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Daniel Wilco | NCAA.com | March 13, 2022

How men's basketball teams that earn a No. 7 seed do in March Madness

Shabazz Napier's top NCAA tournament highlights

In 2014, the Connecticut Huskies became the first and only No. 7 seed to capture a national championship, but the team's historic run came close to ending early in the tournament. It took overtime for the Huskies to get past No. 10 Saint Joseph's in an 89-81 opening-round win.

Second Round: UConn beats Saint Joe's in OT

The Huskies joined the list of No. 7 seeds that avoided an upset in the opening round. There has been only one NCAA tournament in the past 36 NCAA tournaments where no No. 7 seed has made it to the next round and that was in 1999. The current streak could've ended in 2019, when No. 7 seed Wofford was the only No. 7 seed to advance to the second round, and also in 2010, but Brigham Young survived as the No. 7 seed, beating No. 10 seed Florida by six points.

No. 7 seeds have lost 57 opening-round games to No. 10 seeds, which is the second-highest number of seed-line upsets behind No. 8 seeds. Furthermore, the average margin of victory for No. 7 seeds is just about three points.

In the first year the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, all four games were decided by single digits in favor of No. 7 seeds. Since then, a sweep in the first round has happened only two more times: in 1993 and more recently 2007. During the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the No. 7 seeds captured three wins, two by single digits and the third in a 31-point blowout by Iowa.

In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, No. 7 seeds went 1-2 in the first round, with Oregon-VCU being a no-contest, and No. 7 seed Florida needing overtime to beat No. 10 seed Virginia Tech. However, the Ducks demolished No. 2 seed Iowa, 95-80, in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16.

The 2017 NCAA Tournament almost saw a No. 7 seed sweep until Wichita State pulled off the 64-58 win over Dayton. On the other side of the bracket, No. 7 seed South Carolina made it all the way to the Final Four, with upsets over No. 2 seed Duke, No. 3 seed Baylor, and No. 4 seed Florida along the way.

In 2018, No. 7 seeds went 3-1 in the first round, but each win was by five points or less. The lone loss was Arkansas falling by 17 points to Butler. Seven-seeds Nevada and Texas A&M advanced to the Sweet 16.

The tables turned in 2019, when No. 10 seeds Minnesota, Florida and Iowa helped No. 10 seeds go 3-1 in the first round.

Second Round: South Carolina defeats Duke

West Virginia has held the No. 7 seed spot more than any other program, with a 3-1 record in the opening round since the tournament expanded in 1985. In its first appearance as a No. 7 seed, the Mountaineers fell to No. 10 seed Western Kentucky in 1987.

Year Winner Loser Score
1987 Western Kentucky West Virginia 64-62
1989 West Virginia Tennessee 84-68
2005 West Virginia Creighton 63-61
2008 West Virginia Arizona 75-65

*Note: All data is from the 1985 NCAA Tournament to the present.

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