The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament features 64 teams, which are seeded from 1 to 16 in each quarter of the bracket. The tournament is famous for unpredictable results – early-round upsets are often as memorable as championship runs.
For teams awarded a 13 seed, winning a single game in the tournament is enough to draw national attention. Only 31 teams have entered the tournament as 13 seeds and won in the opening round since 1985 – most recently including Ohio and North Texas, who both pulled off the upset in 2021 against Virginia and Purdue, respectively. Only four other tournaments (1987, 2001, 2008, 2018) saw multiple 13 seeds successfully advance in the bracket.
However, only six 13 seeds have managed to win multiple games in the tournament. La Salle won two games as a 13 seed in 2013 and remains the most recent team to have done so. None of those teams managed to win a third game.
Although no 13 seed has advanced to the Elite 8 – much less won the tournament – it’s a group that architects first-round upsets on a relatively consistent basis. Don’t be surprised if a 13 seed sends home a supposed contender early in March.