Low seeded teams put the Madness in March Madness

Justin Ghiselli ‘25

Everyone loves a Cinderella story, and in recent years the shoe has fit numerous underdog teams.  

 Low seeded teams in March Madness are unfairly underrated every year. While statistically the top seeds are better and win more championships, multiple lower seeded teams win games every tournament and provide far more entertainment for viewers. Low seeded teams and their astounding upsets are the heart and soul of March Madness and deserve our respect and viewership.  

In the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, the high seed teams were dominant, but recent years have seen a huge growth in the number of low-seed teams making the final four. Of the eight low seed teams to ever advance to the Final Four, six participated in the past 15 years. They are the most unexpected weapons in the tournament, deadly because they have nothing to lose. No one expects them to win. They come out, guns blazing and catch teams off guard. These are the games that people watch March Madness for: the jaw-dropping performances. 

In 2018, the Loyola Chicago Ramblers made on of the most incredible runs in March Madness history. The Ramblers were an eleven seed, which had them facing a hot Miami University. The Ramblers fought to the end and hit a game winning buzzer beater to move on to the Round of 32 and starting a winning frenzy. The Ramblers would go on to advance all the way to the Final Four, earning the attachment of so many who watched March Madness that year.   

UCLA was another teams that barely made it into the tournament, having to “play in” to the tournament in a First Four game. They faced off against Michigan St. and it didn’t’t start well, but they  rallied from behind to beat the Spartans in OT. The win booked them an official ticket to the tournament. They faced off against BYU and were again heavily underestimated. UCLA destroyed Abilene Christian, which had just upset Texas, and advanced to the Final Four. They lost in a thrilling, buzzer-beater game against No. 1 seed Gonzaga, and their run brought fans to their TVs and together. 

High seeded teams have better talent, which comes with constant scoring, world class highlights, and young stars trying to prove their worth.  Yet that doesn’t make high-seeded the center of the tournament. When a No. 16 seed UMBC beat a No. 1 seed Virginia for the first time in history, the upset was written on headlines for months because it had  touched the most people.  

 March Madness would not be the same without the low-seed and their frequent upsets of high-seed teams. They make the tournament more exciting, and recent history suggests future tournaments with much more championship turnover.