The 2022 NCAA tournament has been filled with upsets with millions of brackets seeing red throughout the first three days. The latest upset bid we’re seeing is the opener of Day 3 of the tournament, No. 8 UNC taking on No. 1 Baylor. The Tar Heels entered this tournament super hot and have kept that momentum going on their way to an upset victory over the defending champion Bears on Saturday. We don’t often see the No. 1 seed get upset in the second round, though it isn’t an impossible occurrence.
Update — UNC was able to hold on to beat Baylor in OT and will advance to the Sweet 16. Baylor tied the biggest comeback in tourney history down 25 to force OT.
When is the last time a No. 8/9 seed beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament? Let’s take a look.
History of No. 1 vs. No. 8/9 seed in March Madness
The last time a No. 9 seed beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament was back in 2018 when Florida State knocked off the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers in the second round. If we want to go more recently, in last year’s tourney the No. 8 seed Loyola-Chicago and Sister Jean knocked off Ayo Dosunmu and the top-seeded Illinois in the second round. So we have seen the top seed go down early in the tournament in recent years.
Florida State would go on to make the Elite Eight back in 2018. That was also the same year UVA lost to the 16-seed UMBC in the first round. If UNC can keep this up, their chances of making a deeper run in the tournament feels likely. If the Tar Heels hold on against Baylor, they’ll face either St. Mary’s or UCLA in the Sweet 16 next week.