March Madness is exciting for fans. Every year, 68 teams compete in a single-elimination tournament to see who will be crowned the NCAA champion. While there have been many great moments throughout the tournament’s history, some of the most memorable moments have been upsets. Here are some of the most significant losses in March Madness history.
Villanova over Georgetown
In 1985, the heavily favored Georgetown Hoyas faced off against the Villanova Wildcats in the National Championship game. The Hoyas were led by future NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, while Villanova was a #8 seed that had barely made it into the tournament. Despite being massive underdogs, Villanova pulled off the upset and won the game 66-64. The Wildcats shot an incredible 79% from the field in the game and played flawless basketball to secure the victory.
George Mason over UConn
In 2006, the George Mason Patriots made an improbable run to the Final Four. In the Elite Eight, they faced off against the UConn Huskies, the defending national champions and one of the most dominant teams in America. However, George Mason overcame the challenge and pulled off the upset, winning 86-84 in overtime. The Patriots became the first Colonial Athletic Association team to make it to the Final Four.
UMBC over Virginia
The UMBC Retrievers made history in 2018 when they became the first #16 seed to defeat a #1 seed in the tournament. They did it convincingly, beating the Virginia Cavaliers 74-54. Virginia had been the top-ranked team in the country for much of the season and was heavily favored to win the game. However, UMBC played a near-perfect game, shooting 54% from the field and forcing Virginia into nine turnovers.
NC State over Houston
In 1983, the NC State Wolfpack faced off against the Houston Cougars in the National Championship game. Houston was led by future NBA Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler and was heavily favored to win the game. However, NC State played with incredible heart and determination, pulling off the upset and winning the game 54-52 on a last-second dunk by Lorenzo Charles. It remains an iconic moment in March Madness history.
Lehigh over Duke
In 2012, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks faced off against the Duke Blue Devils in the Round of 64. Duke was a perennial powerhouse and a #2 seed in the tournament, while Lehigh was a #15 seed making their first-ever appearance. However, Lehigh shocked the world and pulled off the upset, winning the game 75-70. C.J. McCollum led the way for the Mountain Hawks, scoring 30 points.