This is why we watch.
The Madness received its nickname from the craziness that surrounds the NCAA tournament. While millions of confident fans predict brackets, there are almost always multiple cross-outs and red “Xs” by the tournament’s end (and usually well before). These are due to the numerous upsets that occur in the tournament each year. Underdogs beat favorites and even become “Cinderella” stories on some occasions, making for some of the most memorable sports moments of all time.
In honor of this year’s tournament and the surprises we are on the verge of surely witnessing–starting in the VERY FIRST GAME with Ohio State losing to Dayton–below are the top ten upsets in tournament history.
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10. 2012: (15) Norfolk St. vs. (2) Missouri
“We messed up some brackets!” Those words were proudly said by Kyle O’Quinn, forward of the Norfolk State basketball team following their monumental upset over Missouri. The Spartans shocked the basketball world, defeating the two-seeded Tigers, whom many predicted to advance to the Final Four.
9. 1997: (15) Coppin St. vs. (2) South Carolina
The Eagles entered the 1997 NCAA tournament as 30-plus point underdogs against the Gamecocks, but pulled off the miraculous victory behind Danny Singletary‘s 22 points. It was the first tournament win in Coppin State’s history.
8. 2006: (11) George Mason vs. (1) Connecticut
Led by legendary head coach Jim Calhoun, the Huskies brought an impressive 27-3 record into the tournament and were among the favorites to win it all. Yet the Patriots overcame the obstacles and became the second double-digit seed and the first mid-major team to ever advance to the Final Four.