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How Many #1 Seeds Have Won The National Championship In The Past? A Lot More Than You’re Probably Thinking

March Madness pic

March Madness is a thrilling time of year for sports fans all around the world. It’s an exciting time as well for teams and their players to hear their names called on selection Sunday. Incredible upsets are what keeps March Madness thriving, but more often than not, a number one-seed is winning. In fact, 24 of the last 37 national champions have been a number one-seed. A staggering 65 percent. 

The past five winners of the national championship Kansas (2022), Baylor (2021), Virginia (2019), Villanova (2018), and North Carolina (2017) have all been one seeds. One seeds are one seeds for a reason and they tend to advance farther in the tournament more often than not.

Wile Cinderella Stories are fun in the opening rounds, they’re very unlikely to happen in the national championship games with on seeds making it so often. The highest seed to ever win it all were the 1985 Villanova Wildcats who were the eighth seeds. Next, we’ll take a look at some of the trends as to why #1 seeds have won so many championships in the past and present.

Why have #1 seeds been so successful in national championship games?

Since 2007, the number one seed has won the national championship 12 times and the last five title games in a row. The NCAA tournament introduced the field of 64 back in 1985 and number one seeds have won 24 of the last 37 national championship games.

In the opening round of the NCAA tournament throughout the years, one seeds are 143-1. UMBC beat Virginia back in 2018. No other one seed has lost since then. There have been some close calls in the past, but UMBC are still the only 16 seed to pull off the major upset in the first-round.

The opening rounds of this years March Madness tournament will begin 3/16 – 3/18 and will conclude with the national championship being played on 4/2 at 3:00pm. One seeds predicted as of right now would be Alabama, Houston, Purdue, and the reigning champs, the Kansas Jayhawks.