Ah, the 16-seed. Since the tournament has expanded to 64 (or more) teams, a 16-seed has never beaten a 1-seed. That’s a record of 0-132! That’s more than enough data points for me to declare a clear trend. There’s been a few close calls, though. 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)