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11 seeds in the Final Four: UCLA’s March Madness career compared to previous teams

11 seeds in the Final Four: UCLA’s March Madness career compared to previous teams

UCLA has made history in the Final Four again, which doesn’t seem particularly fair, considering how often the Bruins attend the national round of the NCAA Championship semifinals.

This time, however, UCLA is not fulfilling its role as a constant juggernaut. Mick Cronin’s 2020-2021 team is playing the role of Cinderella. The Bruins are the only first team to reach the Final Four and are the fifth team to achieve the feat.

As we have said, it does not seem fair; but the Bruins put in the work to get to this stage of the NCAA Championship.

MORE ILLNESS IN MARCH: Live scores | Updated parentheses | TV schedule

How Cronin and Co. arrived Through the Eastern Region of the NCAA Tournament, for beginners. First, they overcame a 14-point deficit with their Michigan State First Four opponent and won 86-80 in overtime. After that, the Bruins scored an 11-point victory over BYU 6, the same team that led the undefeated Gonzaga – who will play next to the Bruins – on the edge. West Coast Conference Finals.

After that, UCLA got a 67-47 victory over Abilene Christian, who grew to 14, before getting an 88-78 overtime win over the regular season SEC and Alabama championship champion (2 seed). In the end, the Bruins punched the ticket to the Final Four with another defensive play: this time against Juwan Howard sports news coach of the year and Big Ten regular season champion Wolverines. The Bruins won 51-49.

It’s been a tremendous journey for UCLA, and it’s not over yet. But the current trajectory is questionable compared to other teams that have overcome similar difficulties. Well, ask now.

Sporting News is here to show you how it compares to the previous 11 seeds that reached the Cronin’s Bruins quarterfinals:

Last time they qualified for the quarterfinals

The last time an 11-year-old lineup reached the Final Four was in 2018, when Loyola Chicago and sister Jean took on March Madness. As it was so new, a new student from that group, Cameron Krutwig, got it become the highlight of the NCAA Championship again in 2021. Prior to that, the last 11 seed to reach the Quarter-Finals was VCU in 2011. It was a special race for the Rams in the Quarterfinals, as it was the first team to do so as a First Four team.

How many 11 seeds have reached the Final Four?

In 2021, including UCLA, 11 seeded five have reached the Quarterfinals, starting with LSU in 1986. The second group did not appear until 20 years later, in 2006, when George Mason repeated the feat. It took considerably less time for the next 11 qualifiers to reach the Final Four: the 2011 VCU was next. Loyola Chicago and UCLA came out on top in 2018 and 21st, respectively.

Below is a summary of the careers of the previous four teams, including opponents, margin of victory and main players:

The statistics reflect NCAA Championship numbers

LSU (1986)


  • 84-87 20T win over Purdue (Southeast 6 seed)
  • 83-81 win over Memphis State (3rd seed in the Southeast)
  • 70-64 win at Georgia Tech (Southeast 2 seed)
  • 59-57 win in Kentucky (Southeast 1 seed)
  • 88-77 loss to Louisville (seed of West 2)

Margin of victory: 4.3 points per game

The main players

  • Derrick Taylor (16.2 ppg, 3.8 apg, 3.2 spg)
  • Anthony Wilson (13.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 spg)
  • Don Redden (21.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 51.9 goal percentage)
  • Ricky Blanton (9.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 70.4 goal percentage)
  • John Williams (14 pages, 9.0 rpg, 4.0 pages)

George Mason (2006)


  • 75-65 win in Michigan State (DC 6 seed)
  • 65-60 win in North Carolina (DC 3 seed)
  • 63-55 win over Wichita State (DC 7 seed)
  • 86-84 OT win over UConn (DC 1 seed)
  • Lost 73-58 against Florida (Minneapolis 3 seed)

Margin of victory: 6.3 points per game

The main players

  • Jai Lewis (11.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.8 spg)
  • Lamar Butler (14.4 ppg, 55.8 goal percentage)
  • Will Thomas (13.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg)
  • Tony Skinn (11.3 pages)
  • Folarin Campbell (15.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 62.5 field percentage)

MORE: What is the smallest seed to get to the NCAA Championship Final Four?

VCU (2011)


  • Wins USC 59-46 (Southwest seed 11)
  • 74-56 win over Georgetown (Southwest seed 6)
  • 94-76 win over Purdue (Southwest seed 3)
  • 72-71 OT won against Florida State (Southwest 10 seed)
  • 71-61 win in Kansas (Southwest seed 1)
  • 70-62 loss to Butler (8th seed in the Southeast)

Margin of victory: 12 points per game

The main players

  • Jamie Skeen (17.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 47.8 goal percentage)
  • Bradford Burgess (15.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.7 bpg)
  • Joey Rodriguez (9.0 ppg, 7.7 apg)

Loyola Chicago (2018)


  • 64-62 win to Miami (South 6 seed)
  • 63-62 win over Tennessee (South seed 3)
  • 68-68 win over Nevada (South 7 seed)
  • 78-62 win over Kansas State (South 9 seed)
  • Michigan lost 68-57 (West 3 seed)

Margin of victory: 4.8 points per game

The main players

  • Clayton Custer (12.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.4 apg)
  • Donte Ingram (7.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
  • Cameron Krutwig (10.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.8 apg)
  • Aundre Jackson (11.8 ppg, 57.5 goal percentage)

15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

How UCLA compares


  • 86-80 OT win in Michigan State (East 11 seed)
  • 73-62 win by BYU (Eastern seed 6)
  • 67-47 win over Abilene Christiani (14th seed of the East)
  • 88-78 OT win in Alabama (East 2 seed)
  • He beat Michigan 51-49 (1st seed in the East)

Margin of victory: 9.8 points per game

The main players

  • Jaime Jaquez Jr. (14.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.6 spg)
  • Johnny Juzang (21.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 47.7 goal percentage)
  • Tyger Campbell (8.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
  • Jules Bernard (10.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
  • Cody Riley (8.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg)

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