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Biggest March Madness Upsets Ever

March Madness gives us all the first-round upsets, chaos, upsets, and drama we can handle. Over the years, we have seen great teams upset in shocking tournament games. Here’s a look at some of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

The Biggest Upsets in the History of the NCAA Tournament

We’ve seen it all in the big dance. Dramatic overtime upsets, game-winning alley-oops, and more. The college basketball tournament never ceases to amaze us. Just a short while ago in March Madness 2022, we got a huge upset in the first round. Here’s a list of some of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history.

2022: No. 15 St. Peter’s over No. 2 Kentucky

In the 2022 NCAA Tournament, St. Peter’s shocked the world as a 15 seed by taking down Kentucky. The 19-11 Peacocks snuck into the tournament and made the most of it. After beating Kentucky, they took down Murray State and Purdue to reach the Elite Eight.

Daryl Banks III had 27 points in the win over Kentucky during the biggest upset in the 2022 NCAA Tourney. It is also one of the biggest March Madness upsets ever.

The 2022 tournament also included your classic 12-5 upset as New Mexico State took down Connecticut in the first round. Iowa State also advanced as a number 12 in 2022 making it to the Sweet 16.

2021: No. 15 Oral Roberts over No. 2 Ohio State

Oral Roberts knocked out Ohio State in the first round in 2021 with an overtime victory. Kevin Obanor scored 30 points while Max Abmas had 29 in the shocking upset.

2018: No. 16 UMBC over No. 1 Virginia

It was the first time a number 16 seed ever beat a 1. UMBC did it in style with a 20-point win over Virginia. The Cavaliers had only lost two games all season before getting bounced in the first round. UMBC was knocked out in the round of 32.

2016: No. 15 Middle Tennesse over No. 2 Michigan State

Millions of people had Michigan State winning the National Title as a number 2 seed in 2016. The squad was led by Denzel Valentine and had just won the Big Ten Tournament. Those hopes were crushed when Middle Tennessee beat down Sparty 90-81 in the first round as a number 15 seed.

2013: No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast over No. 2 Georgetown

Florida Gulf Coast made a special run to the Sweet 16 back in 2013. They kicked off the run by trouncing number 2 seed Georgetown. The Eagles had only been a Division I program for two seasons before this victory. It was their first tournament victory in school history.

2006: No. 11 George Mason over No. 11 Connecticut

In 2006, George Mason had an incredible run to the Final Four that included wins over Michigan State, North Carolina, and Wichita State. The number 11 seed was able to beat number 1 Connecticut in the Elite 8 for a spot in the Final Four. Gulf Coast beat San Diego State in the second round before losing to Florida in the Sweet 16.

1991: No. 15 Richmond over No. 2 Syracuse

One of the biggest tournament upsets belongs to the Richmond Spiders. Richmond was the first 15 seed to upset a 2 after the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. In 1991, the Spiders beat Syracuse 73-69 for a massive upset.

1990: No. 11 Loyola Marymount over No. 3 Michigan

Number 11 seed Loyola Marymount put on a show back in 1990 to knock out defending champion Michigan. The Lions racked up 139 points in a blowout. After the tragic death of teammate Hank Gathers, the Lions went on a magical run to the Elite 8 in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. They lose to eventual champion UNLV.

1985: No. 8 Villanova over No. 1 Georgetown

Villanova became the greatest Cinderella in college basketball history back in 1985. The number 8 seed Wildcats took down a juggernaut in top overall seed Georgetown. The Hoyas were 35-2 on the year and had All-American center, Patrick Ewing. This didn’t stop Villanova from a 66-64 win and a national title. An impressive NCAA Tournament victory that will never be forgotten.

1983: No. 6 NC State over No. 1 Houston

It’s a memorable national championship that included a buzzer-beater. NC State needed to win the ACC tournament just to make the big dance and they didn’t stop there. The Wolfpack ended up beating Houston for one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.

Lowest Seed to Reach the Sweet 16

Florida Gulf Coast and Saint Peter’s each reached the Sweet 16 as a number 15 seed. Saint Peter’s was able to win and advance to the Elite 8 during the 2022 men’s tourney. It was the first time we got a number 15 seed in the Elite Eight.

Lowest Seed to Reach the Final Four

Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, five no. 11 seeds have reached the Final Four. The list includes the LSU Tigers in 1986, George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola Chicago in 2018, and UCLA in 2021. Now, the tournament has increased to 68 teams with the addition of the First Four.

Lowest Seed to Reach the National Championship

Villanova won it all in 1985 as a numblowest-seededey are still the lowest-seeded team to win the title. A few other number 8 seeds have reached the final including North Carolina in 2022, Butler in 2011, and Kentucky in 2014.

Biggest March Madness Upsets FAQs

Has a 16 seed ever beat a number 1 seed in March Madness?

Yes. In 2018, UMBC beat Virginia in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.

What is the lowest seed to ever reach the Final Four?

There have been five number 11 seeds who have reached the Final Four. They include LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola Chicago in 2018, and UCLA in 2021.

What is the lowest seed to ever reach the Sweet 16?

Saint Peter’s knocked off number 2-seeded Kentucky in the first round in 2022 on their way to the Sweet 16. They are the lowest seed to ever reach the Sweet 16.

Does a 12 seed always upset a number 5 seed?

It has been common to see a number 5 seed go down during the March Madness tournament. Many people talk about the 12-5 upset in the men’s tournament and pick their brackets accordingly. There have been over 50 upsets by 12 seeds in the entire bracket since the tournament moved to 64 teams in 1985.