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    Lowest Seed to Make the NCAA Championship Game

    What is the lowest seed to ever make the Championship Game of the NCAA Tournament? There is a four-way tie and we break down each team's run to the finale.

    Lowest Seed to Make the NCAA Championship Game

    BY JACK JONES COLLEGE BASKETBALL

    Updated March 11, 2022

    The NCAA Tournament is usually won by one of the top seeds. That’s evident by the fact that 19 of the last 27 NCAA Tournaments have been won by a No. 1 seed. However, you may be interested to know that there have been some pretty big upsets throughout the years. What is the lowest seed to ever each the NCAA Championship? I’m going to answer that question in this article.

    Four Times a No. 8 seed has reached the championship game. It happened in 1980 with UCLA, five years later in 1985 with Villanova, and then again in 2011 with Butler. Villanova went on to win the championship that year, becoming the lowest seed ever to win it all. Kentucky became the latest No. 8 seed to advance to the championship game in 2014, where they lost to No. 7 Connecticut.  Notably UCLA’s run came back when the tournament only featured 48 teams. Coincidentally 1985, when Villanova made their historic run, was the first year of the modern era with the familiar 64-team bracket.

    No. 8 UCLA (1980)

    This 1980 Bruins team featured some big names, including head coach Larry Brown, who really returned excitement to UCLA basketball that year. It was the first time that the Bruins came into the tournament unranked since 1966 as they made it as a No. 8 seed in the West. They opened with an 87-74 victory over Old Dominion behind 34 points from Kike Vandeweghe.

    A victory meant that UCLA would have to face the nation’s #1 team in DePaul, which was 26-1 with its only loss coming in overtime to Notre Dame. UCLA would hit some key free throws down the stretch, pulling off the 77-71 upset. That meant a showdown with Clark Kellog and Ohio State in the Sweet 16. The Bruins would again hit two late free throws to seal a 72-68 victory.

    In the Elite 8, the Bruins would take on Larry Nance and the Clemson Tigers. They would make easy work of the Tigers, surging to a double-digit lead in the first half and finishing off an 85-74 victory. That meant a showdown with Purdue and the 7’1″ Joe Barry Carroll in the opener of the Final Four. UCLA would win a tight one 67-62 before falling short to Louisville (54-59) in the championship game.

    No. 8 Villanova (1985)

    The Wildcats, under the guidance of coach Rollie Massimino, made one of the most surprising runs in NCAA Tournament history in 1985. It was the first year of the 64-team field and it was certainly one to remember. They beat Dayton (at Dayton), top-seeded Michigan, Maryland and second-seeded North Carolina to win the Southeast Regional.

    Villanova would advance to the Final Four in Lexington/Kentucky. It would go on to defeat 2-seed Memphis State in the national semifinals, setting up a showdown with defending champion and ten-point favorite, Georgetown. This was a Hoyas team that was led by Patrick Ewing, and this game just so happened to be played on April Fool’s Day.

    Top-seeded Georgetown had beaten conference rival Villnaova twice during the regular season. The Hoyas were a team built on defense, allowing opponents to shoot less than 40% from the field on the season. The Wildcats weren’t phased, making 22-of-28 (78.6%) from the field in perhaps the greatest shooting performance in NCAA history. While the Hoyas still hung tough, making 55% of their shots, they were unable to overcome the torrid shooting of Villanova, which won 66-64.

    No. 8 Butler (2011)

    The Bulldogs became the first team to reach consecutive final fours without being a one or a two seed either year in 2011. It was their second straight trip to the NCAA Championship Game as well, setting another record. They were also the first non-BCS school to reach the championship game in back-to-back seasons since the 1960-61 and 1961-62 Cincinnati Bearcats.

    Like UCLA before them in 1980, the Bulldogs opened up with a 60-58 victory over No. 9 Old Dominion. They would win another one at the wire with a 71-70 victory over top-seeded Pittsburgh in the next round, capping off two wins by a combined three points in the first two round. Butler topped Wisconsin 61-64 in the Sweet 16 before knocking off Florida 74-71 (OT) in the Elite Eight.

    Behind 24 points from Shelvin Mack, the Bulldogs knocked off No. 11 VCU in the Final Four in a game that nobody expected either of these two teams to be playing in. It certainly appeared as if Butler ran out of gas in the Championship Game, falling to No. 3 Connecticut by a final of 53-41. That Huskies team featured Kemba Walker, who just wouldn’t be denied that year.

    No. 8 Kentucky (2014)

    The 2014 NCAA Tournament was memorable due to the fact that a No. 8 seed (Kentucky) and a No. 7 seed (UConn) played each other in the championship game.  Kentucky’s improbable run started with a seven-point victory over 9th-seeded Kansas State.  The Wildcats then faced the No. 1 seed Wichita State Shockers, upsetting the top seed in the Midwest Region with a two-point victory.

    Next up for Kentucky was a bitter rivalry game against Louisville (a No. 4 seed), who many expert had picked to run the table in what was seen as a soft region.  In the end, the Wildcats and their five starting freshmen walked away with a five-point win.

    There were no easy matchups for Kentucky as they narrowly defeated Michigan in the Elite 8 and managed a one-point victory in the Final Four over the No. 2 seed Wisconsin Badgers.

    Source : www.betfirm.com

    Final Four 2022: What is the lowest seed to make an NCAA championship game? North Carolina joins the list

    North Carolina is a Cinderella in its own right in this historic Final Four run as an 8 seed.

    NCAA-BASKETBALL

    NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS

    Final Four 2022: What is the lowest seed to make an NCAA championship game? North Carolina joins the list

    Kevin Skiver 2 hours ago • 5 min read

    North Carolina will be making its 12th national championship appearance against the Kansas Jayhawks on Monday, but this one will be a little different.

    The Tar Heels entered this tournament as the No. 8 seed in the East bracket in coach Hubert Davis' inaugural season, but ripped off five straight wins, including an 81-77 thriller over blood rival Duke. With their NCAA championship appearance, North Carolina will be tied for the lowest seed to make a finals appearance, joining 1985 Villanova (who defeated No. 1 Georgetown), 2011 Butler (who lost to No. 3 Connecticut), and 2014 Kentucky (who lost to No. 7 Connecticut).

    Interestingly, three of the four teams to achieve the feat are considered blueblood programs, and two of the four made appearances in this year's Final Four.

    MORE: New Orleans title games have had a flair for the dramatic

    Why was UNC an 8 seed?

    Results-oriented thinking is going to pose the question: How is this North Carolina and 8 seed? Just looking at the standings doesn't give us a clear answer. Duke was 16-4 in the ACC, whereas North Carolina was 15-5. The answer is in the quadrants, specifically, Quadrant 1. Duke was 9-2 against Quad 1 teams, with wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga. North Carolina was 6-8, with its biggest win coming over Duke.

    UNC was 31st in NET entering the tournament and Duke was 12th, hence the disparity in their seedings. Bracket setting is a subjective process, and some teams are either better than the committee thinks or they get hot at the right time. It appears that North Carolina is a combination of both.

    How have 8 seeds done in the national championship?

    No. 8 seeds are 1-2 in the national championship game, with No. 8 Villanova defeating powerhouse Georgetown in 1985, No. 8 Butler losing to No. 3 Connecticut in 2011, and No. 8 Kentucky losing to No. 7 Connecticut (the highest seed sum in national championship history) in 2014. North Carolina will try to even the record, although its task is much closer to the one Villanova faced: A program going up against a No. 1-seeded Goliath in Kansas.

    MORE: Betting trends to know ahead of North Carolina-Kansas

    Villanova's win in 1985 was a 66-64 victory, powered by a 17-point performance by Dwayne McClain and a 16-point showing Ed Pinckney. Three Wildcats played 40 minutes that night, as Patrick Ewing was held to 14 points. Villanova famously shot 9-for-10 from the field in the second half in the pre-shot clock era.

    Butler had easily the roughest appearance of these teams, shooting 12 of 64 against 3-seeded Connecticut. Shelvin Mack led the Bulldogs with 13 points, while Alex Oriakhi, Jeremy Lamb, and Kemba Walker led the Huskies to a 53-41 win.

    Kentucky's showing was a 60-54 loss to Connecticut, with Shabazz Napier leading the way with 22 points. James Young put up 20 for Kentucky, but he and Julius Randle were the only players to finish the game in double figures (Randle had just 10 points).

    North Carolina will look to put 8 seeds at 2-2. In a sense, for trend chasers, history is weirdly on the Tar Heels' side. They're playing a No. 1 seed and it isn't Connecticut, so that counts for something. The Jayhawks have looked like a complete team all tournament, with Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack taking over games. The onus will be on Hubert Davis and his team to slow them down in order to break the No. 8 seed losing streak in national championships.

    BASKETBALL NCAA-BASKETBALL

    NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS

    VILLANOVA WILDCATS BUTLER BULLDOGS KENTUCKY WILDCATS Author(s) Kevin Skiver

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    Source : www.sportingnews.com

    The lowest seeds to make the Men's Final Four, Elite 8 and Sweet 16

    Only five teams with double-digit seeds have made the March Madness Final Four since the men's field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

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    ALL SCORES TUE 1:20 AM GMT TBS 8 UNC 1 KANSAS FINAL 8 UNC 81 2 DUKE 77 FINAL 2 NOVA 65 1 KANSAS 81 FINAL 15 ST PTR 49 8 UNC 69 FINAL 10 MIAMI 50 1 KANSAS 76 FINAL 4 ARK 69 2 DUKE 78 FINAL 5 HOU 44 2 NOVA 50 FINAL 11 IOWAST 56 10 MIAMI 70 FINAL 8 UNC 73 4 UCLA 66 FINAL 4 PROV 61 1 KANSAS 66 FINAL 15 ST PTR 67 3 PURDUE 64 FINAL 5 HOU 72 1 ARIZ 60 FINAL 3 TXTECH 73 2 DUKE 78 FINAL 11 MICH 55 2 NOVA 63 FINAL 4 ARK 74 1 GONZ 68 FINAL 9 TCU 80 1 ARIZ 85 FINAL 6 TEXAS 71 3 PURDUE 81 FINAL 10 MIAMI 79 2 AUBURN 61 FINAL 11 N DAME 53 3 TXTECH 59 FINAL 11 IOWAST 54 3 WISC 49 FINAL 7 MICHST 76 2 DUKE 85 FINAL 7 OHIOST 61 2 NOVA 71 FINAL 5 HOU 68 4 ILL 53 FINAL 9 MEM 78 1 GONZ 82 FINAL 12 NM ST 48 4 ARK 53 FINAL 15 ST PTR 70 7 MURRAY 60 FINAL 5 STMARY 56 4 UCLA 72 FINAL 12 RICH 51 4 PROV 79 FINAL 11 MICH 76 3 TENN 68 FINAL 9 CREIGH 72 1 KANSAS 79 FINAL 8 UNC 93 1 BAYLOR 86 FINAL 14 COLGAT 60 3 WISC 67 FINAL 9 TCU 69 8 SETON 42 FINAL 12 UAB 68 5 HOU 82 FINAL 10 DAVID 73 7 MICHST 74 FINAL 11 IOWAST 59 6 LSU 54 FINAL 16 WRIGHT 70 1 ARIZ 87 FINAL 15 CSFULL 61 2 DUKE 78 FINAL 13 CHAT 53 4 ILL 54 FINAL 11 VT 73 6 TEXAS 81 FINAL 11 N DAME 78 6 ALA 64 FINAL 10 MIAMI 68 7 USC 66 FINAL 15 DEL 60 2 NOVA 80 FINAL 14 YALE 56 3 PURDUE 78 FINAL 14 MONTST 62 3 TXTECH 97 FINAL 15 JAX ST 61 2 AUBURN 80 FINAL 10 LOYCHI 41 7 OHIOST 54 FINAL 16 TX SOU 56 1 KANSAS 83 FINAL 10 S FRAN 87 7 MURRAY 92 FINAL 13 AKRON 53 4 UCLA 57 FINAL 13 VERMNT 71 4 ARK 75 FINAL 12 IND 53 5 STMARY 82 FINAL 9 CREIGH 72 8 SDSU 69 FINAL 15 ST PTR 85 2 UK 79 FINAL 12 NM ST 70 5 UCONN 63 FINAL 9 MARQ 63 8 UNC 95 FINAL 16 GA ST 72 1 GONZ 93 FINAL 12 RICH 67 5 IOWA 63 FINAL 14 LONGWD 56 3 TENN 88 FINAL 16 NORFLK 49 1 BAYLOR 85 FINAL 9 MEM 64 8 BOISE 53 FINAL 13 SDAKST 57 4 PROV 66 FINAL 11 MICH 75 6 CO ST 63 FINAL 11 N DAME 89 11 RUTGER 87 FINAL 16 BRYANT 82 16 WRIGHT 93 FINAL 12 IND 66 12 WYO 58 FINAL 16 TAMUCC 67 16 TX SOU 76 Previous Next

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    DANIEL WILCO | NCAA.COM | MARCH 27, 2022

    The lowest seeds to make the Men's Final Four, Elite 8 and Sweet 16

    LOYOLA CHICAGO'S ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR

    Only five teams with double-digit seeds have made the Men's March Madness Final Four since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.

    Here's the TL/DR version of some men's March Madness seed history:

    8 is the lowest seed to win men's March Madness (Villanova in 1985)

    11 is the lowest seed to make the men's Final Four (George Mason 2006; LSU 1986; VCU 2011; Loyola Chicago 2018; UCLA 2021)

    Source : www.ncaa.com

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