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History of 3 vs. 14 seeds in the NCAA Tournament

We go over how often the 14-seed has upset the 3-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Texas Longhorns guard Andrew Jones (1) drives to the basket again Abilene Christian Wildcats guard Reggie Miller (10) during the second half in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

We all love upsets in the NCAA Tournament, but how often do they actually happen? Below we take a look at the history of the 3 vs 14 seed matchup.

History of 3 vs. 14 seed matchup in NCAA Tournament

According to NCAA.com, since the NCAA Tournament field expanded back in 1985, the 14 seed is 22-122 against the 3-seed. Since the 2014 NCAA Tournament, we have seen five 14 seeds pull off the upset. Most recently in last season’s tournament, Abilene Christian beat Texas 53-52.

A big 14-over-3 seed upset that stands out was Georgia State over Baylor in 2015, when RJ Hunter hit the game-winning three at the buzzer to give the Panthers the win. Most people remember it as Ron Hunter falling out of his chair watching his son hit the game-winning shot.

Here are the 3-14 matchups in the 2022 NCAA Tournament:

West: No. 3 Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Montana State
South: No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Longwood
East: No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Yale
Midwest: No. 3 Wisconsin vs. No. 14 Colgate

As referenced above, only five 3-seeds have lost in the first round of the tournament since 2014. That seems like a pretty high number for an 8-year span, and certainly there won’t be any favorites amongst this group.

If one was to pull the trick off, it might be the Colgate Raiders who are a 7.5-point underdog to the Wisconsin Badgers. They’re the only single-digit dog amongst this group, and have a senior-laden team that played in the NCAA Tournament last season.