Five 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.

Then last year, Fairleigh Dickinson shocked the world with another 1-16 upset, beating Purdue 63-58.

16-seeds are now 2-150 in the First Round. Incredible shockers and a lot of fun to watch, but we don’t need to ever consider actually picking another upset in our brackets.  Besides those historic wins, 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.

Close Calls

  • 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)

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