What Is the Lowest Seed to Win March Madness

Lowest seed to win the tournament? That’s a very good question. So, what is the lowest seed to ever win the NCAA tournament? The lowest seed to win the National Championship was ironically, the number one seed of that season.

 How Many #1 Seeds Have Won the Ncaa Tournament?

There have been nine #1 seeds who have won the NCAA tournament since 1979, including Villanova in 2016 and Duke in 2010.

The lowest seed to win a championship game was the Georgetown Hoyas, who were a 10-seed when they defeated 2-seed Missouri in the 1989 championship game. The lowest seed to win a title game is also the last time that an 8-seed made it to the Final Four: UConn’s National Championship in 2014.

The last time an 11-seed won was in 1983 when North Carolina State defeated Houston 66-65 on Lorenzo Charles’ dunk at the buzzer. In fact, only three teams seeded lower than 11 have won championships since 1979: Villanova (8), Florida Gulf Coast University (15) and VCU (11).

The NCAA Tournament is a single-elimination tournament, meaning that a team can lose once and be eliminated. So how often does a #1 seed win the tournament?

The answer is 18 times since it began in 1939. That’s one out of every five times. That means that 80% of the time, a #1 seed loses before the Final Four. It also means that there’s only one way to pick the champ: pick all 16 teams to lose before they reach the Final Four. That’s not likely to happen!

But how many times have each seed won it all? Here’s how it breaks down:

  • #1: 18 times (last in 2009)
  • #2: 11 times (last in 2008)
  • #3: 5 times (last in 1999)
  • #4: 3 times (last in 1990)

 What Is the Lowest Seed To Make It To The Final Four?

Once upon a time, the lowest seed to make it to the Final Four was No. 8. That was back in 1979, when Michigan State beat No. 1 Virginia Cavaliers and No. 3 Indiana Hoosiers before losing to No. 2 Michigan in the national championship game.

But now the lowest seed to reach the Final Four is 6, thanks to Villanova’s 2016 championship run as an unranked team.

So, what seeds have advanced to this point? Below are all of the teams that have made it through to at least the Sweet 16:

  • 1: Virginia Cavaliers (defeated UMBC Retrievers)
  • 2: Duke Blue Devils (defeated UNC Greensboro Spartans)
  • 3: Michigan Wolverines (defeated Montana Grizzlies)
  • 4: Kansas Jayhawks (defeated Penn Quakers)
  • 5: Kentucky Wildcats (defeated Davidson Wildcats)

 What Is the Lowest Seed To Win The Ncaa Tournament?

The lowest seed to win the NCAA Tournament is the 1975 NC State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack entered the tournament as a #9 seed and defeated three higher seeds on their way to winning the title.

The next year, the Kentucky Wildcats became the second-lowest seed to win it all. They entered as a #8 seed and defeated three higher seeds on their way to victory.

In 2013, Florida Gulf Coast University became the first team from a non-power conference to make it past the first round of play in March Madness. The Eagles entered as a #15 seed in 2013 and went on to defeat two higher seeded teams before losing in the Sweet 16 against Georgetown University.

The most recent example of this was in 2017 when the Kentucky Wildcats upset the North Carolina Tar Heels in a 67-65 victory. It was the first time since 1979 that a team seeded eighth or lower won it all.

It’s not an extremely common occurrence for a No. 8 seed to win it all, but it does happen from time to time. In fact, six No. 8 seeds have won the tournament since it started in 1939 — more than any other seed except for No. 1s and 2s (which have each won seven times).

In fact, there have been eight years since 1939 where a team seeded eighth or lower has made it to at least the Final Four (three of those years were before seeding began). The most recent year was 2012 when VCU became only the fourth No. 11 seed ever to make it that far (and second in three years after George Mason did it in 2006).

 Who Won March Madness 2006?

The 2006 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, commonly called March Madness, was the 73rd edition of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It began on March 14, 2006, and concluded with the championship game on April 2 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The Florida Gators defeated the UCLA Bruins 84–75 to win their second consecutive national championship and third overall.

The tournament featured 65 teams playing in a single-elimination format. This was one more team than was allowed by the NCAA selection committee (64). The four play-in games were played on Wednesday and Thursday, March 15 and 16, 2006. All 64 tournament games were played on Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2.

The 2007 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship is scheduled for March 19 through April 7, 2007.

The lowest seed to win March Madness was VCU in 2011. The Rams entered the tournament as a No. 11 seed, and they made it all the way to the Final Four, defeating North Carolina and Kansas along the way.

In 2006, George Mason University became one of four schools in history to make it to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed — joining VCU as well as Memphis (2008), Alabama (2011) and Wichita State (2013).

 Who Has Won the Most March Madness Tournaments?

The NCAA Tournament is one of the most exciting events in sports, and it is also one of the most unpredictable. It’s not uncommon for Cinderella stories to happen, and it’s not uncommon for upsets to occur.

But what teams have been the best in March Madness history? Which seed has won the most tournaments? Which team has had the best tournament ever?

With that being said, let’s look at which seeds have won March Madness tournaments over time.

The highest seed to ever win a tournament was 12th seed VCU in 2011-2012. The Rams went on to beat 5th seed Kentucky 84-76 in the Final Four before beating 1st seed Kansas 74-61 in the National Championship Game. No other team seeded higher than 10th has ever won a national title since seeding began in 1979.

  • The lowest seed to win March Madness is the Cinderella story that we all love to see.
  • In recent years, there have been many underdogs who have pulled off the upset and gone on to win it all.

The lowest seed to win March Madness is the Cinderella story that we all love to see. In recent years, there have been many underdogs who have pulled off the upset and gone on to win it all.The most successful team in NCAA tournament history is North Carolina, with 13 titles (they also have seven runners-up finishes). UCLA has won 11 championships and Kansas has won 10 titles.


In short, the “Cinderella” story of March Madness belongs to the lower ranked teams. 70% of Final Four teams in the last 20 years have had a seed 5 or lower. And, 70% of all National Champions in the past 20 years have had a seed 7 or lower. Even more impressively, 100% of National Champions in that time, 1996-2015, have had an 8 seed or less. The takeaway? There are plenty of chances for upsets and Cinderella stories.