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How many 5 vs. 12 upsets have there been in the NCAA Tournament | Richmond vs Iowa

The Richmond Spiders are the first twelve seed to upset a five seed in this year's Tournament. By now we shouldn't be surprised by a 12 beating 5.

The Richmond Spiders are the first twelve seed to upset a five seed in this year's Tournament. By now we shouldn't be surprised by a 12 beating 5.

The NCAA tournament has given us our first major upset as the twelve seed Richmond Spiders have defeated the five seed Iowa Hawkeyes in the first round of the Big Dance.

 Richmond rocks Iowa

Richmond beat Iowa 67-63 after for a fantasic from Jacob Gilyard who scored 24 and Nathan Cayo's clutch buckets in the final minutes. Then New Mexico St., lead by a heroic Teddy Allen and his 37 points, took down Connecticut 70-63 to ignite this tournament.

This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Take nothing away from New Mexico St. or Richmond, but a five seed going down to a twelve seed is no new thing when it comes to the Madness of March.

Over the last four decades there have been a total of 53 upsets of 12 seeds beating 5 seeds, and there have only been five tournaments in the last forty years that all four 5 seeds have beat the 12 seeds. The first one came in 1988, and didn’t happen again until 2000. Since the turn of the millennium it the five seeds held serve just three times, in 2007, 2015 and 2018.

Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams there have been a total of 165 matchups between 5 and 12 seeds. The underdog has won a total of 52 of those games with Richmond being the most recent and Kentucky’s defeat over Washington in the 1985 tournament being the first.

List of all 12 seed winners of the first round matchups

1985 Kentucky def. Washington 66-58

1986 DePaul def. Virginia 72-68

1987 Wyoming def. Virginia 64-60

1989 DePaul def. Memphis State 66-63

1990 Dayton def. Illinois 88-86

1990 Ball State def. Oregon State 54-53

1991 Eastern Michigan def. Mississippi State 76-56

1992 New Mexico State def. DePaul 81-73

1993 George Washington def. New Mexico 82-68

1994 UW-Green Bay def. California 61-57

1994 Tulsa def. UCLA 112-102

1995 Miami (Ohio) def. Arizona 71-62

1996 Drexel def. Memphis 75-63

1996 Arkansas def. Penn State 86-80

1997 College of Charleston def. Maryland 75-66

1998 Florida State def. TCU 96-87

1999 Detroit def. UCLA 56-53

1999 Missouri State def. TCU 96-87

2001 Utah State def. Ohio State 77-68 (OT)

2001 Gonzaga def. Virginia 86-85

2002 Tulsa def. Marquette 71-69

2002 Missouri def. Miami (Fla.) 93-80

2002 Creighton def. Florida 83-82 (2OT)

2003 Butler def. Mississippi State 47-46

2004 Pacific def. Providence 66-58

2005 Milwaukee def. Alabama 83-73

2006 Montana def. Nevada 87-79

2006 Texas A&M def. Syracuse 66-58

2008 Villanova def. Clemson 75-69

2008 Western Kentucky def. Drake 101-99 (OT)

2009 Wisconsin def. Florida State 61-59 (OT)

2009 Arizona def. Utah 84-71

2009 Western Kentucky def. Illinois 76-72

2010 Cornell def. Temple 78-65

2011 Richmond def. Vanderbilt 69-66

2012 South Florida def. Temple 58-44

2012 VCU def. Wichita State 62-59

2013 Ole Miss def. Wisconsin 57-46

2013 California def. UNLV 64-61

2013 Oregon def. Oklahoma State 68-55

2014 Harvard def. Cincinnati 61-57

2014 North Dakota State def. Oklahoma 80-75 (OT)

2014 Stephen F. Austin def. VCU 77-75 (OT)

2016 Little Rock def. Purdue 85-83 (2OT)

2016 Yale def. Baylor 79-75

2017 Middle Tennessee def. Minnesota 81-72

2019 Oregon def. Wisconsin 72-54

2019 Liberty def. Mississippi State 80-76

2019 Murray State def. Marquette 83-64

2021 Oregon State def. Tennessee 70-56

2022 Richmond def. Iowa 67-63

In other March Madness news

2022 New Mexico St. def UConn

While the 12 seed always seems to make noise in the first round of the tournament, less than half of those teams made it to the Sweet 16, and none have made to the Final Four.

A total of 21 teams seeded at 12 have made past the first weekend and into the Sweet 16, and only one of them, the Missouri Tigers in 2002, have made it to the Elite Eight.

This year we already have two teams on to the next round and the University of Alabama Birmingham will look to pull off the victory against the Houston Cougars later tonight.


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