What Was The Highest Seed To Ever Win The March Madness Tournament?

How many times has a top seed won the NCAA tourney? What about the 2 and 3 seeds?

August 22, 2023

March Madness is one of the most exciting and competitive sporting events of the year. Every year, millions of college basketball fans tune in to watch their favorite teams battle it out for the championship title. But what is the highest seed to ever win March Madness?

Could it be a team seeded in the single digits or could it be a team seeded further down the ranks? To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the history of March Madness and explore which team was the highest seed to ever win in NCAA tournament history.

What Does High Seeded Team Mean?

During March Madness, it’s all about seeding. The teams that play in the tournament are given one of sixteen seeds that represent their ranking and allow fans to guess which region the respective team will come out on top. The higher the seed, the more likely it is that a team will win.

When a high seed is chosen, it is likely the favorite team to win. The NCAA Selection Committee evaluates many different aspects to make a high seed. For example, teams from major conferences such as the Big 10, ACC, and Big 12 have historically been high-seeded teams due to the success of these conferences over the years.

The higher a seed, the better the chance of making it further in the tournament. Teams with a seed of 1-4 usually make it to the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. Seeds 9-16 rarely make it too far. This means that teams with a high seed have a much better chance of making it further in the tournament and have a greater opportunity of winning March Madness.

In short, the higher the seed, the more likely a team is to win March Madness. High-seeded teams have historically made it further in the tournament and had more success than lower-seeded teams. Now let’s take a look at some of the times a high seed has won March Madness.

Times The Highest Seeded Teams Have Won March Madness

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament has been held since 1939. Since the tournament expanded to 64+ teams in 1985, a 1 seed has won March Madness 24 times — far and away the most of any seed.

A 2 seed has won the title five times since 1985, and a 3 seed has won four times.

Advantages That Higher Seeded Teams Have

When a team is given a high seed in the NCAA tournament, it usually means that the team has performed well all season long and is considered one of the best teams in the tournament. High-seeded teams are seen as having several advantages that can give them a better chance of success when they reach the NCAA tournament.

One of the most significant advantages that higher-seeded teams have is their ability to be placed on more favorable paths to the Final Four. A higher-seeded team is more likely to play against weaker opponents in earlier rounds and thus avoid tougher teams until later in the tournament. This gives them a better chance of making it further in the tournament.

High seeds also often get the benefit of playing closer to home during the tournament. This could give them an advantage if their fan base is nearby, and could provide a psychological boost to the players. This could help the team with their focus and motivation, making them more likely to perform better on the court.

High-seeded teams have a significant advantage over lower-seeded teams in terms of talent. Players from high-seeded teams tend to be more talented and may be used to playing at a high level in pressure situations. In the NCAA tournament, this may give them a better chance of success.

In the NCAA tournament, high-seeded teams can benefit from a number of advantages. These teams can use their advantages to give themselves an edge as they compete for the National Championship with better bracket placement, home-court advantage, and most importantly, talent.

Chances Of A High Seed Winning This Year

Recent years have seen upsets and Cinderella stories take over the tournament. Teams like Wichita State and Florida Atlantic have pleasantly surprised the higher seeds. But overall, the highest seeds are still much more likely to advance deeper in the tournament.


While upsets are common, it’s tricky to predict which team will come out on top. We can take a look at which teams are the favorites to win this year but this should be taken with a grain of salt. With that said, many believe that a high-seeded team has the best chance at winning due to their depth and ability to stay composed in close games.

Whether or not a high seed ends up winning March Madness this year remains to be seen. Until then, fans and spectators will have to sit back and watch in anticipation as each round unfolds.


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