Upsets are the lifeblood of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. We can remember the great players, the great shots, the great games, but it’s the memories of those shocking, bracket-shredding upsets that live on most vividly when we think about the tournament.
George Mason going to the Final Four in 2006. Florida Gulf Coast turning the tournament into “Dunk City” in 2013. UMBC becoming the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in 2018. Even last year, when No. 15 Oral Roberts made it to the Sweet 16, and No. 12 Oregon State advanced to the Elite Eight — the tournament is built upon crazy upsets.
And you know there will be plenty more upsets occurring this year.
This article will track all of the upsets throughout the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
- No. 11 Michigan 75, No. 6 Colorado State 63: The Wolverines were technically a one-point favorite heading in but were an underdog from a seeding perspective. UM fell behind in the first half but completely flipped the scrip to advance to the second-round.
- No. 9 Memphis 64, No. 8 Boise State 53: The Tigers came out strong in this one and advanced to the second round of the West region. Holding a 38-19 lead at halftime, they let their foot off the gas a bit and allowed the Broncos to pull to with two scores at one point. However, they got it together down the stretch and pulled away for the 11-point win.
- No. 12 Richmond 67, No. 5 Iowa 63: The Spiders shouldn’t have even been in the tournament and instead, they make it to the second round with a win over the Hawkeyes on Thursday afternoon. Richmond will face Providence, the 4-seed, in the second round.
- No. 12 New Mexico State 70, No. 5 UConn 63: We have our second 12-5 upset of the day with the Aggies of New Mexico State knocking off the Huskies of UConn. NMSU held a 10-point lead at halftime and withstood a second-half surge by the Huskies to advance to the second round on Thursday. Teddy Allen dropped 37 points for New Mexico State.
- No. 15 Saint Peter’s 85, No. 2 Kentucky 79 (OT): This goes down as a top-five stunner in the history of the tournament since it expanded to 64 teams in the mid-80’s. Daryl Banks III will rarely have to buy a beverage in Jersey City, NJ ever again after 27 points including 5-8 from three-point range. The Peacocks held the longer and more athletic Wildcats to just 4-15 from downtown, while staying close on the glass at 36-35. This will be one of the indelible moments of this tournament, and the future of John Calipari at Kentucky might actually be in jeopardy after this stunning result.
- No. 9 Creighton 72, No. 8 San Diego State 69: The Blue Jays were down nine points with 2:30 remaining, but mounted a furious comeback and shut out the Aztecs the rest of the way to force overtime. And in the extra session they went 6-6 from the free throw line for the win. Five Creighton players finished in double digits, including a team-high 18 from Trey Alexander.
- No. 10 Miami 68, No. 7 USC 66: The first upset of the Friday slate came in the Midwest region with the Hurricanes surviving a battle against USC. “Da U” held onto the a 13-point lead at one point in the matchup, only for USC to storm back at the start of the second half and turn this into a dogfight. A pair of clutch Charlie Moore free throws put the ‘Canes up by two with three seconds left and a potential buzzer-beater USC’s Drew Peterson clanged off the rim.
- No. 11 Notre Dame 78, No. 6 Alabama 64: On Wednesday, the Fighting Irish played 50 minutes of back-and-forth basketball. prevailed over Rutgers in double overtime and then took a flight from Dayton, Ohio to San Diego to face an up-tempo Alabama squad fewer than 48 hours later. Tired legs? Not one bit. Notre Dame pulled away from the Crimson Tide in the second half on Friday. The critical juncture was a five-minute stretch in which the Irish held Alabama scoreless and gained a 10-point lead. They would never lead by fewer than eight points over the closing 10 minutes. Senior guard Cormac Ryan hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points in the triumph.
- No. 11 Iowa State 59, No. 6 LSU 54: The Tigers were without a head coach due to the firing of Will Wade after the SEC Tournament, but don’t let that take away from a tremendous performance by the Cyclones. Tyrese Hunter had 23 points on just 13 shots, and ISU held the Tigers to just 4-19 from three-point range.
- No. 8 North Carolina 93, No. 1 Baylor 86: We have out first No. 1 seed going down as the Tar Heels sent the defending national champions home with a second round loss. Up by 25 at one point, things got dicey for UNC down the stretch as Baylor frantically stormed back into the contest to tie the record for largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history. They ultimately forced overtime and the Tar Heels were finally able to shut the door to advance to next weekend.
- No. 11 Michigan 76, No. 3 Tennessee 68: We have an 11-seed going to the Sweet 16 with the Wolverines taking down Volunteers. Michigan hung tough and just like in the first round, it established control in the second half. They’ll await the winner of Ohio State-Villanova in San Antonio next week.
- No. 15 Saint Peter’s 70, No. 7 Murray State 60: The magical run for the Peacocks will continue on for another week as they took down the Racers by 10 in a game where they never trailed. Saint Peter’s becomes just the third 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded to 64 in 1985.
- No. 5 Houston 68, No. 4 Illinois 53: This was a technical upset just by raw seeding but the Cougars entered the game as the favorite and played like it all throughout Sunday’s matchup. Houston has now advanced to its third straight Sweet 16.
- No. 11 Iowa State 54, No. 3 Wisconsin 49: The dramatic turnaround season for the Cyclones continues as they went into Milwaukee and won a de-facto road game against the Badgers. ISU held Wisconsin to just 29.8% shooting in yet another defensive masterclass.
- No. 10 Miami 79, No. 2 Auburn 61: Miami punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 and sent the SEC regular season champions home with an 18-point blowout victory. The Hurricanes put a lid on the basket defensively, holding the Tigers to just 30.4% shooting for the evening.
- No. 4 Arkansas 74, No. 1 Gonzaga 68: We fire right out of the gate in the Sweet 16 with the top seed in the entire tournament going down in San Francisco. JD Notae and the Hogs didn’t back down and gained the upperhand in the second half. The Razorbacks were able to get Bulldogs center Chet Holmgren into foul trouble and forced him to foul out with under four minutes left in the ballgame. That allowed them to hang on for the win.
- No. 5 Houston 72, No. 1 Arizona 60: The No. 1 seed in the South region has gone down too as the Cougars took out the Wildcats. Playing in front of a partisan crowd in San Antonio, Houston had an answer for every comeback attempt by Arizona. Kyler Edwards buried a clutch three to put them up by nine late.
- No. 15 Saint Peter’s 67, No. 3 Purdue 64: Saint Peter’s miraculously continued its Cinderella run on Friday, surviving a teeter-totter affair with Purdue for a three-point victory. The Peacocks are now the first 15-seed in NCAA Tournament history to advance to the Elite Eight.
- No. 8 North Carolina 73, No. 4 UCLA 66: This was a tight game late and the Tar Heels ultimately sent the Bruins home packing to move on. Caleb Love dropped 30 points in the win and he buried a pair of clutch threes to put UNC on top.