Has a No. 16 Seed Ever Beaten a No. 1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament?

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UMBC players celebrate a teammate's basket during the second half against Virginia i a first-round game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
BetMGM @BETMGM Mar 17, 2023, 9:15 PM

A No. 16 seed has beaten a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament twice: UMBC defeated Virginia in 2018, and Fairleigh Dickinson defeated Purdue in 2023.

FDU-over-Purdue is the biggest March Madness betting upset of all time (by spread); the Knights were a 23-point underdog.

Close No. 16 Seed Upsets

While UMBC and FDU are the only 16-seeds to win, there have been other close calls in the tournament’s history.

Twice, a No. 16 seed has fallen to a No. 1 seed by a single point. Ironically, both occurred in the 1989 tournament.

No. 1 Georgetown beat No. 16 Princeton, 50-49, and then Oklahoma rallied from 17 points down to beat East Tennessee State, 72-71.

Because there’s only been one 16-over-1 upset in tournament history, 2018 UMBC is the farthest a 16-seed has gone in March Madness.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.