March Madness seeds play a large role in the NCAA Tournament as they are crucial to the construction of the bracket.
The Tournament earned the “March Madness” title thanks to its unpredictable nature. There has perhaps been no seed more unpredictable in the history of the Tournament than 8 seeds.
Placed squarely in the middle of their respective regions 8 seeds face the tough task of facing a similar quality opponent in the opening round with a win setting up a date with the 1 seed in the Round of 32.
Since the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, only one 8 seed has ever cut down the nets, and it came in that first 1985 season. That year, the Villanova Wildcats successfully run the table as an 8 seed to win the championship. To this date, they are the lowest-seeded team to ever win it all.
Three 8 seeds have made it to the championship game, including another Villanova team and the North Carolina Tarheels in 2022 who fell to top-seeded Kansas.
Only five 8 seeds have ever made the Final Four.
8 seeds are hardly a lock to get past the first round, let alone make a run. The record since 1985 between 8 seeds and 9 seeds in the first round is 72-76.
With the range they’ve shown over the history of the tournament – from winning it all to their losing record in the first round – 8 seeds are among the biggest wildcards the Tournament has to offer.