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March Madness Seeds: 2 vs 15

In 10 March Madness brackets between 2002 and 2011, no No. 15 seed had upset a No. 2 seed. But in 2012, it happened twice, throwing fear into bettors and knocking many brackets into disarray.

It happened again in 2013 as little-known Florida Gulf Coast made a Cinderella run, starting with a first-round upset of No. 2 Georgetown 78-68 as a 13-point underdog and becoming the first No. 15 seed to ever make it all the way to the Sweet 16. Florida Gulf Coast eventually lost to No. 3 seed Florida 62-50 in the third round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament but still covered the spread as a 14.5-point underdog after upsetting No. 7 San Diego State 81-71 as a 7.5-point dog.

But it was Norfolk State that pulled off the biggest upset in modern March Madness betting history, taking out Missouri 86-84 as a 21-point underdog in 2012. On the same day, Lehigh defeated Duke 75-70 as an 11-point underdog. Ironically, it was No. 7 seed Florida that ended Norfolk State’s run in the second round with an 84-50 victory as a 14-point favorite. Lehigh fell to No. 10 seed Xavier 70-58 in the second round as a 4-point underdog.

In 2014, there were no upsets in the four matchups between No. 15 and No. 2 seeds, although Eastern Kentucky did cover the spread as a 13-point underdog against Kansas in an 80-69 loss. The other three games were all decided by 17 points or more with Wisconsin turning a close game early on against Wisconsin-Milwaukee into a 75-35 blowout win to easily beat the number as a 13.5-point favorite.

Only four other times in NCAA Tournament history prior to 2012 has there been an upset with a No. 15 seed defeating a No. 2. Richmond was the first to accomplish the feat in 1991 with a 73-69 victory against Syracuse. Steve Nash’s Santa Clara team did it two years later with a 64-61 win over Arizona and then Coppin State posted the largest margin of victory ever for a No. 15 by routing South Carolina 78-65 in 1997. Four years after that, Hampton took out Iowa State by the smallest margin for a No. 15, 58-57.

Although they failed to win any of the games last year, it was a great year to bet No. 15, as they managed to cover the spread in three of four games vs the second seed..

Seed vs Seed Stats: 1 vs 16 | 2 vs 15 | 3 vs 14 | 4 vs 13 | 5 vs 12 | 6 vs 11 | 7 vs 10 | 8 vs 9

#2 Seed vs #15 Seed
#2 SeedScore#15 SeedScoreDateATS WinWin SeedATS Seed
Kansas75New Mexico St562015-03-20Kansas22
Arizona93Texas Southern722015-03-19Texas Southern215
Gonzaga86North Dakota St.762015-03-20North Dakota St.215
Kansas80Eastern Kentucky692014-03-21Eastern Kentucky215
Ohio State95Iona702013-03-22Ohio State22
Georgetown68Florida Gulf Coast782013-03-22Florida Gulf Coast1515
Missouri84Norfolk State862012-03-16Norfolk State1515
Ohio State78Loyola592012-03-15Ohio State22
North Carolina102Long Island872011-03-18Long Island215
Notre Dame69Akron562011-03-18Akron215
Florida79Santa Barbara512011-03-17Florida22
San Diego State68Northern Colorado502011-03-17San Diego State22
Ohio State68Santa Barbara512010-03-19Santa Barbara215
West Virginia77Morgan State502010-03-19West Virginia22
Kansas State82North Texas622010-03-18Kansas State22
Villanova73Robert Morris702010-03-18Robert Morris215
Michigan State77Robert Morris622009-03-20Michigan State22
Oklahoma82Morgan State542009-03-19Oklahoma22
Memphis81CS Northridge702009-03-19CS Northridge215
Texas74Austin Peay542008-03-21Texas22
Wisconsin76Texas A&M C.C.632007-03-16Wisconsin22
Memphis73North Texas582007-03-16North Texas215
UCLA70Weber State422007-03-15UCLA22
Ohio State70Davidson622006-03-17Davidson215
Connecticut77Central Florida712005-03-18Central Florida215
Oklahoma State63Southeastern Louisiana502005-03-18Southeastern Louisiana215
Wake Forest70Chattanooga542005-03-17Chattanooga215
Kentucky72Eastern Kentucky642005-03-17Eastern Kentucky215
Mississippi State85Monmouth522004-03-19Mississippi State22
Oklahoma State75Eastern Washington562004-03-19Oklahoma State22
Florida85Sam Houston State552003-03-21Florida22
Wake Forest76East Tennessee State732003-03-21East Tennessee State215
Kansas64Utah State612003-03-20Utah State215
Alabama86Florida Atlantic782002-03-14Florida Atlantic215
Arizona101Eastern Illinois762001-03-16Arizona22
North Carolina70Princeton482001-03-16North Carolina22
Kentucky72Holy Cross682001-03-15Holy Cross215
Iowa State57Hampton582001-03-15Hampton1515
Cincinnati64UNC Wilmington472000-03-17UNC Wilmington215
St. John's61Northern Arizona562000-03-16Northern Arizona215
Iowa State88Cent Conn State782000-03-16Cent Conn State215
Utah80Arkansas State581999-03-12Utah22
Stanford69Alcorn State571999-03-11Alcorn State215
Kentucky82South Carolina State671998-03-13South Carolina State215
Cincinnati65Northern Arizona621998-03-12Northern Arizona215
Connecticut93Fairleigh Dickinson851998-03-12Fairleigh Dickinson215
Duke71Murray State681997-03-14Murray State215
South Carolina65Coppin State781997-03-14Coppin State1515
UCLA109Charleston Southern751997-03-13UCLA22
Cincinnati66UNC Greensboro611996-03-15UNC Greensboro215
Georgetown93Miss Valley State561996-03-15Georgetown22
Kansas92South Carolina State541996-03-15Kansas22
Wake Forest64Ne Louisiana501996-03-15Ne Louisiana215