What is the lowest-seed to win an NCAA men’s basketball title?

Take courage, potential Cinderella stories and staple breakers.

The odds are against you after the first weekend, but the story offers you a North Star, a small glimmer of hope that anything is possible. On April Fool’s Day 1985, Villanova became – and remains – the lowest-ranked eighth-place finisher to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship when he defeated Georgetown 66-64.

The Wildcats advanced to the Finals without reaching 60 points in any of their previous five tournament games, including losses to a No. 1 (Michigan), two No. 2s (North Carolina and Memphis), and a No. 5 (Maryland). As it turned out, his next chance was a two-point win over ninth-seeded Dayton in the opening round.

The win over then-dominant Hoyas side, led by Patrick Ewing, was described as a perfect game, despite Villanova turning the ball 17 times. Taking advantage of college basketball’s final year without a shot clock, the Wildcats attempted just 28 field goals, 22 of which they knocked down. Cinderella is not from the Wildcats, but no program has inspired more revised references to the term.

In the 64-team men’s tournament’s 36-year history, 23 top seeds have won the title, followed by five No.2s and four No.3s. In addition to the Wildcats’ championship, the remaining tournaments have been won by a #4 (Arizona 1997), a #6 (Kansas, 1988), and a #7 (Connecticut, 2014). No five seeds won anything.

Lowest seeding to reach the NCAA men’s finals in the era of 64-team tournaments? Four No. 8 seeds: the Wildcats in ’85, Butler in 2011, Kentucky in 2014 and North Carolina in 2022.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2023-03-17/march-madness-cinderellas-lowest-seed-win-ncaa-tournament-title What is the lowest-seed to win an NCAA men’s basketball title?

Emma Bowman

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