Play-in Games Winners: How far do they advance?

In 2011, the field was expanded to include additional at-large teams, with the last four at-large teams scheduled to play prior to the main tournament, to determine which of these teams would be added to the main bracket. Such teams have been seeded between 10 and 14. Has the experience of playing in such games helped them advance? During this time period, there have been 32 teams seeded No. 10 or No. 11 (depending on what the best seed was for the play-in games) that were not play-in teams.

The following tables summarizes their performance.

Round Team record (Play-in) Team record (No. 11 non-Play-in)
Round of 64 12-14 16-16
Round of 32 5-7 9-7
Sweet 16 2-3 3-6
Elite Eight 2-0 1-2
Final Four 0-2 0-1

Therefore, the play-in game teams initially perform worse than the No. 10 or No. 11 seed non-play-in game teams. However, once the teams reached the Sweet Sixteen, the play-in teams perform better, thoigh all lose in the Final Four. ©   2025 - The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
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