Busting Brackets

The history of No. 11 seeds in the Final Four

NC State has stolen America's heart as a No. 11 seed to reach the Final Four. So let's take a look at how the other No. 11 seeds to reach the Final Four have fared.
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts cuts the net
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Kevin Keatts cuts the net / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Typically, the Final Four is comprised of highly ranked teams. For instance, No. 1 through No. 4 seeds have reached the game's ultimate stage 143 times since the field expanded in 1985. Those seeds are the only ones to have had double-digit appearances.

However, from time to time, Cinderella crashes the ball. This year's, it is NC State wearing the glass slipper after having stolen America's heart during the most improbable of runs in March.

Entering the ACC Tournament, the Wolfpack was just 17-14 overall and had lost four straight games. Thus, Kevin Keatts' team knew that the only way to get invited to the Big Dance would be to win its conference tournament. That's exactly what NC State did by beating Louisville, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia, and North Carolina on consecutive days.

That momentum carried over into the NCAA Tournament as the Pack dispatched Texas Tech, Oakland, Marquette, and Duke to get to Phoenix this weekend.

Along the way, big man DJ Burns has become the breakout star of March. Now, he will lead his team into a Final Four that will feature No. 1 seed Purdue, No. 1 seed UCONN, and No. 4 seed Alabama meaning that those who love the underdog will be pulling for the Pack.

History hasn't been kind to No. 11 seeds in the Final Four, though. No lower seed has ever advanced this far into the tournament but each time that an 11 seed has done so, it's been a quick exit.

Let's look at each of the 11 seeds that have preceded NC State by reaching the Final Four. As we do, we will see just how tough of a road the Pack has to climb if they want to win the National Championship.