Lowest Seed To Win March Madness | What Are The Lowest Seeds To Win March Madness?

Lowest Seed To Win March Madness
Pic credit : NCAA March Madness twitter

The NCAA tournament have seen some of the greatest upsets in college basketball history. In the entire March Madness history there are several teams who have spoiled brackets. March Madness tournament is generally won by one of the top seeds. Infact, 20 of the last 28 NCAA Tournaments have been won by a No. 1 seed. The Lowest seed to win March Madness in the modern era after the introduction of 64 teams bracket in the year 1985 is No. 8 seeded Villanova, when they defeated No. 1 seeded Georgetown in the very first year when the field expanded to 64 teams. Villanova Wildcats edged Georgetown Hoyas, 66-64.

The lowest seed to reach the NCAA men’s final in the 64-team tournament modern era?

Three No. 8 seeds have reached March Madness Final. They are as follows :

Villanova in 1985, Butler in 2011 and Kentucky in 2014.

Lowest Seeds to Win March Madness

Pic Credit : NCAA March Madness Twitter

In the 64-team men’s tournament’s 37-season history, 24 top seeds, five No. 2 seeds, and four No. 3 seeds, one by No. 8 seed (Villanova in 1985). The remaining tournaments have been won by No. 4 (Arizona in 1997), No. 6 seed (Kansas in 1988), and No.7 (Connecticut in 2014). It has never been won by fifth seed. Below are the lowest seeds who won March Madness :

1985 : No.8 seed Villanova Wildcats defeated No.1 seed Georgetown Hoyas

Villanova Wildcats, under coach Rollie Massimino, made one of the most surprising runs in NCAA Tournament history in 1985. On April Fools’ Day, 1985, the biggest upset to ever happen in the entire March Madness and it was the first year of the 64-team field when No. 8 seed Villanova became and remains the lowest seed to win NCAA men’s basketball championship.

On their way of winning the championship, They first defeated 9th seeded Dayton in the first round, No.1 seed Michigan in the round of 32, Fifth seeded Maryland in the Sweet 16 round, 2nd seeded North Carolina in the Elite eight to win the Southeast Regional.

Villanova advance to the final four where they defeated no. 2 seed Memphis State to secure a final berth in national championship game against the ten-point favorite defending champion Georgetown Hoyas, which was led by Patrick Ewing, The Future Hall of Famer.

In the Final, Villanova defeated no. 1 seed Georgetown Hoyas by 66-64 and won their first national title. Since then, only two other No. 8 seeds have reached the national championship game, Butler in 2011 and Kentucky in 2014 but never won it.

2014 : No.7 seed UConn defeated No.8 seed Kentucky

The 2014 NCAA Tournament was worth remembering due to the reason that a No. 8 seed Kentucky and a No. 7 seed UConn played against each other for the championship. UConn became the first No. 7 seed to win the championship and the lowest seed to win the tournament in 29 years after Villanova won it in the year 1985, giving the school its fourth national championship since 1999 and first without Jim Calhoun. The 7th-seeded UConn completed their unlikely climbing with their second national championship in four years, defeating Kentucky by 60-54. The UConn Huskies have won 4 NCAA tournament championships (1999, 2004, 2011 and 2014), which puts the program in a tie with Kansas for sixth-most all-time.

“Someone told me we’re Cinderellas, and I was like, ‘No. We’re UConn. This is what we do,’ ” said second-year coach Kevin Ollie. “We are born for this. We’re bred to cut down nets. We’re not chasing championships, championships are chasing us.

“A lot of people were picking against us and doubting us … but we are first now.”

“When you stop, when you prevent us from trying to go to the postseason, and it wasn’t our fault, we worked since that day on,” said Napier, referring to previous year ban on team. “Coach Ollie told us this is going to be a two-year plan and since that day we believe … when you believe in something so much, you understand what may happen in certain situations.”

1988 : No.6 seed Kansas defeated No.1 Oklahoma

In recent times, Kansas have establised themselves as one of the top premier school teams in the entire nation but that is not always like that. At the start of the modern Era, When NCAA Championship had expanded the field to 64 teams. Kansas was a lower seeded team but it started to change when Larry Brown and senior big Danny Manning led the 1988 Kansas Jayhawks team to win against the Top-seeded Oklahoma team by 83-79.

The team which was not expected to advance to the Final Four. A season that appeared to have fizzled away after beginning with two losses in the Maui Invitational, dropping five of its first six Big 8 contests, and entering the NCAA tournament as the No. 6 seed.

In their own backyard, Kansas won their second national championship, setting a record for the most losses in a season by a national champion with 11. The Jayhawks still maintain this record today.

As the most unexpected national champions in NCAA history, Manning and his starting lineup of Kevin Pritchard, Chris Piper, Milt Newton, and Jeff Gueldner deservedly acquired the moniker “Danny and the Miracles.”

1997 : No. 4 seed Arizona defeated No.1 seed Kentucky

Arizona finished a surprise journey to its first national championship, defeating defending champion Kentucky, 84-79, in overtime at RCA Dome, in one of the most exciting, tightly contested NCAA men’s basketball tournament finals ever.
The only No. 4 seed team to ever win an NCAA championship was the 1997 Arizona team. Future NBA talents like Mike Bibby and Jason Terry led Arizona at the time. It was led by the illustrious Lute Olson.

March Madness 2023 Seeds lists :

The current March Madness Top 16 overall seeds was revealed by the Selection Committee on Saturday at 12:30 PM ETon CBS. The top 16 seeds teams are as follows :

1. Alabama 2. Houston 3. Purdue 4. Kansas 5. Texas 6. Arizona 7. Baylor 8. UCLA 9. Tennessee 10. Virginia 11. Iowa State 12. Kansas State 13. Indiana 14. Marquette 15. Gonzaga 16. Xavier

The NCAA Tournament field has expanded many times over the years

The NCAA Tournament has increase in eightfold size since it first began in 1939. The University of Oregon won the first tournament, which had just eight teams, by defeating Ohio State in the championship match. In 1951, the tournament doubled in size to 16 teams, and in 1952, it included the same number of teams. The competition, which began in 1953 and ended in 1968, consisted of 22 to 25 teams, depending on the year, before the cap was set at 25 in 1969. Before the number of teams in the NCAA Tournament was increased to 40 the following year, 32 teams participated from 1975 through 1978. 48 teams competed for the title of best college basketball team from 1980 to 1982, after which the number was increased to 52 in 1983 and then to 53 in 1984. The initial 64-team field was formed in 1985, a 65th team was added in 2001, and the current 68-team configuration first appeared in 2011.

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