Since the 2011 season, the NCAA has hosted the First Four – a collection of four games featuring the four lowest-ranked at-large teams and the four lowest-ranked automatic bid teams. These four games determine which teams will move forward into the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament.

These four games almost always take place at the University of Dayton Arena and happen earlier than the traditional NCAA Tournament contests – taking place on the Tuesday and Wednesday before the full slate of tourney games start on Thursday.

Though you may initially overlook teams in the First Four, in each year since 2011 at least one of these advancing programs has won a Round of 64 game following the play-ins. Most notably, the VCU Rams fought all the way from the First Four to the Final Four in 2011 before ultimately falling on the final weekend of the tournament.

Since the inception of the First Four, only four programs have appeared in the games more than once. Those four teams (USC, BYU, Boise State and Mount St. Mary’s) are a combined 3-5 with none of them posting a winning record in the play-in games.

The First Four has been a potential minefield for bettors, with favorites going a combined 16-14 SU and 12-17-1 ATS. Totals have taken the slightest lean toward the UNDER, with games failing to top the total in 17 of 30 contests.

History Of First Four Games
Year Seeding Winning Team Losing Team Final Score How Far Did Winner Go?
2011 16 UTSA Alabama State 70-61 Round of 64
2011 16 UNC-Asheville Arkansas-Little Rock 81-77 Round of 64
2011 12 Clemson UAB 70-52 Round of 64
2011 11 VCU USC 59-46 Final Four
2012 16 Western Kentucky Mississippi Valley State 59-58 Round of 64
2012 16 Vermont Lamar 71-59 Round of 64
2012 14 BYU Iona 78-72 Round of 64
2012 12 USF California 65-54 Round of 32
2013 16 North Carolina A&T Liberty 73-72 Round of 64
2013 16 James Madison Long Island 68-55 Round of 64
2013 13 La Salle Boise State 80-71 Sweet 16
2013 11 Saint Mary’s Middle Tennessee 67-54 Round of 64
2014 16 Albany Mount St. Mary’s 71-64 Round of 64
2014 16 Cal Poly Texas Southern 81-69 Round of 64
2014 12 NC State Xavier 74-59 Round of 64
2014 11 Tennessee Iowa 78-65 Sweet 16
2015 16 Hampton Manhattan 74-64 Round of 64
2015 16 Robert Morris North Florida 81-77 Round of 64
2015 11 Ole Miss BYU 94-90 Round of 64
2015 11 Dayton Boise State 56-55 Round of 32
2016 16 Florida Gulf Coast Fairleigh Dickinson 96-65 Round of 64
2016 16 Holy Cross Southern 59-55 Round of 64
2016 11 Wichita State Vanderbilt 70-50 Round of 32
2016 11 Michigan Tulsa 67-62 Round of 64
2017 16 Mount St. Mary’s New Orleans 67-66 Round of 64
2017 16 UC Davis North Carolina Central 67-63 Round of 64
2017 11 Kansas State Wake Forest 95-88 Round of 64
2017 11 USC Providence 75-71 Round of 32
2018 16 LIU Brooklyn Radford 71-61 -
2018 11 St Bonaventure UCLA 65-58 -
Flag Our Top Sportsbooks
*Terms and Conditions apply to all bonus offers on this website. Please visit operator for details.
Top Pick
125% BONUS Up To $2500
Top Pick
50% BONUS Up To $1000
Top Pick
50% BONUS Up To $1000
Top Pick
50% BONUS Up To $1000
Top Pick
100% BONUS Up To $1000