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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 since 2012, it happened on four occasions, throwing fear into bettors and knocking many brackets into disarray.

The most recent happened in 2016, as little-known Middle Tennessee knocked off No. 2 Michigan State 90-81 as a 16.5-point underdog and becoming the first No. 15 seed to ever make it all the way to the Sweet 16.

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.

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
Duke87Troy652017-03-17Duke22
Louisville78Jacksonville St632017-03-17Jacksinville St215
Arizona100North Dakota822017-03-16PUSH2PUSH
Kentucky79Northern Kentucky702017-03-17Northern Kentucky215
Michigan State81Middle Tennessee902016-03-18Middle Tennessee1515
Oklahoma82CSU Baskerfield682016-03-18CSU Bakersfield215
Xavier71Weber State532016-03-18Xavier22
Villanova86UNC Asheville562016-03-18Villanova22
Kansas75New Mexico St562015-03-20Kansas22
Arizona93Texas Southern722015-03-19Texas Southern215
Gonzaga86North Dakota St.762015-03-20North Dakota St.215
Virginia79Belmont672015-03-20Belmont215
Kansas80Eastern Kentucky692014-03-21Eastern Kentucky215
Villanova73Wisc-Milwaukee532014-03-20Villanova22
Michigan57Wofford402014-03-20Michigan22
Wisconsin75American352014-03-20Wisconsin22
Ohio State95Iona702013-03-22Ohio State22
Georgetown68Florida Gulf Coast782013-03-22Florida Gulf Coast1515
Miami78Pacific492013-03-22Miami22
Duke73Albany612013-03-22Albany215
Kansas65Detroit502012-03-16Kansas22
Duke70Lehigh752012-03-16Lehigh1515
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
Duke86Binghamton622009-03-19Duke22
Memphis81CS Northridge702009-03-19CS Northridge215
Texas74Austin Peay542008-03-21Texas22
Georgetown66UMBC472008-03-21Georgetown22
Tennessee72American572008-03-21American215
Duke71Belmont702008-03-20Belmont215
Wisconsin76Texas A&M C.C.632007-03-16Wisconsin22
Memphis73North Texas582007-03-16North Texas215
UCLA70Weber State422007-03-15UCLA22
Georgetown80Belmont552007-03-15Georgetown22
Texas60Pennsylvania522006-03-17Pennsylvania215
Ohio State70Davidson622006-03-17Davidson215
UCLA78Belmont442006-03-16UCLA22
Tennessee63Winthrop612006-03-16Winthrop215
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
Gonzaga76Valparaiso492004-03-18Gonzaga22
Connecticut70Vermont532004-03-18Vermont215
Pittsburgh87Wagner612003-03-21Pittsburgh22
Florida85Sam Houston State552003-03-21Florida22
Wake Forest76East Tennessee State732003-03-21East Tennessee State215
Kansas64Utah State612003-03-20Utah State215
Oklahoma71Illinois-Chicago632002-03-15Illinois-Chicago215
Connecticut78Hampton672002-03-15Hampton215
Oregon81Montana622002-03-14Montana215
Alabama86Florida Atlantic782002-03-14Florida Atlantic215
Arizona101Eastern Illinois762001-03-16Arizona22
North Carolina70Princeton482001-03-16North Carolina22
Kentucky72Holy Cross682001-03-15Holy Cross215
Iowa State57Hampton582001-03-15Hampton1515
Temple73Lafayette472000-03-17Temple22
Cincinnati64UNC Wilmington472000-03-17UNC Wilmington215
St. John's61Northern Arizona562000-03-16Northern Arizona215
Iowa State88Cent Conn State782000-03-16Cent Conn State215
Utah80Arkansas State581999-03-12Utah22
Miami75Lafayette541999-03-12Miami22
Maryland82Valparaiso601999-03-11Maryland22
Stanford69Alcorn State571999-03-11Alcorn State215
Purdue95Delaware561998-03-13Purdue22
Kentucky82South Carolina State671998-03-13South Carolina State215
Cincinnati65Northern Arizona621998-03-12Northern Arizona215
Connecticut93Fairleigh Dickinson851998-03-12Fairleigh Dickinson215
Duke71Murray State681997-03-14Murray State215
Utah75Navy611997-03-14Navy215
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

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