March Madness Number 1 Seeds: The Most Disappointing Ones

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: The Most Dissapointing Ones

During the NCAA Tournament, everyone loves underdogs, especially when they beat March Madness Number 1 Seeds. It happens more often than we think that top seeds lose in the first or second round, but only twice has a No. 16 seed shocked a No. 1, including 16 FDU defeating number 1 Purdue this year and UMBC defeating Virginia in 2018.

Here are some of the worst performances by No. 1 seeds in the history of the NCAA Tournament. These teams were either overrated or didn’t do as well as they should have. In order of when they happened.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: North Carolina (1979)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: North Carolina (1979)

Dean Smith had a lot of great teams at North Carolina. His teams won two national titles and went to the Final Four a total of 11 times. During the 1978-79 season, Smith’s Tar Heels were the first team to be seeded in the NCAA Tournament. They had a record of 23-5 and were given the No. 1 seed. But after getting a bye in the first round, Carolina lost 72-71 to a new team called Penn. Penn made it to the Final Four, where it lost to Michigan State, the eventual winner. Anthony Price and the Quakers were able to shoot 51.8 percent of the time against the Tar Heels.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: DePaul (1980)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: DePaul (1980)

After making it to the Final Four in 1979 with a team that was mostly young, the DePaul program looked like it had a bright future. In the early 1980s, the NCAA Tournament was more like a nightmare for legendary coach Ray Meyer and his Blue Demons. In the 1979–80 season, DePaul won its first 25 games before losing to Notre Dame in late February. When it was time for the NCAA Tournament, the top-seeded Blue Demons, which included future NBA stars Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings, shot only 40.5% and lost their first game, 77-71, to UCLA. Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings played for the Blue Demons, and they were both future NBA stars.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: DePaul (1981)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: DePaul (1981) 

Yes, it’s the Blue Demons once more. With a record of 27-1, DePaul was the best team in the country going into the 1981 tournament. Saint Joseph’s, which was the ninth seed and had to beat the eighth seed by one point in the first round to stay alive, was up next. DePaul shot 51.2 percent against the Hawks, but Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings only scored 14 points between them. The Hawks, meanwhile, shot 56.1 percent and won a shocking 49-48 game with a layup by John Smith with two seconds left.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: Oregon State (1981)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: Oregon State (1981)

At the 1981 NCAA Tournament, DePaul was not the only No. 1 seed to lose in its first game. Other No. 1 seeds also lost on the same day. The “Orange Express” teams at Oregon State in the early 1980s were pretty great, but their trips to the NCAA Tournament were taken away because of rules violations. This 1980–1981 team got the top seed, but like DePaul, a late shot shocked them. With two seconds left in the game, Rolando Blackman made a jump shot to break a tie and give Kansas State a 50-48 win over the Beavers. At that point, Kansas State was 11 points behind.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: DePaul (1982)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: DePaul (1982) 

This is the last time we’ll talk about how DePaul has never won a tournament as the top seed. Before the 1982 tournament, the Blue Demons were 26-1 and had won 21 straight games. Terry Cummings had 20 points and 17 rebounds for DePaul, but the favorites had no real defensive answer for a Boston College team that shot 53.7 percent and went to the free throw line a whopping 42 times to beat them 82-75 in the second round. Five Blue Demons had to leave this game because of fouls.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: Michigan (1985)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: Michigan (1985) 

Roy Tarpley, Gary Grant, and Antoine Joubert, who all played for Michigan in 1984-1985, were all very good. The Wolverines were the champions of the Big Ten and the second-best team in the country. But when the NCAA Tournament came around, Michigan, which was the top seed, couldn’t find its form. In the first round of the tournament, Coach Bill Frieder’s Wolverines barely beat Farleigh Dickinson. In the second round, they were upset by Cinderella team and eventual national champion Villanova, even though they shot 51% and won 59-55.

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: St. John’s (1986)

March Madness Number 1 Seeds: St. John’s (1986)

This Lou Carnesecca team won 31 games, won the Big East championship, and was about to make it to the Final Four for the second year in a row. That didn’t happen, which was bad for St. John’s. In the first game of its tournament, St. John’s shot 57.4% and beat Montana by just nine points. In the second game, however, eighth-seeded Auburn beat them 81-65. To beat St. John’s, the Tigers shot 53.0 percent, had a huge 38-22 advantage on the boards, and forced 16 turnovers.

100% CRYPTO BONUS - YouWager Sportsbook Bonus

Oklahoma (1990)

This Oklahoma team, led by Skeeter Henry, won its first 12 games and ended up getting the school’s third No. 1 seed in a row. This group did not make it past the second round of the NCAA Tournament, unlike the two teams before them. Now, these Sooners had every right to be the No. 1 seed, even though they had lost four games before the event. But Billy Tubbs’ team only beat Towson State by nine points in the first round. In the round of 32, they lost to Rick Fox and North Carolina by two points.

Michigan State (1990)

Another from the tournament in 1990. In defense of the Spartans, they did make it to the Sweet 16, but it wasn’t easy. In the first round, they had to play extra time to beat Murray State. Then, they barely beat the No. 9 seed, UC Santa Barbara, 62-58. In the regional semifinals, Michigan State’s luck finally ran out. It lost to Georgia Tech, the fourth seed, 81-80 in double overtime, and Georgia Tech went on to the Final Four.

Kansas (1992)

Before winning the conference tournament, the Jayhawks won the Big Eight title, but they also lost three of their last nine games during the regular season. That gave Kansas a lot of momentum as the No. 1 seed, and they started the tournament by beating Howard 100-67. But the fun came to an end when Kansas shot only 42.6% and couldn’t get past No. 9 seed UTEP in the second round. They lost 66-60 in one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.

North Carolina (1994)

Before the 1994 Big Dance, Carolina had lost six times. But Rasheed Wallace, Eric Montrose, and the rest of the team should have been good enough to stay in the tournament for a while. The Tar Heels, on the other hand, only made it to the second round. That’s when No. 9 seed Boston College beat North Carolina 75-72 in a bad game in which neither team shot better than 40% and the favorite gave the ball away 14 times, leading to an early exit.

Purdue (1996)

The Boilermakers had won 11 straight games before losing their last game of the season at Iowa. Maybe that was a sign of what the NCAA Tournament would be like. The West Region’s top seed, Purdue, barely beat Western Carolina, 73-71, to start the tournament. In the second round, Coach Gene Keady’s Boilers didn’t have as much luck. No. 8 seed Georgia shot almost 49 percent and had a 13-point lead at halftime of a 76-69 upset.

Arizona (2000)

Two teams from the Pac-12 Conference did not do well in the NCAA Tournament in 2000. Let’s begin with co-league champion Arizona. Even though Gilbert Arenas, Michael Wright, and the Wildcats split their last four games of the regular season and had six losses going into the NCAA Tournament, they were given the No. 1 seed. They only made it to the second round, where they lost to Wisconsin, the eighth seed, 66–59.

Stanford (2000)

The Cardinal were the only other Pac-12 (then called Pac-10) No. 1 seed to fail in the Big Dance in 2000. Stanford was 25-1 when it lost back-to-back games to UCLA and Arizona. It then won its last game of the regular season to end the season on a high note. Casey Jacobsen, Mark Madsen, and the Cardinal won their first tournament game by 19 points. In the second round, they lost to North Carolina, which had 13 losses going into the tournament but made it to the Final Four, 60-53.

Kentucky (2004)

In defense of these Wildcats, during this tournament, only one No. 1 seed made it to the Final Four. The Wildcats didn’t have a star player and had already lost five games before the tournament. They beat Florida A&M by 20 points in their first game. Then, in the second round, the No. 9 seed UAB beat them. Kentucky made 16 turnovers and couldn’t make up for a nine-point deficit at halftime, so they lost.

Kansas (2010)

The Jayhawks went into the 2010 NCAA Tournament with a 32-2 record and the overall No. 1 seed. Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich led the team. They are on this list because they didn’t last past the first weekend. Kansas did a good job of beating Lehigh in the first game of the tournament, but then they were involved in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Big Dance. In the second round, ninth-seeded Northern Iowa beat Kansas 69-67 thanks to a shot by Ali Farokhmanesh in the last minute. It was the first time a No. 1 seed had lost in the round of 32 in six years.

Pittsburgh (2011)

Pitt got the top seed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, even though they lost five games. That also happened after they lost their first game of the Big East tournament to upstart Connecticut, who went on to win the national title. The Panthers beat UNC Asheville in their first game of the Big Dance, but Butler, another underdog team on a roll, beat them 71-70 in their second game. Since then, Pitt has gone 1-3 in NCAA Tournament games.

Gonzaga (2013)

Gonzaga hasn’t always done as well as it could have during the NCAA Tournament. Maybe the 2013 tournament more than any other. Even though the Zags had a 31-2 record, many college basketball experts didn’t think they should be the top seed because they had lost to two ranked teams during the regular season. Those who said these things were right. Gonzaga had a hard time beating Southern University 64-58 in its first game. Then, in the Round of 32, Gonzaga shot 35.6 percent and turned the ball over 13 times while losing to Wichita State 76-70.

Xavier (2018)

College basketball fans know about that huge upset of a No. 1 seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament (we’ll get there), but there was another one in the same event. But not nearly as interesting. Even though they didn’t win the Big East tournament, Xavier got the No. 1 seed with a record of 29-5. The Musketeers beat Texas Southern easily in the first round, but Florida State’s bench beat them in the second round, and they lost 75-70. A result that didn’t really surprise anyone.

Virginia (2018)

It wouldn’t be fair to say that Virginia didn’t deserve to be the top seed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. The Cavaliers won 31 games and gave up 54 points per game, but the University of Maryland, Baltimore County was like a “buzzsaw” in the first round (UMBC). The Retrievers shot a ridiculous 54.2 percent and made 12 3-pointers to beat Virginia 74-54 and become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1. The silver lining for Virginia, obviously, was that it won the national title the next season.

Thank you for checking out our article on the most disappointing March Madness Number 1 Seeds, we wish you the best of luck with your action on your NCAA Tournament bets!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *