Has an 8 Seed Ever Won March Madness
We all love March Madness and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. We live for the drama, the upsets, the chaos, and more. There have been some huge upsets throughout tournament history. What is the lowest seed to ever win it all? Has an 8 seed ever won March Madness? Here’s what you need to know about how far the lowest seeds advanced in March Madness history.
Lowest Seed to Win the NCAA Tournament
Back in 1985, Villanova did the impossible. The Villanova Wildcats made an incredible run as a number 8 seed to the National Championship game. They squared off with top-seeded Georgetown. The Hoyas were 35-2, the number 1 overall seed, and had All-American center, Patrick Ewing.
Villanova pulled off one of the biggest upsets to win the NCAA Championship 66-64 over Georgetown in 1985. They are the only number 8 seed to ever win the National Title. That year, the tournament expanded to 64 teams. It was only fitting that we got a college basketball underdog story of the century in the 1985 Villanova Wildcats.
Lowest Seed to Ever Reach the Final Four
An 11 seed has gotten as far as the Final Four five times in the history of the tournament. It happened for LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola Chicago in 2018, and UCLA in 2021. It’s the lowest seed to reach the Final Four. It was made possible when the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 and eventually 68 teams in 2011.
Unfortunately, none of these teams reached the title game. Each was knocked out after their magical run to the Final Four and was not given a shot to win the title.
UCLA started in the NCAA Tournament play-in game. They barely reached the NCAA Tournament and made a run from the First Four all the way to the Final Four.
Lowest Seed in the NCAA Tournament to Reach the National Championship
Four teams have reached the National Championship as a number 8 seed. Villanova was the first 8-seed ever to do it in 1985 and they remain the lowest-seeded team to win it all.
In 2011, Butler fell short and lost to number 3 seed Connecticut. Then in 2014, number 8 Kentucky also lost to UConn who happened to be a number 7 seed this time around. Finally, the North Carolina Tar Heels fell to the number 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks in the 2022 NCAA Championship Game.
Lowest Seed to Win a Game in March Madness
In 2018, number 16 seed UMBC defeated number 1 seed Virginia. It was the first time a 16 seed has ever beaten a number 1 in the NCAA Tournament. The top seeds had won every game in the NCAA Tournament since 1985 when the 64-team format was introduced.
No 16 seeds have never reached the Sweet 16 as UMBC was knocked out in the second round. Since the 16 seed is the lowest seed in the tournament, it faces off with the top teams and, therefore, doesn’t usually win. UMBC shocked the college basketball world when they were the first team to ever win versus a number 1 seed.
March Madness and NCAA Tourney Overview
The NCAA Tournament is one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year. 68 teams are selected to compete in a single-elimination bracket for the right to be a national champion. Four regions with teams seeded number 1 through 16 make up the bracket. In the first round, number 1 seeds play number 16 seeds, number 2 plays number 15, and so on.
It takes a six-game winning streak to win the championship. There is the possibility it could take seven games due to the play-in round called the First Four. The Kansas Jayhawks beat number 8 seed North Carolina to win the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The tournament moved to 64 teams in 1985 and Villanova became the lowest seed to win the title. Number 8 Villanova beat Georgetown 66-64.
Has an 8 Seed Ever Won March Madness FAQs
Three number 15 seeds have advanced to the Sweet 16 during March Madness. Florida Gulf Coast in 2013, Oral Roberts in 2021, and Saint Peter’s in 2022. Saint Peter’s went on to be the lowest seed ever to win a Sweet 16 game to reach the Elite 8. It’s the furthest a 15 seed has gone in the NCAA Tournament.
Saint Peter’s had an incredible run in the 2022 March Madness basketball tournament. The number 15 seed knocked off the number 2 seed Kentucky. It later advanced in the NCAA Tournament to the Elite Eight as the first 15 seed to do so.
There have been five teams to ever reach the Final Four as number 11 seeds. It’s the lowest seed to make the Final Four in history with LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola Chicago in 2018, and UCLA in 2021.
An 8-seed has reached the title game four times since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Villanova in 1985, Butler in 2011, Kentucky in 2014, and North Carolina in 2022. Villanova remains the lowest-seed champion in NCAA Tournament history. North Carolina lost to Kansas in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Championship game.