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History of 2 vs. 15 seeds in the NCAA Tournament

We go over how often the 15-seed has upset the 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament.

UCLA Bruins guard Amari Bailey (5) reacts after a scoring play against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at T-Mobile Arena. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 15 over No. 2 seed upset is a rarity, but it happens on occasion. It’s probably wise to stay away from picking this significant of an upset but if you can connect on one of these predictions just once in your lifetime, you may be looked at as the March Madness genius.

History of 2 vs. 15 seed matchup in NCAA Tournament

While the likelihood of a No. 15 seed advancing into the second round is rare, it has happened two years in a row. the Ohio State Buckeyes were knocked off by Oral Roberts in 2021, and last year’s Kentucky Wildcats were stunned by Saint Peter’s.

Ten 15 seeds advanced past the first round with a 6.3 winning percentage against No. 2 seeds. A 15 seed made it through the opening weekend into the Sweet 16 twice, with Florida Gulf Coast in 2013 and Oral Roberts in 2021.

Here are the 2-15 matchups in the 2023 NCAA Tournament:

West: No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville
South: No. 2 Arizona vs. No. 15 Princeton
East: No. 2 Marquette vs. No. 15 Vermont
Midwest: No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Colgate

The deck is stacked against the 15 seeds. Each game has a double-digit point spread. Technically, Vermont has the best chance in their matchup against Marquette as they are only an 11-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook. While we all love seeing huge upsets in the first round, it is going to be a tough year for 15 seeds.