It didn't take long for the 2016 NCAA Tournament to give us a massive upset. Middle Tennessee State knocked off Michigan State to blow up the champions in millions of people's brackets. The Blue Raiders had the lead from start to finish and the Spartans didn't play poorly, it didn't come off as a huge upset, so they didn't make this list. You'd think we'd be prepared for miracle wins when revisiting the history of the tournament. But yet, every year there are teams we could never predict would win that survive and advance.
While we watch the greatest single elimination tourney in America intently and are prepared for the upsets, we will still be shocked by some David knocking off a Goliath every season. What team of "Cinderfellas" will shock the sporting world with a dramatic upset going forward in the tournament? Will it make this list in the future? We have never witnessed the ultimate upset of a 16 seed toppling a #1 in the men's game. The #1 seeds sweeping again this season made them 128-0 since the tourney had that possible matchup.
The following is a list of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament. It's not just small schools knocking off the big boys, it's a list of teams that were thought to have no chance of winning, or even competing, and coming through versus a team that no one thought they had a chance against.
Is your team on the list? Hopefully, your team is pulling the upset and not getting upset.
15 Jacksonville 106, Kentucky 100 - Elite 8 - 1970
14 Norfolk St 86, Missouri 84 - First Round - 2012
13 George Mason 86, UConn 84 OT - Elite 8 - 2006
12 Hampton 58, Iowa State 57 - First Round - 2001
11 Princeton 43, UCLA 41 - First Round - 1996
10 LSU 59, Kentucky 57 - Elite 8 - 1986
9 Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61 - First Round - 1993
8 Florida Gulf Coast 78, Georgetown 68 - First Round - 2013
7 Richmond 73, Syracuse 69 - First Round - 1991
6 Penn 72, North Carolina 71 - Elite 8 - 1979
5 Duke 79, UNLV 77 - Final Four - 1991
4 Canisius 79, NC State 78 3OT - First Round - 1956
3 Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65 - Title Game - 1966
2 NC State 54, Houston 52 -Title Game - 1983
1 Villanova 66, Georgetown 64 - Title Game - 1985
Nobody gave Rollie Massamino and his boys from Philadelphia a chance versus the mighty Georgetown Hoyas. The John Thompson coached Hoyas were the defending National Champions, 30-2 on the season and appearing in their third national title game in four seasons. Throw in that Georgetown hammered Villanova in both of their regular season Big East confrontations and it seemed as if the Wildcats would have to play a perfect game to beat the top seeded Hoyas. Well, they nearly did play a perfect game. Villanova shot 78% from the floor, which included Gary McLain and Harold Jensen not missing a shot. The Wildcats slowed the game to a crawl, but were aggressive enough to get the Hoyas into foul trouble. Patrick Ewing. David Wingate, Michael Jackson and Horace Broadnax all had four fouls in the game, which curbed their aggressiveness dramatically. Villanova made 22 of their 27 free throws to make Georgetown pay and that was the difference in a nail biter of a ballgame.
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