Which school pulled off the biggest NCAA Tournament upset?

Leading Off: Upsets make NCAA tournament special

Published: Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2014 - 7:36 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Mar. 21, 2014 - 12:20 am

When the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicks off this morning – yes, there were games Tuesday and Wednesday, but they were play-in games – 64 teams will have a chance to win it all.

Here are six reasons for hope for even the lowest-seeded teams:

•  Villanova, 1985: The Wildcats, a No. 8 seed, made 22 of 28 shots (78.6 percent) and shocked No. 1 seed Georgetown and center Patrick Ewing 66-64 to win the title. It’s considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

•  Richmond, 1991: The Spiders became the first No. 15 seed to beat a No. 2 seed in a first-round game when they beat Syracuse 73-69.

•  Santa Clara, 1993: The unheralded Broncos, a No. 15 seed, pulled off the improbable, knocking off No. 2 Arizona 64-61. Arizona featured future NBA first-round selections Damon Stoudamire, Khalid Reeves and Chris Mills.

•  North Carolina State, 1983: No one gave the No. 6 Wolfpack much of a chance against No. 1 seed Houston, led by Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. But no one will forget Lorenzo Charles’ dunk of Dereck Whittenburg’s air ball from 30 feet to give the Wolfpack a 54-52 victory.

•  Princeton, 1996: Pete Carril, in his final season as coach, led 13th-seeded Princeton to a 43-41 shocker over defending champion UCLA, a No. 4 seed, on a last-second layup on a backdoor cut (of course).

•  Duke, 1991: The Blue Devils, a No. 2 seed, weren’t given much of a chance against No. 1 seed UNLV in the national semifinals after the Runnin’ Rebels had beaten them by 30 points to win the 1990 title. But Duke ended UNLV’s 45-game winning streak with a 79-77 victory before beating Kansas two nights later.

– Tom Couzens


Today’s poll

Which school pulled

off the biggest NCAA Tournament upset?

• Villanova, 1985

• Richmond, 1991

• Santa Clara, 1993

• N.C. State, 1983

• Princeton, 1996

• Duke, 1991

• Other

Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday’s results

Do Cal Poly and Texas Southern belong in NCAA Tournament?

• Yes, they won conference tournaments: 68%

• No, more deserving teams left out: 32%

Total votes: 92

Read more articles by Tom Couzens

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