March Madness Madness: The Biggest Upsets in NCAA Men’s Basketball History


The NCAA men’s basketball tournament, known as March Madness, is one of the world’s most exciting and unpredictable sporting events. Every year, 68 teams compete in a single-elimination tournament hoping to be crowned national champions. And while the top-ranked teams are often considered the favourites, March Madness is notorious for its upsets. 

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament, or March Madness, is a thrilling sporting event and a major opportunity for march madness betting fans. The top-ranked teams are often considered the favorites to win, but every year, the tournament produces unexpected upsets that surprise fans and bettors alike. 

In this blog post, we’ll look at three of the biggest March Madness upsets of all time and explore the stories behind these remarkable achievements. Whether you’re a die-hard college basketball fan or just love a good underdog story, these upsets will inspire and entertain.


No. 2 Mizzou is defeated by No. 15 Norfolk State 2012

In 2012, the No. 15 seed Norfolk State shocked the college basketball world by defeating the heavily favored No. 2 seed Missouri. Despite being the underdogs with odds of +1650, Norfolk State won the game 86-84, with Kyle O’Quinn’s crucial And-one play securing the victory. 

A $1000 bet on Norfolk State would have resulted in a whopping $17,500 payout. Many experts predicted Missouri would make it to the Final Four including President Obama, but Norfolk State proved them all wrong with this stunning upset. 

The game was tied 81-81 with only 34 seconds left to play before O’Quinn’s play put the Spartans ahead, and Missouri’s last-second three-pointer missed the rim, sealing the upset win for Norfolk State.


No. 16 UMBC beats No. 1 Virginia 2018

By upsetting the No. 1 seed Virginia in 2018, the No. 16 seed UMBC pulled off one of the biggest upsets in March Madness history. Despite being underdogs with odds of +2500, a $1000 bet on UMBC would have resulted in an impressive $26,000 payout. 

Although the game was closely contested in the first half, Virginia, who had the best scoring defense in the NCAA at 53.4 points per game, uncharacteristically gave up 53 points in the second half, leading to a surprising and decisive upset victory for UMBC.


No. 15 Santa Clara vs No. 2 Arizona 1993

If someone had placed a $1000 bet on Santa Clara at odds of +1500 / 16, they would have won an impressive $16,000. In the game, the Steve Nash-led Santa Clara Broncos started strong with a 33-21 lead in the first half. However, future NBA players Damian Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves, and Chris Mills led a 14-0 run that gave Arizona a 35-33 lead at halftime. 

Arizona continued its momentum in the second half, starting with an 11-0 run and taking a 46-33 lead with 15 minutes remaining. However, when Chris Mills was benched with four fouls, Santa Clara seized the opportunity to mount an improbable comeback. Arizona went 15 minutes without scoring a field goal, and although Mills hit a three-pointer with 8.4 seconds left, it was not enough to prevent Santa Clara from pulling off the historic upset win.

March Madness is undoubtedly one of the most thrilling sporting events in the world, with the potential for incredible upsets that can surprise even the most knowledgeable college basketball experts.

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