March Madness

What Are the Lowest Seeds to Make the Final Four, Win NCAA Tournament?

All of the teams in this year's Final Four are seeded lower than No. 3

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Who could have seen this coming?

The Elite Eight of the 2023 men's NCAA Tournament wrapped up on Sunday, and zero top-three seeds were left standing.

No. 4 UConn, No. 5 Miami, No. 5 San Diego State and No. 9 Florida Atlantic have outlasted the likes of No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Kansas State and No. 3 Gonzaga to reach the third and final weekend of March Madness.

San Diego beats Creighton on a last-second free throw to make their first Final Four while Miami storms back in the second half over Texas to clinch a Final Four berth for the first time in school history.

UConn is not only the highest-seeded team headed to the Final Four, but the Huskies are also the only remaining program with any experience in the round. FAU, Miami and SDSU are all making their Final Four debut.

So, with all teams in this year's Final Four seeded lower than No. 3, here's a look at the lowest seeds to ever make the round and win the national title.

What's the lowest seed to make the Final Four?

Florida Atlantic is not the lowest seed to ever make a Final Four. That title is shared by five schools that made a Cinderella run to the Final Four as an 11-seed. It was first done by LSU in 1986 followed by George Mason in 2006, VCU in 2011, Loyola Chicago in 2018 and UCLA in 2021.

What's the lowest seed to win March Madness?

However, FAU could become the lowest-seeded team to hoist a national championship, as it's never been done by a 9-seed. The No. 8-seeded 1985 Villanova Wildcats are the lowest seed to ever win the NCAA Tournament.

Final Four appearances by seed

Here's a breakdown of all-time Final Four appearances by seed, including this year:

  • 1: 69
  • 2: 37
  • 3: 19
  • 4: 15
  • 5: 10
  • 6: 6
  • 7: 4
  • 8: 7
  • 9: 3
  • 10: 1
  • 11: 5
  • 12-16: 0

NCAA Tournament champions by seed

In addition to FAU, Miami and SDSU also have a shot history, as a 5-seed has never won the Big Dance. Here's a breakdown of tournament champs by seed:

  • 1: 26
  • 2: 7
  • 3: 5
  • 4: 1
  • 5: 0
  • 6: 2
  • 7: 1
  • 8: 1
  • 9-16: 0
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