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How many 14 seeds have won in March Madness? History of 14-3 upsets, statistics for NCAA Tournament


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Nailing a 14-over-3 decide is a ceremony of passage for each NCAA Tournament fan. If you get one of these proper, it doesn’t even matter in case you win the bracket pool, since you undoubtedly get bragging rights for the following yr. 

The 14 seeds are the right intoxicating combine for the bracket pickers. For starters, these upsets, although removed from seemingly, they’re removed from uncommon.

And there’s this: 14-seeds typically aren’t from the lowest-ranked conferences, they usually’re typically groups that had strong common seasons, as a substitute of those that simply received scorching on the proper time and ran by means of the convention tournaments to earn the auto bid. But they’re nonetheless very a lot underdogs, so there’s a component of “I’m feeling this team” that performs into picks. 

And isn’t that what’s a lot enjoyable about filling out a bracket?

Here’s an entire breakdown of the historical past of 14 vs. 3 upsets in the NCAA Tournament, together with probably the most memorable underdog runs and necessary numbers to know whereas filling out your March Madness bracket.

MORE: Ranking the top 80 upsets in March Madness history

History of 14 seed vs. 3 seed upsets in NCAA Tournament

The 1986 NCAA Tournament was a particular model of loopy. It’s most likely greatest referred to as the primary time a double-digit see reached the Final Four — that was 11 seed LSU — however don’t neglect that two 14 seeds won video games that yr. Cleveland State and Arkansas Little Rock each pulled off big-time upsets, beating Indiana and Notre Dame, respectively. It was solely the second yr of the 64-team discipline; in the primary yr none of the 14 seeds completed inside 9 factors of a 3 seed. 

But a 14 seed won once more in each match till 1993, and people victories have continued fairly usually. That seven-year stretch with at the least one 14 seed successful is the longest, nevertheless it’s not the one streak. A 14 seed won in 1997-98-99 and the identical in 2013-14-15-16. In reality, there has solely been one hole of greater than three years with no 14 seed victory for the reason that match expanded in 1985 — from 2000 to 2004, a niche bookended by Weber State’s shocker over North Carolina and Bucknell’s stunner vs Kansas.  

The memorable performances and moments are plentiful. In 2014, Mercer closed on a 20-8 run to beat Duke by seven factors. In 1990, Northern Iowa’s Maurice Newby — who averaged simply 4.9 factors per sport that yr — drained a rainbow 3-pointer moments earlier than the ultimate buzzer to upend Mizzou. In 1999, Harold “The Show” Arceneaux dropped 36 on a UNC crew with Antawn Jamison and Jerry Stackhouse to guide Weber State to the upset. Dick Vitale needed to stand on his head after Austin Peay beat Illinois in 1987.

In 2010, Ohio regarded like nationwide championship contenders as they dropped 97 factors on a Georgetown crew that was fairly strong defensively. In 1989, Marc Brown scored 32 for Siena because the Saints upended Stanford. And who can neglect the contested nook 3-point bucket Northwestern State’s Jermaine Wallace made with 0.5 seconds left to beat Iowa in 2006? Or the time in 2015 when R.J. Hunter’s game-winning triple knocked his dad, coach Ron Hunter, out of his chair as Georgia State knocked off Butler?


Year Winner Loser Score
1986 Cleveland State Indiana 83-79
1986 Arkansas Little-Rock Notre Dame 90-83
1987 Austin Peay Illinois 68-67
1988 Murray State NC State 78-75
1989 Siena Stanford 80-78
1990 Northern Iowa Missouri 74-71
1991 Xavier Nebraska 89-84
1992 ETSU Arizona 87-80
1995 Old Dominion Villanova 89-81
1995 Weber State Michigan State 79-72
1997 Chattanooga Georgia 73-70
1998 Richmond South Carolina 62-61
1999 Weber State North Carolina 76-74
2005 Bucknell Kansas 64-63
2006 Northwestern State Iowa 64-63
2010 Ohio Georgetown 97-83
2013 Harvard New Mexico 68-62
2014 Mercer Duke 78-71
2015 UAB Iowa State 60-59
2015 Georgia State Baylor 57-56
2016 Stephen F. Austin West Virginia 70-56

MORE: The 14 most humiliating first-round chokes in Big Dance history

14 seeds vs. 3 seeds by the numbers

  • 21-119: Record for 14 seeds vs. No. 3 seeds
  • 15.0 %: Overall successful share for 14 seeds since 1985
  • 14: Largest margin of victory for a 14 seed; Ohio over Georgetown (97-83) and Stephen F. Austin over West Virginia (70-56)
  • 1: Smallest margin of victory for a 14 seed; six occasions, first by Austin Peay over Illinois (68-67)
  • 2: Buzzer-beater wins for 14 seeds: Northern Iowa vs. Missouri (1990), Northwestern State vs. Iowa (2006)
  • 2: 14 seeds to win at the least two video games: Cleveland State (1986) and Chattanooga (1997)

Has a 14 seed ever won March Madness?

You know the reply to this one: A 14 seed has by no means won the NCAA Tournament. But let’s speak in regards to the two groups that made it to the second weekend.

In 1986, the second yr of the expanded 64-team bracket, Cleveland State turned the first No. 14 seed to win a sport, however the Vikings didn’t cease there. After knocking off 3-seeded Indiana by 4 factors in the opener — the frenetic tempo and stress was greater than the Hoosiers might deal with — Cleveland State beat sixth-seeded Saint Joseph’s by six factors (75-69) in the second spherical. And they got here of-so-close to a spot in the Elite Eight, falling by a single level (71-70) to No. 7 seed Navy behind 22 factors, 14 rebounds and 7 blocked pictures by Navy massive man David Robinson. 

In 1997, Chattanooga walloped Georgia early in the opening spherical, racing out to a 15-0 lead and nonetheless led by 15 at halftime. The Bulldogs rallied to tug inside one in the ultimate minutes earlier than the Mocs prevailed. And the membership’s tendency to attain in bunches helped once more in the second spherical, as a 20-4 run in the second half turned a four-point Illinois lead right into a Moc benefit, they usually ultimately won going away, 75-63. Their Sweet 16 matchup was a double-digit delight towards No. 10 Providence, which had knocked off Marquette and Duke. The Friars wound up with a 71-65 victory. 

MORE: March Madness Cinderella players we’ll never forget

Lowest seed to win the NCAA Tournament

Since the match expanded to 64 groups in 1985, we’ve seen 4 double-digit seeds attain the Final Four:

  • 11 seed LSU in 1986
  • 11 seed George Mason in 2006
  • 10 seed Syracuse in 2016
  • 11 seed Loyola Chicago in 2018

All 4 misplaced earlier than reaching the title sport. Only 4 groups seeded decrease than the No. 3 seed line have ever won the nationwide title: one 4 seed (Arizona in 1997), one 6 seed (Kansas in 1988), one seven seed (UConn in 2014) and one 8 seed (Villanova in 1985). No 5 seed has ever won. The Villanova story is the stuff of legend; a plucky, methodical 8 seed that reached the title sport by grinding out a sequence of slim wins (three by three factors or fewer) and dealing with off towards the would possibly Georgetown Hoyas in the championship sport.

It’s thought of by some as the most important upset in NCAA Tournament historical past. But right here’s the factor: It makes for an awesome David and Goliath story, however Villanova was fairly darn good. In the 1985 and 1986 NBA Drafts, three starters from that 1985 crew went in the highest 30 picks (Ed Pinckney at 10 and Dwayne McClain at 27 in 1985 and Harold Pressley at 17 in 1986; Gary McLain went in the seventh spherical in 1985). Factor in that Villanova had already performed Georgetown robust TWICE that yr — losses by solely two factors and 7 factors — and, sorry, it does not make for a top-five all-time upset. 

It does, although, make for a reasonably cool championship story. 




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