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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | August 23, 2019

The 10 NCAA DI men's basketball tournaments with the most upsets

5 of the greatest near-upsets in March Madness history

Since the NCAA tournament expanded to its modern 64-team format in 1985, there have been 2,205 tournament games played (not including the First Four).

Of those 2,205 games, 278 have fallen under our definition for an upset: the winning team is five or more seeds lower than the losing team. That's only 1.3 percent of all games, but it includes some of the most memorable. 

NCAA TOURNAMENT LEADERS: Winningest schools | Schools with most 1 seeds | Teams with best winning percentage

The first national championship in the 64-team format comes to mind, when 8-seeded Villanova took down a Goliath in 1-seed Georgetown to win the Wildcats' first title.

March Madness Classic: 1985 Villanova vs. Georgetown

Or, more recently, in 2017, when 16-seeded UMBC throttled 1-seed Virginia, making history in the process.

UMBC upsets Virginia, 74-54

But which NCAA tournaments saw the most upsets? On average, there are eight games every year where the winner is at least five seeds lower than the loser. The 2007 tournament, which saw 1-seed Florida beat 1-seed Ohio State for the title, holds the record for the fewest number of upsets in a tournament, with just three.

BRACKET TIPS: Here's how to pick March Madness upsets, according to the data

Only 10 tournaments have had a double-digit number of upsets. Here is each one of those, and all the upsets that happened that March:

(Data in this story is from the NCAA's official record books, which can be found here.)

T9. 2016 — 10 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 15 Middle Tenn. 2 Michigan St. 90-81
1st 14 SFA 3 West Virginia 70-56
1st 13 Hawaii 4 California 77-66
1st 12 Little Rock 5 Purdue 85-83 (2OT)
1st 12 Yale 5 Baylor 79-75
1st 11 Gonzaga 6 Seton Hall 68-52
1st 11 UNI 6 Texas 75-72
1st 11 Wichita St. 6 Arizona 65-55
2nd 7 Wisconsin 2 Xavier 66-63
RF 10 Syracuse 1 Virginia 68-62

T9. 1990 — 10 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 14 UNI 3 Missouri 74-71
1st 12 Ball St. 5 Oregon St. 54-53
1st 12 Dayton 5 Illinois 88-86
1st 11 Loyola Marymount 6 New Mexico St. 111-92
2nd 12 Ball St. 4 Louisville 62-60
2nd 11 Loyola Marymount 3 Michigan 149-115
2nd 10 Texas 2 Purdue 73-72
2nd 8 North Carolina 1 Oklahoma 79-77
2nd 7 Alabama 2 Arizona 77-55
2nd 7 UCLA 2 Kansas 71-70

T4. 2018 — 11 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 16 UMBC 1 Virginia 74-54
1st 13 Buffalo 4 Arizona 89-68
1st 13 Marshall 4 Wichita St. 81-75
1st 11 Loyola Chicago 6 Miami (FL) 64-62
1st 11 Syracuse 6 TCU 57-52
2nd 11 Loyola Chicago 3 Tennessee 63-62
2nd 11 Syracuse 3 Michigan St. 55-53
2nd 9 Florida St. 1 Xavier 75-70
2nd 7 Nevada 2 Cincinnati 75-73
2nd 7 Texas A&M 2 North Carolina 86-65
RSF 9 Florida St. 4 Gonzaga 75-60

T4. 2013 — 11 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
2nd 15 FGCU 2 Georgetown 78-68
2nd 14 Harvard 3 New Mexico 68-62
2nd 13 La Salle 4 Kansas St. 63-61
2nd 12 California 5 UNLV 64-61
2nd 12 Ole Miss 5 Wisconsin 57-46
2nd 12 Oregon 5 Oklahoma St. 68-55
2nd 11 Minnesota 6 UCLA 83-63
3rd 15 FGCU 7 San Diego St. 81-71
3rd 12 Oregon 4 Saint Louis 74-57
3rd 9 Wichita St. 1 Gonzaga 76-70
RF 9 Wichita St. 2 Ohio St. 70-66

T4. 2011 — 11 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
2nd 13 Morehead St. 4 Louisville 62-61
2nd 12 Richmond 5 Vanderbilt 69-66
2nd 11 Gonzaga 6 St. John's (NY) 86-71
2nd 11 Marquette 6 Xavier 66-55
2nd 11 VCU 6 Georgetown 74-56
3rd 11 Marquette 3 Syracuse 66-62
3rd 11 VCU 3 Purdue 94-76
3rd 10 Florida St. 2 Notre Dame 71-57
3rd 8 Butler 1 Pittsburgh 71-70
RF 11 VCU 1 Kansas 71-61
RF 8 Butler 2 Florida 74-71 (OT)

T4. 2006 — 11 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 14 Northwestern St. 3 Iowa 64-63
1st 13 Bradley 4 Kansas 77-73
1st 12 Montana 5 Nevada 87-79
1st 12 Texas A&M 5 Syracuse 66-58
1st 11 George Mason 6 Michigan St. 75-65
1st 11 Milwaukee 6 Oklahoma 82-74
2nd 13 Bradley 5 Pittsburgh 72-66
2nd 11 George Mason 3 North Carolina 65-60
2nd 7 Georgetown 2 Ohio St. 70-52
2nd 7 Wichita St. 2 Tennessee 80-73
RF 11 George Mason 1 UConn 86-84 (OT)

T4. 2002 — 11 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 13 UNCW 4 Southern California 93-89 (OT)
1st 12 Creighton 5 Florida 83-82 (2OT)
1st 12 Missouri 5 Miami (FL) 93-80
1st 12 Tulsa 5 Marquette 71-69
1st 11 Southern Ill. 6 Texas Tech 76-68
1st 11 Wyoming 6 Gonzaga 73-66
2nd 12 Missouri 4 Ohio St. 83-67
2nd 11 Southern Ill. 3 Georgia 77-75
2nd 10 Kent St. 2 Alabama 71-58
2nd 8 UCLA 1 Cincinnati 105-101 (OT)
RSF 10 Kent St. 3 Pittsburgh 78-73 (OT)

3. 1986 — 12 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 14 Little Rock 3 Notre Dame 90-83
1st 14 Cleveland St. 3 Indiana 83-79
1st 12 DePaul 5 Virginia 72-68
1st 11 LSU 6 Purdue 94-87 (2OT)
2nd 14 Cleveland St. 6 Saint Joseph’s 75-69
2nd 12 DePaul 4 Oklahoma 74-69
2nd 11 LSU 3 Memphis 83-81
2nd 8 Auburn 1 St. John's (NY) 81-65
2nd 7 Iowa St. 2 Michigan 72-69
2nd 7 Navy 2 Syracuse 97-85
RSF 11 LSU 2 Georgia Tech 70-64
RF 11 LSU 1 Kentucky 59-57

T1. 2014 — 13 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
2nd 14 Mercer 3 Duke 78-71
2nd 12 Harvard 5 Cincinnati 61-57
2nd 12 North Dakota St. 5 Oklahoma 80-75 (OT)
2nd 12 SFA 5 VCU 77-75 (OT)
2nd 11 Dayton 6 Ohio St. 60-59
2nd 11 Tennessee 6 Massachusetts 86-67
3rd 11 Dayton 3 Syracuse 55-53
3rd 10 Stanford 2 Kansas 60-57
3rd 9 Kentucky 1 Wichita St. 78-76
3rd 7 UConn 2 Villanova 77-65
RF 8 Kentucky 2 Michigan 75-72
NSF 7 UConn 7 Florida 63-53
NSF 8 Kentucky 2 Wisconsin 74-73

T1. 1985 — 13 upsets

Round Seed Winning Team Seed Losing Team Score
1st 13 Navy 4 LSU 78-55
1st 12 Kentucky 5 Washington 66-58
1st 11 Auburn 6 Purdue 59-58
1st 11 Boston College 6 Texas Tech 55-53
1st 11 UTEP 6 Tulsa 79-75
2nd 12 Kentucky 4 UNLV 64-61
2nd 11 Auburn 3 Kansas 66-64
2nd 11 Boston College 3 Duke 74-73
2nd 8 Villanova 1 Michigan 59-55
2nd 7 Alabama 2 VCU 63-59
RF 8 Villanova 2 North Carolina 56-44
NSF 8 Villanova 2 Memphis 52-45
CH 8 Villanova 1 Georgetown 66-64

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