College basketball wouldn’t be what it is today if it weren’t for the biggest upsets of March Madness ruining everyone’s bracket year-in and year-out. It’s the love-hate relationship we all have with the NCAA Tournament and it’s something that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
On one hand, we love to see the underdog prevail. On the other hand, we want our brackets to do well. It’s the double-edged sword known as March Madness and we’re 100% here for it. It’s one of the most entertaining months in all of sports, which is crazy considering their amateurs.
With that said, don’t expect an amateur style of play when watching March Madness. These are some of the best young basketball players in the world and they’re all competing for the same prize – a trip to the NCAA Tournament Final and an opportunity at cutting down the coveted net.
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Ranking All the Biggest Upsets of March Madness So Far
The 2022 March Madness tournament has been nothing short of exciting. There have been a total of 16 upsets out of a possible 48 games through the first two rounds. The Sweet Sixteen is currently scheduled for four games on March 24th and four more games on March 25th.
With the amount of upsets we’ve witnessed so far, it would come as no surprise to see more of that in the coming rounds. Of the 16 teams currently standing, four of them are seeded No. 10 or higher – including a No. 15 seed. We’ve seen one No. 1 seed and two No. 2 seeds knocked out.
As we await the next round of action, we’re going to take some time to rank out all the 16 biggest upsets of March Madness thus far. Some of these teams are still in the dance and have an opportunity at history if they can keep their momentum alive. It won’t be easy, but it’s possible!
16. No. 9 TCU defeats No. 8 Seton Hall (First Round)
Entering last Friday’s matchup against No. 8 Seton Hall, No. 9 TCU hadn’t won a game in the NCAA Tournament since 1987. They finally returned to their winning ways with a convincing 69-42 upset over the Pirates, one of the highest point differentials of the entire first round.
TCU had a 30-21 lead at halftime as the Pirates stayed within range of a comeback, but the Horned Frogs turned it up a notch in the second half – outscoring their opponent 39-21. Mike Miles led the way for TCU with 21 points, while Damion Baugh added another 14 points.
15. No. 9 Memphis defeats No. 8 Boise State (First Round)
The No. 9 Memphis Tigers finished the regular season 22-10, while the No. 8 Boise State Broncos finished 27-8. With just eight players on their roster, the Broncos were led by Abu Kijab’s 20 points and while that led all scorers, it wasn’t enough to lead his team to victory.
The Tigers walked away with a 64-53 upset over Boise State to advance to the second round. They were led by DeAndre Williams’ 14 points, but Jalen Duren and Landers Nolley II also scored double-digit points. They also had five players score at least two points off the bench.
14. No. 9 Creighton defeats No. 8 San Diego State (First Round)
The only thing better than witnessing one of the biggest upsets of March Madness 2022 is doing so in overtime. That’s exactly what college basketball fans were blessed with when No. 9 Creighton defeated No. 8 San Diego State 72-69 thanks to a last-minute 6-0 offensive run.
The Bluejays were down 37-30 at halftime, but made the right adjustments in the second half and scored nine unanswered points to end regulation at 62 a piece. They found themselves down three with two minutes left in OT, but that’s when they scored six unanswered to win.
13. No. 5 Houston defeats No. 4 Illinois (Second Round)
The No. 5 Houston Cougars advanced to the Round of 32 with a win over No. 12 UAB. They were matched up against the No. 4 Illinois Fighting Illini, who were fresh off a victory over No. 13 Chattanooga. The two teams were involved in a close game at halftime with Houston up 30-26.
The second half went the Cougars’ way, outscoring the Fighting Illini 38-27 en route to a 68-53 win. Kofi Cockburn led the way for Illinois with 19 points and 8 rebounds, while Taze Moore scored 21 points for Houston. Jamal Shead and Kyler Edwards also scored in double digits.
12. No. 10 Miami (FL) defeats No. 7 USC (First Round)
The No. 10 Miami (FL) Hurricanes were 2.5-point underdogs, according to Caesars Sportsbook, but that didn’t stop them from pulling an upset over the No. 7 USC Trojans on Friday in the First Round. It was a tight game that went down to the wire, but the Hurricanes ultimately prevailed.
Miami (FL) had an 11-point lead at halftime, but they allowed the Trojans to come back in the second half. A layup by USC tied the game with 14 seconds left, but Miami (FL) drew a foul with three seconds left. Charlie Moore hit both free throws as USC missed a game-winning shot.
11. No. 11 Michigan defeats No. 6 Colorado State (First Round)
The Michigan Wolverines failed to finish the regular season with 20+ wins, despite a 23-5 record the year before. In the First Round, they were matched up against No. 6 Colorado State, who finished the regular season 25-6. Unfortunately, record didn’t matter as Michigan toppled them.
Michigan was down seven points at halftime, but outscored the Rams 46-27 in the second half en route to a 75-63 victory. Hunter Dickinson finished with 21 points off 8-10 shooting, while Eli Brooks, Frankie Collins, and Caleb Houstan finished with 13+ points in the shocking win.
10. No. 11 Iowa State defeats No. 6 LSU (First Round)
The No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones were 3.5-point underdogs to the No. 6 LSU Tigers entering their First Round matchup on Friday. They had similar records in the regular season with the LSU Tigers finishing 22-12 (9-9 in SEC) and Iowa State Cyclones finishing 21-12 (7-11 in Big 12).
The Cyclones took an early five-point lead at halftime, a lead they rode to the final buzzer as both teams scored 35 points in the second half. Tyrese Hunter led the way with 23 points and five steals for Iowa State, while Izaiah Brockington added 19 points and three steals in the win.
9. No. 11 Notre Dame defeats No. 6 Alabama (First Round)
No. 11 Notre Dame entered March Madness as one of the First Four winners after defeating No. 11 Rutgers on Wednesday. They then faced off against No. 6 Alabama on Friday and were listed as 4.5-point underdogs, despite having the better regular season record at 24-10 on the year.
The Fighting Irish had a 41-36 lead at halftime and expanded on that lead in the second half, ultimately walking away with a 78-64 victory. Senior guard Cormac Ryan posted a career-high 29 points in the win, while Blake Wesley and Paul Atkinson Jr. combined for another 31 points.
8. No. 12 New Mexico State defeats No. 5 UCONN (First Round)
The New Mexico State Aggies finished the regular season with a 27-6 record, which is much better than the 23-10 record posted by their First Round opponent, UCONN. Of course, the Huskies faced tougher competition, which is why they had the No. 5 seed, opposed to No. 12.
That didn’t seem to matter to the Aggies, who came out swinging with a 32-22 lead at halftime. They allowed the Huskies to stay in the game and were outscored 41-38 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Aggies advanced behind a massive 37 points from guard Teddy Allen.
7. No. 12 Richmond defeats No. 5 Iowa (First Round)
Talking about upsets, let’s talk about the No. 12 Richmond Spiders. They entered March Madness as 9.5-point underdogs to the No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes, which means many people weren’t expecting much from them. Those people were proved wrong in incredible fashion.
The game was tight throughout as the Spiders held a 29-28 lead over the Hawkeyes at the end of the first half. The second half was just as tight, but the Spiders were able to squeeze through with the help of some last-minute free throws by Jacob Gilyard, who finished with 24 points.
6. No. 11 Iowa State defeats No. 3 Wisconsin (Second Round)
Earlier, we talked about a No. 11 Iowa State team that defeated the No. 6 LSU Tigers. That was impressive, but they met an even more difficult task in the Second Round when they matched up against No. 3 Wisconsin. The Cyclones were 4.0-point underdogs, but won by five points.
The game was close in the first half, but Iowa State held the 27-26 advantage heading into the second half. They outscored the Badgers 27-23 in the final 20 minutes to secure a 54-49 win and a ticket to the Sweet Sixteen. Gabe Kalscheur finished with 22 points for the Cyclones.
5. No. 11 Michigan defeats No. 3 Tennessee (Second Round)
We already mentioned No. 11 Michigan and their upset over No. 6 Colorado State in the First Round, but wait until you see what they did against No. 3 Tennessee – one of the favored teams in the tournament – in the Second Round. The Michigan Wolverines were 7.0-point underdogs.
Much like their performance in the First Round, Michigan found themselves down at halftime, this time by five points. They outscored Tennessee 44-31 in the second half as they once again mounted a comeback. Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks combined for 50 points for Michigan.
4. No. 10 Miami (FL) defeats No. 2 Auburn (Second Round)
After their upset over No. 7 USC in the First Round, No. 10 Miami (FL) was matched up against the No. 2 Auburn Tigers – a team that many people thought could win it all. Unfortunately, Auburn’s poor second half performance resulted in yet another upset for the Hurricanes.
The game was extremely tight in the first half, but the Hurricanes had the slight 33-32 lead. The second half was all Miami (FL) as they outscored the Tigers 46-29 en route to a 79-68 victory. Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty each scored at least 20 points for the Hurricanes.
3. No. 8 UNC defeats No. 1 Baylor (Second Round)
When the No. 8 UNC Tar Heels defeated No. 9 Marquette, it technically wasn’t labeled as an upset. In fact, they were favored by 4.0 points. That wasn’t the story when they matched up with the No. 1 Baylor Bears in the Round of 32, which had UNC listed as 5.5-point underdogs.
If you wanted to watch a good back-and-forth upset, this was one of the best ones on this list. The Tar Heels opened up strong with a 42-29 lead at halftime, but allowed the Bears to score 51 points in the second half to tie it up. UNC outscored Baylor 13-6 in the overtime period.
2. No. 15 Saint Peter’s defeats No. 7 Murray State (Second Round)
Saint Peter’s became just the third No. 15 seed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen with their upset over No. 7 Murray State in the Round of 32 on Saturday night. They have become everyone’s March Madness ‘spirit animal’ and Doug Edert’s incredible mustache is a large reason why.
He scored 13 points off the bench on Saturday and, coupled with KC Ndefo’s team-high 17 points and 10 rebounds, was enough to give the Peacocks a 10-point win over the Racers, who finished the regular season 31-3. Saint Peter’s will now play the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday.
1. No. 15 Saint Peter’s defeats No. 2 Kentucky (First Round)
Before Saint Peter’s shocked the world by advancing to the Sweet Sixteen on Saturday, they shocked the world by advancing to the Round of 32 on Thursday. In order to do that, they had to defeat the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats. The Peacocks entered the game as 18.5-point underdogs.
These two teams were much more evenly matched than we expected. The game was tied 37-37 at the end of the first half and was still tied 71-71 at the end of regulation. They outscored Kentucky 14-8 in overtime. Doug Edert and his mustache finished with 20 points off the bench.
What Are the All-Time Biggest Upsets of March Madness?
Looking back through the history of the biggest upsets of March Madness, there are several teams with a shot at making history this year. For example, there has never been a No. 15 seed in the Elite Eight – something Saint Peter’s has an opportunity to achieve with a win on Friday.
As far as No. 11 seeds go, there have only been four teams in March Madness history to make it to the Final Four – something Iowa State and Michigan are two wins away from. Even worse, only one No. 10 seed has made the Final Four and only eight have made it to the Elite Eight.
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Of course, let’s not forget about No. 8 North Carolina – a team no one expected to be in the dance at this point. They have a shot at becoming just the third No. 8 seed to make it to the National Championship game, though they’ll have to win three games if they want to get there.
Our Top 20 Teams Going Into March Madness 2022
With Selection Sunday behind us and the First Four underway, March Madness is officially upon us and we couldn’t be more excited for the action that’s about to come our way. It’s going to be an interesting tournament and if it’s anything like in year’s past, we can expect a lot of upsets.
The First Four began on March 15th and will continue on March 16th, marking the first actual game action of the tournament. There won’t be any delay in getting Round One started, with games taking place on March 17th and March 18th. The Final Four begins on April 2nd.
With 64 teams in the field and fans filling out their brackets all around the world, we look forward to seeing which team fights their way to an NCAA Championship. It’s something every campus, student athlete, coach, athletic director, student, parent, and fan dreams of every single year.
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Who Won Last Year’s March Madness?
Last year’s March Madness was one to remember. It was a special one, especially considering the 2020 March Madness tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Baylor Bears were crowned NCAA Champions after defeating the Gonzaga Bulldogs 86-70.
Before the 2020 tourney was canceled, the five previous winners included Virginia (2019), Villanova (2018), North Carolina (2017), Villanova again (2016), and Duke (2015). UCLA has the most titles all-time with 11, while Kentucky has eight, North Carolina has six, and Duke has five.
With that said, the 2022 March Madness tournament is bound to be different and we could end up seeing a champion that hasn’t won it all in a while. If you’re looking to make some last-minute changes to your bracket, we’re going to look at the 20 teams with the best chance at winning it.
20. UCONN Huskies
The UCONN Huskies are a No. 5 seed heading into this year’s March Madness. They’ve won four titles in campus history (1999, 2004, 2011, and 2014) and have a good chance at their fifth title this year. They finished the regular season 23-9 with a 13-6 Big East conference record.
The Huskies faced a disappointing loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament Semifinals. They’ll face No. 12 New Mexico State on March 17, 2022 and are led by R.J. Cole, Adama Sanogo, and Tyrese Martin – all of whom averaged more than 13 points per game this year.
19. Providence Friars
The Providence Friars are a No. 4 seed heading into this year’s March Madness. They’ve made it to the Final Four twice (1973 and 1987), but have yet to win a national championship. Could this be the year? They finished the season 25-5 with a 14-3 Big East conference record.
Although Providence finished the regular season with the best record in the Big East, they lost to Creighton in the Big East Semifinals. They’re led by Nate Watson, Al Durham, Jared Bynum, and A.J. Reeves, all of whom are averaging at least 10.0 points per game this season.
18. Saint Mary’s Gaels
The Saint Mary’s Gaels are a No. 5 seed heading into this year’s March Madness, which is their highest seeding in campus history. It’s their 11th tourney appearance since 1959 and while they have never been to a Final Four, they have made it to one Elite Eight and two Sweet Sixteens.
The team finished the regular season 25-7 with a 12-3 record in the West Coast Conference. They made it to the 2022 WCC Championship game, but lost to Gonzaga 69-82. The two teams also met twice during the regular season, with both teams managing to snatch a victory.
17. Houston Cougars
The Houston Cougars are a No. 5 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have yet to win a national championship, but have been runner-up twice and have made it to the Final Four six times – they’re last Final Four visit coming last season.
Houston finished the regular season 29-5 with a 15-3 record in the American Athletic Conference. They defeated Cincinnati, Tulane, and Memphis en route to winning the AAC Championship and will be faced off against UAB on March 18th in the First Round.
16. Wisconsin Badgers
The Wisconsin Badgers are a No. 3 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They won the National Championship in 1941 and were runner-ups in 2015, but are still searching for their second title in campus history and it very well could come this season.
The Badgers finished the regular season 24-7 with a 15-5 record in the Big Ten Conference. They faced a disappointing loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. It was their second-straight loss, but they can redeem themselves against Colgate on Friday.
15. Arkansas Razorbacks
The Arkansas Razorbacks are a No. 4 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They won their first and only title in 1994 and were runner-ups the following season in 1995. They made it to the Elite Eight last year, but haven’t been to the Final Four since 1995.
The Razorbacks finished the regular season 25-8 with a 13-5 record in the Southeastern Conference. After beating LSU in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, Arkansas lost to Texas A&M in the semifinals. They now face No. 13 Vermont on Thursday in the First Round.
14. Iowa Hawkeyes
The Iowa Hawkeyes are a No. 5 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They’ve never been crowned NCAA champions, but were runner-ups in 1956 and have made it three Final Four appearances – they’re last one coming in 1980 under Lute Olson.
The Hawkeyes finished the regular season 26-9 with a 12-8 record in the Big Ten Conference. They surprised everyone by defeating Northwestern, Rutgers, Indiana, and Purdue to win the Big Ten Conference. They’ll need that momentum against No. 12 Richmond on Thursday.
13. Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illinois Fighting Illini are a No. 4 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have never won a title, but were runner-ups in 2005 and have made five Final Four appearances since 1949. This is just their third tourney appearance in the past 10 years.
The Fighting Illini finished the regular season 22-9 with a 15-5 record in the Big Ten Conference. They were on a three-game winning streak heading into the Big Ten Tournament, but lost to Indiana in the quarterfinals. They now face No. 13 Chattanooga in the First Round on Friday.
12. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Texas Tech Red Raiders are a No. 3 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They made their first Elite Eight appearance in 2018 and first Final Four appearance in 2019. They eventually made it to the championship game, but lost to Virginia.
The Red Raiders finished the regular season 25-9 with a 12-6 record in the Big 12 Conference. They beat Iowa State and Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament, but lost to Kansas in the championship game. They now face No. 14 Montana State in the First Round on Friday.
11. Auburn Tigers
The Auburn Tigers are a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They made their first Final Four appearance in 2019 and have only made two Elite Eight appearances in campus history – in 1986 and 2019. They have yet to win a championship.
The Tigers finished the regular season 27-5 with a 15-3 record in the Southeastern Conference under Bruce Pearl. They went on a 19-game winning streak at one point this season, but lost to Texas A&M in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament. They face No. 15 Jacksonville State.
10. Villanova Wildcats
The Villanova Wildcats are a No. 2 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have won the NCAA Championship three times, most recently in 2018. Last season, they made it to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Baylor, the eventual champions.
The Wildcats finished the regular season 26-7 with a 16-4 record in the Big East Conference under Jay Wright – his 21st season with the team. They defeated St. John’s, UCONN, and Creighton en route to a Big East Championship and now face No. 15 Delaware on Friday.
9. Kentucky Wildcats
The Kentucky Wildcats are a No. 2 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have won the NCAA Championship eight times in campus history, but haven’t done so since 2012. They were runner-ups in 2014 and their last Final Four was in 2015.
The Wildcats finished the regular season 26-7 with a 14-4 record in the Southeastern Conference. They defeated Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament, but lost to Tennessee in the semifinals. They’ll now square off against No. 15 Saint Peter’s on Thursday.
8. Duke Blue Devils
The Duke Blue Devils are a No. 2 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They won the NCAA Championship five times with their last title coming in 2015. They’re glad to be bak, especially considering they missed the tourney all together last year.
The Blue Devils finished the regular season 28-6 with a 16-4 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference. They defeated Syracuse and Miami in the ACC Tournament, but lost to Virginia Tech in the championship game. They now face No. 15 Cal State Fullerton on Friday.
7. UCLA Bruins
The UCLA Bruins are a No. 4 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have been crowned champions a record 11 times, most of which came under legendary head coach John Wooden. Unfortunately, they haven’t won a title since 1995.
The Bruins finished the regular season 25-7 with a 15-5 record in the Pac-12 Conference. They defeated Washington State and USC in the Pac-12 Tournament to earn their fifth-straight victory, but lost to Arizona in the championship game. They now face No. 13 Akron on Thursday.
6. Baylor Bears
The Baylor Bears are a No. 1 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They’re the defending champions after winning their first title in campus history. They were runner-ups in 1948 and have made three Final Four appearances in school history.
The Bears finished the regular season 26-6 with a 14-4 record in the Big 12 Conference. Led by Scott Drew in his 19th season with the team, they started the season 15-0, but lost to Oklahoma in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament. They now face No. 16 Norfolk State on Thursday.
5. Purdue Boilermakers
The Purdue Boilermakers are a No. 3 seed in the East Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. While they have yet to win an NCAA Championship, Purdue was the runner-up in 1969 and last made it to the Final Four in 1980. They’re led by 17-year head coach Matt Painter.
The Boilermakers finished the regular season 27-7 with a 14-6 record in the Big Ten Conference. They defeated Penn State and Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament, but lost to Iowa in the championship game. They’re now set to play No. 14 Yale Bulldogs in the First Round on Friday.
4. Tennessee Volunteers
The Tennessee Volunteers are a No. 3 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have only made it to the Elite Eight once, back in 2010, but have never gone further than that. They were last in the Sweet Sixteen in 2019, their eighth such appearance.
The Volunteers finished the regular season 26-7 with a 14-4 record in the Southeastern Conference. They defeated Mississippi State, Kentucky, and Texas A&M en route to being named SEC Tournament champions. They now square off vs. No. 14 Longwood on Thursday.
3. Kansas Jayhawks
The Kansas Jayhawks are a No. 1 seed in the Midwest Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They have won the NCAA Championship three times in campus history, but have yet to do so since 2008. They were also runner-ups a total of six times, most recently in 2012.
The Jayhawks finished the regular season 28-6 with a 14-4 record in the Big 12 Conference. They won their final two games before defeating West Virginia, TCU, and Texas Tech en route to a Big 12 Tournament championship. They will now face No. 16 Texas Southern on Thursday.
2. Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats are a No. 1 seed in the South Region for this year’s March Madness. They won the NCAA title for the first and only time in 1997 and were runner-ups in 2001. They also have four Final Four appearances and 11 Elite Eight appearances – most recently in 2015.
The Wildcats finished the regular season 31-3 with an 18-2 record in the Pac-12 Conference. They started the season 11-0 and defeated Stanford, Colorado, and UCLA en route to a Pac-12 championship. They will now square off against the winner of the Wright State vs. Bryant game.
1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
The Gonzaga Bulldogs are a No. 1 seed in the West Region for this year’s March Madness tournament. They, surprisingly, have never won a title – though they were runner-ups in 2017 and 2021 (last season). They’ve been to the Final Four twice and the Elite Eight five times.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season 26-3 with a 13-1 record in the West Coast Conference. They were on a 17-game winning streak at one point and defeated Saint Mary’s in the WCC Tournament championship game. They are set to match up against No. 16 Georgia State.
Players to Watch During This Year’s March Madness
Although many fans are going to be focused on the teams and hoping for a perfect bracket, let’s not forget that this is one of the biggest stages for a young basketball player. There are a lot of prospects out there looking to up their draft stock, if not for this year’s draft, then in the future.
Some of the players to watch during March Madness 2022 are Jabari Smith (Auburn), Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga), Jaden Ivey (Purdue), Keegan Murray (Iowa), Paolo Banchero (Duke), Johnny Davis (Wisconsin), Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky), and Ochai Agbaji (Kansas).
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AJ Griffin (Duke), TyTy Washington Jr. (Kentucky), Jalen Duren (Memphis), Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona), and Kendall Brown (Baylor) could also all find themselves in the lottery during this year’s NBA Draft. With no shortage of talent on the court, keep your eyes peeled.
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