March Madness is all about Cinderellas, but rarely do they advance past the tournament’s first weekend. Everyone loved when No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee knocked off Michigan State in 2016, but the Blue Raiders lost their next game to Syracuse. So what is the lowest-seeded team ever to actually win whole tournament?
A total of three No. 11 seeds have ever advanced out of their region to the Final Four: LSU in 1986, George Mason in 2006 and VCU in 2011. All three lost in the semifinal game. The lowest-seeded team to go all the way and win the championship was the 1985 Villanova squad, a No. 8 seed.
The Wildcats beat top-seeded Georgetown that year in what is still considered one of the greatest upsets in March Madness history. The Hoyas entered the game favored by eight points but lost 66–64 to their Big East rivals.
Georgetown was led that season by Patrick Ewing, who was recently hired as the school’s newest head coach.