Duke was the victim of several March Madness upsets over the years. However, they also pulled off one of the most dramatic in history. In 1991, UNLV impressed everybody to the extent that they appeared unbeatable. Some analysts believed that the Larry Johnson-led team was the greatest NCAA team ever.
Then the Blue Devils broke their hearts. It was a take of revenge for Duke because they suffered a crushing loss to UNLV the previous season. But they stayed calm and pulled off a tight victory in the Final Four. UNLV couldn’t believe what had just happened (via Indy Star).
Many people didn’t think that VCU should even have been in the tournament. Tournament bettors didn’t expect them to stick around for long. But they received a couple of great fixtures that saw them cruise into the Elite Eight. That’s where they faced the Jayhawks.
Most gamblers expected their run to end because Kansas had a much stronger team. However, VCU roared into an insurmountable lead. They led by 17 points before the Jayhawks even got on the scoreboard. The No. 1 seed didn’t know what was happening (via L.A. Times).
A top seed rarely stumbles in the early rounds of the women’s tournament. But that’s what made this game such a massive shock. The Blue Devils took on Michigan State in the second round. They also had a clutch of future WNBA stars on their roster.
In the end, it didn’t matter because they couldn’t overcome Michigan. After beating Tennessee, Michigan came into this game with a lot of confidence. Their enthusiasm and desire surprised Duke. In the end, the Spartans came out on top as 60-59 winners (via State News).
Kermit Davis established his reputation as one of the most promising coaches in the college game after this victory. That’s because he helped plot Middle Tennessee’s victory over Michigan in March Madness. The 15th seeds somehow defeated one of the tournament favorites.
MSU had more turnovers but the Blue Raiders didn’t wilt. Their shooting was on point as all of their forwards went into double figures. It was a massive shock because they defeated a second-seed team. But they earned their victory because of their courage and gameplan (via The Comeback).
Richmond was the 15th seed in 1991. Needless to say, nobody had much hope of them beating the Orange. Syracuse carried 2nd seed tags into this game and had an excellent record. No 15 seed had ever won an NCAA tournament game before this one.
That’s what made this such a great day in Richmond school history. They claimed this accolade after beating Syracuse in a tight affair. In the end, they finished the game 73-69. It wasn’t the most exciting game in the world but it was a unique moment (via Baltimore Sun).
Many people will believe that this game deserves the top spot. They may have a point because it’s the only time a 16-seeded team defeated a top seed in history. This had never happened before in 165 opportunities but UMBC became the first (via Athlon Sports).
Virginia only lost a pair of games all season by just eight points. Meanwhile, UMBC suffered massive defeats to garbage teams like Albany. Nonetheless, form goes out the window when March Madness raises its head. UMBC won convincingly, 74-54.
This remains one of the biggest NCAA tournament upsets ever. On paper, Georgetown was the strongest team in the bracket. Firstly, they were the defending champions. Meanwhile, they also had Patrick Ewing on their books. The future NBA star performed brilliantly for them all season (via History).
They faced Villanova for the championship after beating twice already that year. Georgetown even led and outshot their rivals at several stages. But Villanova was clinical on the day. They defeated two first seeds and a pair of seconds seeds to win the title. It was one of the greatest wins in college basketball history.