but there was plenty of drama as three of the four 13 seeds covered the spread. Here’s a look at all of the final scores from last year’s tournament between 4 seeds and 13 seeds.
- 4 seed — Arkansas 75, 13 seed — Vermont 71
- 4 seed — UCLA 57, 13 seed — Akron 53
- 4 seed — Illinois 54, 13 seed — Chattanooga 53
- 4 seed — Providence 66, 13 seed — South Dakota State 57
The 2021 NCAA tournament was an all-timer in terms of upsets and two of the biggest came with 13 seeds taking down 4s. Thirteen-seed Ohio sprung an upset on Virginia and North Texas was the other 13 to prevail, beating Purdue.
The biggest opening round upset by seeding in the 2019 NCAA Tournament came in the 4 versus 13 match-up. In the South Region, Big West Conference champ and 13 seed UC Irvine (+3.5) took out Big 12 regular season co-champion Kansas State, 70-64. It was the Anteaters 17th straight win and 31st of the season. The other three No. 4 seeds won with two point spread covers. Kansas (-7) from the Big 12 rolled over CAA’s Northeastern, 87-53. Two teams from the ACC were winners with Virginia Tech (-10) beating Atlantic 10 entrant St. Louis, 66-52. Florida State (-8.5) held off American East champion Vermont, 76-69.
The No. 4 seeds went 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS.
Virginia Tech and Florida State beat two No. 12 seeds in the Round of 32. Kansas lost by double digits to No. 5 and future Final Four entrant Auburn. And Cal Irvine was also a double-digit loser to No. 12 Oregon.
Both Virginia Tech and Florida State lost to No. 1 seeds in the Sweet Sixteen. Duke escaped at the buzzer to beat Virginia Tech 75-73, and Florida State was no match for Gonzaga, 72-58.
Recall that the 2018 NCAA Tournament produced a pair of big upsets in the 4 vs. 13 match-up. Buffalo (+9) destroyed Arizona 89-68 and Marshall (+13.5) toppled Wichita State 81-75. The No. 13 seeded underdogs went 4-0 ATS.
No. 4 seeds are 69-19 versus No. 13 seeds since 2000 and are 117-31 in March Madness since 1985.
The biggest blowout came in 2013 when No. 4 seed Syracuse man-handled Montana 81-34 as a 13-point favorite.
The biggest margin upset by the underdog was in 1985 when David Robinson and No. 13 seed Navy crushed LSU 78-55. The other two blowout winners by 13th-seeded teams were Buffalo’s 2018 win over Arizona 89-68 and No. 13 Siena’s shocker over Vanderbilt 83-62 in 2008.
One of the most memorable moments in Nos. 4 versus 13 seeds in NCAA Tournament history was the buzzer-beater by No. 13 seed Valparaiso in 1998. Trailing 69-67 with 2.5 seconds remaining in regulation, Valpo inbounded the ball from its own baseline past midcourt. That player tapped the ball to guard Bryce Drew, the coach’s son, who nailed a 23-foot 3-pointer for the miraculous win.
4 vs 13 seed upset history
Going back to the 1985 season, 31 No. 13 seeds have knocked out No. 4 seeds in the first round. Here are some of the results.
|2021||Ohio def. Virginia||62-58|
|2021||North Texas def. Purdue||78-69 (OT)|
|2019||UC Irvine def. Kansas State||70-64|
|2018||Buffalo def. Arizona||89-69|
|2018||Marshall def. Wichita State||81-75|
|2016||Hawaii def. California||77-66|
|2013||La Salle def. Kansas State||63-61|
|2012||Ohio def. Michigan||65-60|
|2011||Morehead State def. Louisville||62-61|
|2010||Murray State def. Vanderbilt||66-65|
|2009||Cleveland State def. Wake Forest||84-69|
|2008||San Diego def. UConn||70-69|
|2008||Siena def. Vanderbilt||83-62|
|2006||Bradley def. Kansas||77-73|
|2005||Vermont def. Syracuse||60-57|
|2003||Tulsa def. Dayton||84-71|
The success of 4 and 13 seeds in March Madness
Since 1985, there have been 31 upsets of No. 13 seeds over No. 4 seeds with a record of 31-113. Six times a 13th-seeded team has advanced to the Sweet 16; most recently was LaSalle (2013) and Ohio (2012), who both lost.
There has never been a No. 13 seed advance to the Elite Eight.
In 1997, the Arizona Wildcats won the National Championship as a No. 4 seed and beat three No. 1 seeds to take the title. Two other No. 4 seeds have advanced to the National Championship game but lost.
No. 4 seeds have advanced to the Elite Eight 21 times and won 13, but those 13 No. 4 seeds are 3-10 in trying to reach the Final Four.