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How many 15 seeds have won games in the NCAA Tournament?


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St. Peter’s Peacocks guard Doug Edert (25) celebrates after hitting a three point shot against the Kentucky Wildcats in the second quarter during NCAA Mens Basketball first round game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, In., Thursday, March 17, 2021.

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Men’s NCAA Tournament: Saint Peter’s stuns Kentucky

Click below to view more content from the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com on the Kentucky’s men’s basketball team’s loss to 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s on Thursday night in the NCAA East Regional at Indianapolis.

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In what will surely go down as one of the most shocking defeats in Kentucky basketball history, the Wildcats fell to 15-seeded Saint Peter’s, 85-79 in overtime, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

It’s the first time UK has lost its first game of the NCAA Tournament since 2008, when the Cats lost to 6-seeded Marquette in Billy Gillispie’s first season with the program.

The stunning loss to the Peacocks was also just the 10th time since 1985 — when the tournament expanded to 64 teams — that a 15 seed has defeated a 2 seed. Coming into this year’s March Madness, the 15 seeds had a 9-135 all-time record for a 6.25 winning percentage.

The list of previous 15 seeds to pull off an NCAA Tournament upset:

Richmond defeated Syracuse 73-69 in 1991.

Santa Clara defeated Arizona 64-61 in 1993.

Coppin State defeated South Carolina 78-65 in 1997.

Hampton defeated Iowa State 58-57 in 2001.

Lehigh defeated Duke 75-70 in 2012.

Norfolk State defeated Missouri 86-84 in 2012.

Florida Gulf Coast defeated Georgetown 78-68 in 2013.

Middle Tennessee defeated Michigan State 90-81 in 2016.

Oral Roberts defeated Ohio State 75-72 in 2021.

Only two 15 seeds have advanced past the first week of the NCAA Tournament, with Florida Gulf Coast getting to the Sweet Sixteen in 2013 and Oral Roberts doing the same last year.

Saint Peter’s will play the winner of Murray State and San Francisco on Saturday. Kentucky’s season is now over, and the looking ahead toward the 2022-23 season will begin.

This story was originally published March 17, 2022 8:26 PM.

Ben Roberts covers UK basketball, football, horse racing and other sports for the Lexington Herald-Leader and has specialized in UK basketball recruiting for the past several years. He also maintains the Next Cats recruiting blog, which features the latest news on the Wildcats’ recruiting efforts.
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