NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship upsets

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An upset is a victory by an underdog team. In the context of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, a single-elimination tournament, this generally constitutes a higher-seeded team defeating a lower-seeded (and thus higher-ranked) team; a widely recognized upset is one performed by a team ranked substantially lower than its opponent.

This is a list of victories by teams seeded 11 or higher in the tournament since it expanded to 64 teams in 1985; as these high-seeded teams were automatically paired against lower-seeded teams at the start of the tournament, their opening victories were necessarily upsets. Any victories by these teams in later rounds were often against higher-ranked opponents also.

Round of 64[edit]

This round was called the First Round until 2011, when the introduction of the First Four caused the round to be renamed the Second Round.

16 vs. 1[edit]

Excluding the play-in games, a 16-seed has never won a game in the men's tournament. There have been fifteen 1-seed vs. 16-seed games decided by single digits, the most recent occurring in 2014 when Arizona defeated Weber State 68–59. Two 16-seeds have come within one point of upsetting a #1 seed, both in 1989. In the East Regional, Georgetown hung on to win 50-49 against a Princeton squad who were 23 point underdogs. Princeton had the opportunity to win the game with the last shot, but Alonzo Mourning blocked the last two attempts to secure the victory. In the Southeast Regional, Oklahoma fought back from a first-half 17-point deficit to take the lead over East Tennessee State with 1:21 remaining. ETSU also had a chance at a last-second win, but Alvin West's shot from halfcourt was deflected and Oklahoma defeated ETSU 72-71.[1] Sixteenth-seeded Murray State took top seeded Michigan State to overtime in 1990, but eventually lost 75-71. In 1996, Western Carolina missed a three-pointer to win and a two-pointer to tie in the final seconds, losing 73-71 to Purdue.

15 vs. 2[edit]

There have been seven 15 seeds that have defeated 2 seeds in the first round:[2]

Year Winner Loser Score
2013 Florida Gulf Coast Georgetown 78-68
2012 Lehigh Duke 75-70
2012 Norfolk State Missouri 86-84
2001 Hampton Iowa State 58-57
1997 Coppin State South Carolina 78-65
1993 Santa Clara Arizona 64-61
1991 Richmond Syracuse 73-69

14 vs. 3[edit]

There have been eighteen 14 seeds that have defeated 3 seeds in the first round:

Year Winner Loser Score
2014 Mercer Duke 78-71
2013 Harvard New Mexico 68-62
2010 Ohio Georgetown 97-83
2006 Northwestern State Iowa 64-63
2005 Bucknell Kansas 64-63
1999 Weber State North Carolina 76-74
1998 Richmond South Carolina 62-61
1997 Chattanooga Georgia 73-70
1995 Old Dominion Villanova 89-81 (3OT)
1995 Weber State Michigan State 79-72
1992 East Tennessee State Arizona 87-80
1991 Xavier Nebraska 89-84
1990 Northern Iowa Missouri 74-71
1989 Siena Stanford 80-78
1988 Murray State NC State 78-75
1987 Austin Peay Illinois 68-67
1986 Cleveland State Indiana 83-79
1986 Arkansas-Little Rock Notre Dame 90-83

13 vs. 4[edit]

There have been twenty-five 13 seeds to defeat 4 seeds in the first round:

Year Winner Loser Score
2013 LaSalle Kansas State 63-61
2012 Ohio Michigan 65-60
2011 Morehead State Louisville 62-61
2010 Murray State Vanderbilt 66-65
2009 Cleveland State Wake Forest 84-69
2008 Siena Vanderbilt 83-62
2008 San Diego Connecticut 70-69 (OT)
2006 Bradley Kansas 77-73
2005 Vermont Syracuse 60-57 (OT)
2003 Tulsa Dayton 84-71
2002 UNC-Wilmington So. California 93-89 (OT)
2001 Kent State Indiana 77-73
2001 Indiana State Oklahoma 70-68 (OT)
1999 Oklahoma Arizona 61-60
1998 Valparaiso Mississippi 70-69
1996 Princeton UCLA 43-41
1995 Manhattan Oklahoma 77-67
1993 Southern Georgia Tech 93-78
1992 Southwestern Louisiana Oklahoma 87-83
1991 Penn State UCLA 74-69
1989 Middle Tennessee Florida State 97-83
1988 Richmond Indiana 72-69
1987 Xavier Missouri 70-69
1987 Missouri State Clemson 65-60
1985 Navy LSU 78-55

12 vs. 5[edit]

There have been forty-four 12 seeds to defeat 5 seeds in the first round:

Year Winner Loser Score
2014 Stephen F. Austin Virginia Commonwealth 77-75 (OT)
2014 North Dakota State Oklahoma 80-75 (OT)
2014 Harvard Cincinnati 61-57
2013 Ole Miss Wisconsin 57-46
2013 California UNLV 64-61
2013 Oregon Oklahoma State 68-55
2012 South Florida Temple 58-44
2012 Virginia Commonwealth Wichita State 62-59
2011 Richmond Vanderbilt 69-66
2010 Cornell Temple 78-65
2009 Wisconsin Florida State 61-59 (OT)
2009 Arizona Utah 84-71
2009 Western Kentucky Illinois 76-72
2008 Villanova Clemson 75-69
2008 Western Kentucky Drake 101-99 (OT)
2006 Montana Nevada 87-79
2006 Texas A&M Syracuse 66-58
2005 UW-Milwaukee Alabama 83-73
2004 Manhattan Florida 75-60
2004 Pacific Providence 66-58
2003 Butler Mississippi State 47-46
2002 Creighton Florida 83-82 (OT)
2002 Tulsa Marquette 71-69
2002 Missouri Miami (FL) 93-80
2001 Gonzaga Virginia 86-85
2001 Utah State Ohio State 77-68 (OT)
1999 Missouri State Wisconsin 43-32
1999 Detroit UCLA 56-53
1998 Florida State TCU 96-87
1997 College of Charleston Maryland 75-66
1996 Drexel Memphis 75-63
1996 Arkansas Penn State 86-80
1995 Miami (OH) Arizona 71-62
1994 Wisconsin-Green Bay California 61-57
1994 Tulsa UCLA 112-102
1993 George Washington New Mexico 82-68
1992 New Mexico State DePaul 81-73
1991 Eastern Michigan Mississippi State 76-56
1990 Dayton Illinois 88-86
1990 Ball State Oregon State 54-53
1989 DePaul Memphis State 66-63
1987 Wyoming Virginia 64-60
1986 DePaul Virginia 72-68
1985 Kentucky Washington 66-58

11 vs. 6[edit]

There have been forty-one 11 seeds that have defeated 6 seeds in the first round:

Year Winner Loser Score
2014 Tennessee Massachusetts 86-67
2014 Dayton Ohio State 60-59
2013 Minnesota UCLA 83-63
2012 Colorado UNLV 68-64
2012 North Carolina State San Diego State 79-65
2011 Marquette Xavier 66-55
2011 Virginia Commonwealth Georgetown 74-56
2011 Gonzaga St. John's 86-71
2010 Washington Marquette 80-78
2010 Old Dominion Notre Dame 51-50
2009 Dayton West Virginia 68-62
2008 Kansas State So. California 80-67
2007 Winthrop Notre Dame 76-64
2007 Virginia Commonwealth Duke 79-77
2006 UW-Milwaukee Oklahoma 82-74
2006 George Mason Michigan State 75-65
2005 UAB LSU 82-68
2003 Central Michigan Creighton 79-73
2002 Wyoming Gonzaga 73-68
2002 Southern Illinois Texas Tech 76-68
2001 Georgia State Wisconsin 50-49
2001 Temple Texas 79-65
2000 Pepperdine Indiana 77-57
1998 Washington Xavier 69-68
1998 Western Michigan Clemson 75-72
1996 Boston College Indiana 64-51
1995 Texas Oregon 90-73
1994 Pennsylvania Nebraska 90-80
1993 Tulane Kansas State 55-53
1991 Creighton New Mexico State 64-56
1991 Connecticut LSU 79-62
1990 Loyola Marymount New Mexico State 111-92
1989 Minnesota Kansas State 86-75
1989 Evansville Oregon State 94-90 (OT)
1989 South Alabama Alabama 86-84
1989 Texas Georgia Tech 76-70
1988 Rhode Island Missouri 87-80
1986 LSU Purdue 94-87 (OT)
1985 Boston College Texas Tech 55-53
1985 UTEP Tulsa 79-75
1985 Auburn Purdue 59-58

Round of 32[edit]

This round was called the Second Round until 2011, when the introduction of the First Four caused this round to be renamed the Third Round.

15 seeds[edit]

There has been but one 15 seed that won its second-round game.

Year Winner Loser Score
2013 Florida Gulf Coast (7) San Diego State 81-71

14 seeds[edit]

There have been two 14 seeds to win their second-round games. Both were against 6 seeds.

Year Winner Loser Score
1997 Chattanooga (6) Illinois 75-63
1986 Cleveland State (6) St. Joseph's 75-69

13 seeds[edit]

There have been six 13 seeds to win their second-round games. Seeds of the losing teams are in parentheses. In every case, the 13 seed faced a lower seed with their victory being an upset strictly according to seeding.

Year Winner Loser Score
2013 La Salle (12) Mississippi 76-74
2012 Ohio (12) South Florida 62-56
2006 Bradley (5) Pittsburgh 72-66
1999 Oklahoma (5) Charlotte 85-72
1998 Valparaiso (12) Florida State 83-77 (OT)
1988 Richmond (5) Georgia Tech 59-55

12 seeds[edit]

There have been twenty 12 seeds to win their second-round games. Seeds of the losing teams are in parentheses. In eight of these cases, the opponent was a 13 seed, and thus the victory would not constitute an upset according to the seeding.

Year Winner Loser Score
2013 Oregon (4) Saint Louis 74-57
2011 Richmond (13) Morehead State 65-48
2010 Cornell (4) Wisconsin 87-69
2009 Arizona (13) Cleveland State 71-57
2008 Western Kentucky (13) San Diego 72-63
2008 Villanova (13) Siena 84-72
2005 UW-Milwaukee (4) Boston College 83-75
2003 Butler (4) Louisville 79-71
2002 Missouri (4) Ohio State 83-64
2001 Gonzaga (13) Indiana State 85-68
1999 Missouri State (4) Tennessee 81-51
1996 Arkansas (4) Marquette 65-56
1994 Tulsa (4) Oklahoma State 82-80
1993 George Washington (13) Southern 90-80
1992 New Mexico State (13) Southwestern Louisiana 81-73
1991 Eastern Michigan (13) Penn State 71-68 (OT)
1990 Ball State (4) Louisville 62-60
1987 Wyoming (4) UCLA 78-68
1986 DePaul (4) Oklahoma 74-69
1985 Kentucky (4) UNLV 64-61

11 seeds[edit]

There have been seventeen 11 seeds to win their second-round games and advance to the Sweet 16. Seeds of the losing teams are in parentheses. In four of these cases, the opponent was a 14 seed, and thus the victory would not constitute an upset according to the seeding.

Year Winner Loser Score
2014 Tennessee (14) Mercer 83-63
2014 Dayton (3) Syracuse 55-53
2012 North Carolina State (3) Georgetown 66-63
2011 Marquette (3) Syracuse 66-62
2011 Virginia Commonwealth (3) Purdue 94-76
2010 Washington (3) New Mexico 82-64
2006 George Mason (3) North Carolina 65-60
2002 Southern Illinois (3) Georgia 77-75
2001 Temple (3) Florida 75-54
1998 Washington (14) Richmond 81-66
1991 Connecticut (14) Xavier 66-50
1990 Loyola Marymount (3) Michigan 149-115
1989 Minnesota (14) Siena 80-67
1988 Rhode Island (3) Syracuse 97-94
1986 LSU (3) Memphis 83-81
1985 Auburn (3) Kansas 66-64
1985 Boston College (3) Duke 74-73

Sweet Sixteen[edit]

12 seeds[edit]

There has been only one 12 seed to ever win a Sweet 16 game.

Year Winner Loser Score
2002 Missouri (8) UCLA 82-73

11 seeds[edit]

There have been six 11 seeds to win in the Sweet 16 and advance to the Elite 8.

Year Winner Loser Score
2014 Dayton (10) Stanford 82-72
2011 Virginia Commonwealth (10) Florida State 72-71 (OT)
2006 George Mason (7) Wichita State 63-55
2001 Temple (7) Penn State 84-72
1990 Loyola Marymount (7) Alabama 62-60
1986 LSU (2) Georgia Tech 70-64

Elite Eight[edit]

11 Seeds[edit]

There have been three 11 seeds to win in the Elite 8 and advance to the Final Four. However, all three of these teams did not advance any further, losing their national semifinal matchups.

Year Winner Loser Score
2011 Virginia Commonwealth (1) Kansas 71-61
2006 George Mason (1) Connecticut 86-84 (OT)
1986 LSU (1) Kentucky 59-57

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] No. 1-seeded Sooners Struggle Past East Tennessee St., 72-71
  2. ^ Herwitt, Josh. "Top 10 Upsets of the NCAA Tournament". Fox Sports.