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March Madness: Has a 15 Seed Made the Elite 8

The NCAA Tournament and March Madness provide us with some of the most memorable moments of the year. Huge upsets throughout tournament history have made the college basketball tournament exciting. What about the lowest seeds to make runs? Has a 15 seed ever made the Elite Eight? Here’s what you need to know about a few Cinderella runs in the NCAA tourney.

Lowest Seed to Make the Elite Eight

The Saint Peter’s Peacocks are the only number 15 seed to ever make it to the Elite 8. They defeated number 2 seed Kentucky in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. They beat number 7 seed Murray State in the second round. That made them only the third number 15 seed ever to reach the Sweet 16.

In the Sweet 16, the Peacocks beat number 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers 67-64 to advance to the Elite Eight. The win over Purdue made it the first time we saw a 15 seed in the Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament history. It was an incredible tournament run as the team made history under head coach Shaheen Holloway.

The Oregon State Beavers reached the Elite 8 as a 12 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament after beating Tennesee, Oklahoma State, and Loyola Chicago.

Lowest Seed to Reach the Sweet 16 in March Madness

Florida Gulf Coast joins Saint Peter’s as one of the other number 15 seeds to reach the Sweet 16. They made the Sweet 16 back in 2013. Oral Roberts also reached the Sweet 16 in 2021 as a number 15 seed. They had a double-digit win over number 2 seed Georgetown and number 7 seed San Diego State.

Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts each were not able to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. This makes Saint Peter’s the only time a 15-seed ever made the Elite Eight. Saint Peter’s was stopped short and didn’t make the Final Four after losing to North Carolina.

Lowest Seed to Reach the Final Four

A number 11 seed has reached the Final Four a total of five times. The epic runs were made by LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola-Chicago in 2018, and UCLA in 2021. Only six double-digit seeds have made it to the Final Four. Syracuse is the only number 10 seed to make the Final Four and they did it back in 2016.

Lowest Seed to Reach the Championship Game

The lowest seed to ever reach the final is number 8. Villanova won the national title as an 8 seed back in 1985. Becoming the first 8 seed to win it all. Since then, Butler in 2011, Kentucky in 2014, and North Carolina in 2022 have reached the title game as number 8 seeds. None of these teams were able to win the championship.

Lowest Seed to Win the NCAA Tournament

In 1985, Villanova accomplished the impossible by making an impressive run as a number 8 seed to the National Championship game against top-seeded Georgetown. Despite the Hoyas being 35-2 with All-American center Patrick Ewing, Villanova managed to pull off a huge upset by winning the NCAA Championship 66-64.

This made them the only number 8 seed to ever win the National Title, and it was a true underdog story. It’s worth noting that this was the same year that the tournament expanded to 64 teams, making Villanova’s victory all the more remarkable.

Has a 15 Seed Made the Elite 8 FAQs

What 15 seeds have made the Elite 8?

Saint Peter’s, from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, is the only number 15 seed to make the Elite 8. They beat Purdue in the Sweet 16 to advance to the Elite Eight. The Peacocks were the first team to do so as a number 15 seed. The lowest-seeded team to ever make it that far in the tournament.

Has a 16 seed ever beaten a number 1 seed?

Yes. UMBC beat Virginia in 2018. It is the only team ever a team seeded number 16 beat a number 1 seed since the NCAA expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Unfortunately, the run ended for UMBC in the second round.

What is the lowest seed to win March Madness?

Villanova was a number 8 seed in 1985 when they defeated number 1 overall seed Georgetown 66-64 to win the National Championship. They remain the lowest seed to ever win the title.