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NCAA staff | March 17, 2022

History of 2 seeds vs. 15 seeds in March Madness

Watch the final 2:30 of No. 15 Saint Peter's OT win over No. 2 Kentucky

Saint Peter's became the 10th No. 15 seed to defeat a No. 2 seed when it shocked Kentucky, 85-79, in overtime in the first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament.

It marked the second year in a row a 15 downed a 2, as Oral Roberts upset Ohio State in 2021.

History of 15 seeds vs. 2 seeds in March Madness

Ten 15 seeds have upset 2 seeds in the NCAA tournament history. Going into 2022, 15 seeds had an 9-135 all-time record against 2s, a 6.25 win percentage.

Here are all of the times it's ever happened.

Year Result Score
1991 Richmond def. Syracuse 73-69
1993 Santa Clara def. Arizona 64-61
1997 Coppin State def. South Carolina 78-65
2001 Hampton def. Iowa State 58-57
2012 Lehigh def. Duke 75-70
2012 Norfolk State def. Missouri 86-84
2013 Florida Gulf Coast def. Georgetown 78-68
2016 Middle Tennessee def. Michigan State 90-81
2021 Oral Roberts def. Ohio State 75-72
2022 Saint Peter's def. Kentucky 85-79

A few more tidbits:

  • Roughly 25 percent of the matchups have been decided by single digits, almost double the amount of No. 16 seeds.
  • Louisiana Monroe and Belmont own the most No. 15 seed appearances, as both the Warhawks and the Bruins have four berths at that slot since tournament expansion.
  • Only two No. 15 seeds have advanced past the second round. Florida Gulf Coast made it to the Sweet 16 in 2013 and Oral Roberts became the second to do so in 2021.

The most noteworthy times a 15 almost beat a 2

Winthrop vs. Tennessee, 2006

Winthrop, a 15-seed, nearly shocked No. 2 Tennessee in 2006. But then, Chris Lofton happened:

Lofton was only 5-of-14 for the game, but he hit the shot that mattered most.

Belmont vs. Duke, 2008

Belmont led Duke by one with two minutes to play, but the Blue Devils ultimately pulled out the win, 71-70. Gerald Henderson scored 21 points to lead Duke.

Robert Morris vs. Villanova, 2010

It took overtime for Villanova to defeat Robert Morris in 2010. The Wildcats prevailed by a score of 73-70:

Robert Morris led Villanova by six at halftime and held the Wildcats to 22 points in the opening 20 minutes. But Scottie Reynolds put 'Nova on his back, scoring 20 in the game.

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