For the first time in DI men's basketball history, a No. 1 seed will not play in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. Yet, teams ranging from a No. 9 seed in Florida Atlantic to a fifth-seeded Mountain West team in San Diego State are making their first appearances. Here's how 2023 became one of the maddest of any March Madness.
The first No. 1 seed to fall — Purdue
The madness with No. 1 seeds began right away. For just the second time ever, a No. 1 seed lost to a No. 16 seed in the first round when No. 1 Purdue fell to No. 16 FDU. From there, the madness began.
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The second No. 1 seed to fall — Kansas
Top-seed Kansas entered the tournament as the defending champion, but the Jayhawks couldn't make it out of the second round. Kansas lost to No. 8 Arkansas 72-71, leaving just two top seeds in the Sweet 16.
An unsweet taste for the final two No. 1 seeds — Alabama and Houston
After a back-and-forth fight, No. 5 San Diego State outlasted a late rally from No. 1 Alabama, eliminating the Crimson Tide from the tournament 71-64. With the win, the Aztecs reached their first Elite Eight in program history and the first Elite Eight of any Mountain West team.
San Diego State's win over Alabama was against more than just a regular one seed, as the Tide were the top overall seed in the tournament. Alabama's elimination means the No. 1 overall seed won't win the title for nine straight tournaments, with 2013 Louisville being the last team to reach the mountaintop. With Louisville's title vacated, that number extends to 10 tournaments, making 2012 Kentucky the last top overall seed to prevail.
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Minutes after Alabama lost, No. 1 seed Houston lost to No. 5 seed Miami (Fla.) 89-75. Houston's loss meant that for the first time since seeding begn in 1979, an Elite Eight (or Regional Final) would not have a No. 1 seed.
But how mad was it? Before today, just four Elite Eights (2000, 2011, 2013 and 2022) had only one No. 1 seed.
A No. 1 seed didn’t make the Elite Eight... but No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic advanced to the round for the first time in program history.
A No. 1 seed didn’t make the Elite Eight... but a Mountain West Conference team, No. 5 San Diego State, did for the first time ever.
A No. 1 seed didn’t make the Elite Eight... but a Kansas State team led by a first-year head coach did.
Can it get any madder?