Magic In March: Lowest Seed to Win March Madness

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We have seen some wild runs in the NCAA tournament, but you might be asking yourself who was the lowest seed to win March Madness? You might still be buzzing from the excitement of the 2023 March Madness, but the 2024 tournament is now just a few weeks away. And while you probably have a team you are pulling for, deep down we are all secretly hoping for a Cinderella story to cut down the nets and win it all. March Madness is the pinnacle of collegiate hoops, a stage in which some of the greatest players and greatest coaches of all time cemented their legacies. The end of season tournament pits the 68 best basketball programs in the country against each other in single elimination style, resulting in bracket busters, wild comebacks and iconic game-winning buzzer beaters.

Although we've seen some insane Cinderella storylines, only a few of these underdogs have been able to go the distance. Over 60% of all national champions have been a #1 seed, and only 4% of all champions have been a #4 seed or lower. Remember, though there are 68 teams in the tournament (with 4 extra teams playing "play-in games" nowadays) teams can only be ranked as low as #16, as the 68 teams are split into four mini-brackets to start the tournament.

RELATED: What College Has The Most National Championships?

What was the lowest seed to make it to the Final Four?

A #11 seed has made their way to the Final Four on five separate occasions. Most recently in 2021, UCLA had a memorable March Madness run in which they lost to top seeded Gonzaga in the Final Four. Here are all of the 11-seed teams that made it to the Final Four:

  • LSU - 1986
  • George Mason - 2006
  • VCU - 2011
  • Loyola Chicago - 2018
  • UCLA - 2021

Who were the lowest seeds that made it to the Championship Game (but did not win)??

Four #8 seeds have made it to the Championship game, almost pulling off some of the biggest upsets as underdogs. Despite not quite finishing the job, they were fun to watch. Of those four 8-seed teams, only one of them went on to win the Championship. Here are the other three 8-seeds that made it all the way to the Championship game (but did not win):

  • Kentucky - 2014
  • Butler - 2011
  • UNC - 2022

Okay, but what about the lowest seeds that actually won March Madness? Keep reading to find out.

Who was the lowest seed to win March Madness?

5. University of Arizona - #4 seed

T-3. Kansas - #6 seed

T-3. NC State - #6 seed

2. UCONN - #7 seed

1. Villanova - #8 seed

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