*Note: All data is from the 1985 tournament to the present.
The history of the No. 16 seed is well-documented: No wins in 132 games against a No. 1 seed in the history of the men’s tournament. But that doesn’t mean there weren't great performances or close games that pushed the envelope of history.
Oklahoma trimmed ETSU’s double-digit lead in the first half to six at halftime, and a go-ahead score by Mookie Blaylock with 1:21 left in the game pushed the Sooners past the Buccaneers on March 16, 1989. One day later, again history was almost shattered, as Princeton had two chances to win its opening round game over Georgetown before center Alonzo Mourning blocked last-second shots by Bob Scrabis and Kit Mueller to preserve the victory for the Hoyas.
One year later, a No. 16 seed took a No. 1 seed to overtime for the first time in tournament history, as Murray State’s Greg Coble hit a 3-pointer late in the game to tie Michigan State 65-65 before the Spartans eventually won in overtime.
|1989||Oklahoma||East Tennessee State||72-71|
|1990||Michigan State||Murray State||75-71|
In the 2017 NCAA Tournament, every No. 1 seed won its opening-round game by at least 20 points.