Two years ago (2018), it finally happened! A 16-seed beat a 1-seed! Three cheers for UMBC!!! This was the first 16-seed win since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
16-seeds are now 1-139 in the First Round. So while it was an amazing win and a lot of fun to watch, we don’t need to ever consider actually picking another upset in our brackets. Besides UMBC’s historic win, there’s been a few other close calls. And, if you’re like me, you might be curious what happened to those 1-seeds that squeaked by.
- 1989: two 16-seeds lost by only one point.
- Princeton lost to Georgetown 49-50 (Georgetown wound up losing in the Elite 8)
- East Tennessee State lost to Oklahoma 71-72 (Oklahoma lost in the Sweet 16)
- 1996: Western Carolina lost to Purdue 71-73. (Purdue lost in the next round)
- 1990: And in the most exciting close call yet, Murray State took Michigan State to overtime, ultimately losing 71-75. Murray State is the only 16-seed to ever reach overtime. (Michigan State lost in the Sweet 16)