It’s no secret that when it comes to filling out your NCAA Tournament bracket that you need to be have some upsets early on.  But, rarely do we see a low seed make it past the Final 4.

I know the No. 8 seed Kentucky Wildcats advanced to the 2014 championship game.  But, it marked only the third time in the modern era (since 1985) that a No. 8 seed reached the title game.

Kentucky would go on to lose to No. 7 seed Connecticut (60-54) in the championship, but just making the final game as a No. 8 seed is an accomplishment in itself.  No team seeded worse than a No. 8 seed has ever made it past the Final Four.

The very first year the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, the No. 8 seed Villanova Wildcats not only made the title game, they defeated No. 1 seed Georgetown to win the tournament. Villanova is the only No. 8 seed to win it all.

The 2011 NCAA tourney also saw an improbable run by a No. 8 seed with Butler reaching the National Title game.  Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were bested by No. 3 seed Connecticut, 53-51.

Beyond the 1985 Villanova team, there have been few teams outside of the top three seeds to win the championship.  UConn in 2014 is the second-lowest seed to take home the trophy as a No. 7 seed, while Kansas won as a No. 6 seed in 1988 and Arizona won it all in 1997 as a No. 4 seed.  Outside of those teams, no team seeded higher than No. 3 has won the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Here is a complete list of teams seeded higher than No. 3 to appear in the title game, along with their results.

NCAA Tournament Championship Game Teams Seeded Higher than No. 3 (1985-Present)

YearSeedTeamScoreSeedOpponentOpp. ScoreResult
20147Connecticut608Kentucky54Win
20148Kentucky547Connecticut60Loss
20134Michigan761Louisville82Loss
20118Butler413Connecticut53Loss
20105Butler591Duke61Loss
20025Indiana521Maryland64Loss
20005Florida761Michigan State89Loss
19974Arizona841Kentucky79Win
19964Syracuse671Kentucky76Loss
19926Michigan511Duke71Loss
19886Kansas831Oklahoma79Win
19858Villanova661Georgetown64Win

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