March Madness- it takes us the highest of highs and the lowest of lows… every single year! That’s right, every season there always seems to be one or two moments that take us to fanhood nirvana and then one or two moments that leave us in crazed despair. There are those moments where you feel that all is right with the world and you are overcome with a jubilation that can’t be found anywhere else in sports, and then, there are those moments that bring about the polar opposite emotions- the March moments that break our hearts into a million piece. Sometimes March triumph and heartbreak are separated by just a few minutes. Other times, they occur a week or two apart. Nevertheless, every single year March Madness and March Sadness inevitably arrive at various points throughout the month. I realized this full roller coaster of emotions this season when my son and I joyfully cheered Kentucky to a first round victory in Greensboro while simultaneously watching Fairleigh Dickinson pull off the greatest upset in tournament history. Then, just 15 days later, my son lay on the floor of our “sports room” in tears as the Cinderella Florida Atlantic Owls were beaten in the Final Four by the only true buzzer beater of the tournament. That moment inspired me to write this article. I wanted to analyze my personal March Madness triumphs and heartbreak for every single year I have been a fan.
I start my analysis when I was exactly my son’s age (6.5 years old) with my first vivid memories of March Madness. The moments in bold are the ones I have selected as the most triumphant or heartbreaking for that particular decade. Keep in mind that I grew up a huge Kentucky basketball fan in Lexington, KY and then later attended Wake Forest University. You will see both of those times prominently featured on this list as well as a slew of Cinderella teams that I inevitably fell in love with. Feel free to comment or debate.
Greatest March Triumph: (2) Indiana beats (1) UCLA 106-79 (Elite 8)
The only thing I vividly remember about this tournament is the heartbreak described below, but I do vaguely remember everyone in our family being happy when UCLA went down a few hours prior to that. You got to remember Kentucky fans hate the Bruins almost more than anyone because they are the only school with more national championships than the Cats. I personally have always liked Bobby Knight as well.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Duke beats (2) Kentucky 104-103 (Elite 8)
The greatest game ever played, and the worst sports moment of my life. This game is seriously my most vivid childhood memory.
Greatest March Triumph: (15) Santa Clara beats (2) Arizona 64-61 (1st Round)
The first major first round upset for me as a college basketball fan.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Michigan beats (1) Kentucky 81-78 in OT (Final Four)
The second straight season my Cats lost an overtime heartbreaker deep into the tournament.
Greatest March Triumph: (9) Boston College beats (1) North Carolina 75-72 (2nd Round)
This was a massive upset of a # 1 seed that myself and everyone else in the Commonwealth of Kentucky celebrated.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (6) Marquette beats (3) Kentucky 75-63 (2nd Round)
The first experience I had with one of my teams getting upset in the NCAA Tournament.
Greatest March Triumph: (E1) Kentucky beats (W1) Arkansas 95-93 in OT (SEC Title Game)
It is rare, but occasionally, a conference tournament win provides you with your greatest thrill in a particular season. That is definitely the case for Kentucky in 1995 who beat Arkansas in a classic SEC Tournament Championship Game before winning three lackluster games in the Big Dance and then quietly bowing out to North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (2) Arkansas beats (7) Syracuse 96-92 in OT (2nd Round)
In addition to being a huge Cats fan as a kid, I also randomly liked Syracuse. Few fans remember how wild and crazy this ending was, as Syracuse choked away a sure thing victory with a late technical foul for taking too many timeouts.
Greatest March Triumph: (1) Kentucky beats (4) Syracuse 76-67 (National Title Game)
The first national championship of my lifetime! I will never forget driving around Lexington that night with my family celebrating with the entire city.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (5) Miss. State beats (13) Princeton 63-41 (2nd Round)
This is the first taste I ever got of the classic “Cinderella second round letdown” phenomenon. This occurs when a lower seeded team pulls off such an impressive first round upset in the Big Dance that you think they might just follow it up with a second round win as well. Instead, they get absolutely blown out. That is exactly what happened here as the Tigers of Princeton followed their dramatic win over UCLA with an emphatic loss to 5 seeded Mississippi State who would go on to play in the Final Four.
Greatest March Triumph: (14) Chattanooga beats (6) Illinois 75-63 (2nd Round)
This was the first great Cinderella Sweet 16 run that I can remember as a sports fan.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (4) Arizona beats (1) Kentucky 84-79 in OT (National Title Game)
I remember being so upset about this outcome in 5th grade that I turned to violence and tried to fight a friend who was spending the night at my house that evening.
Greatest March Triumph: (2) Kentucky beats (1) Duke 86-84 (Elite 8)
The sweetest revenge imaginable for the Cats’ heartbreaking 1992 loss to Laettner’s Duke squad. Believe it or not, this game stands as the last time these two bluebloods played each other in the NCAA tournament.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (14) Richmond beats (3) South Carolina 62-61 (1st Round)
My dad is a Gamecock alum so I have generally cheered for South Carolina when they aren’t playing Kentucky of Wake Forest. This loss was particularly hard because it was the second straight shocking first round upset loss for USC as they lost to 15 seeded Coppin State the year before.
Greatest March Triumph: (2) UConn beats (1) Duke 79-78 (Final Four)
It was so satisfying to see this “unbeatable” Duke squad that hadn’t lost a game in almost four months choke away their sure thing national title.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Michigan State beats (3) Kentucky 73-66 (Elite 8)
Kentucky’s hopes of a fourth straight final four died with this disappointing loss in which the Cats had the lead at halftime.
Greatest March Triumph: (10) Gonzaga beats (2) St. John’s 82-76 (2nd Round)
This was a pretty bad tournament all around, but the Zags getting to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year as a double digit seed provided me with a little bit of joy.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (5) Florida beats (12) Butler 69-68 in OT (1st Round)
This was a devastating first round buzzer beater that changed the entire landscape of this tournament for the worse as the Gators proceeded to march all the way to the national title game after stealing this one from the Bulldogs.
Greatest March Triumph: (15) Hampton beats (2) Iowa State 58-57 (1st Round)
This was actually the first major first round upset I watched live on television. I remember running into my parents room and waking them up at midnight celebrating!
Greatest March Heartbreak: (6) Southern Cal beats (2) Kentucky 80-76 (Sweet 16)
The Cats were one game away from setting up a third Kentucky/Duke NCAA tourney game in my lifetime, which was ironically going to be played in the same arena as the Laettner game in Philadelphia. Nevertheless, the Trojans dashed those hopes with this Sweet 16 upset.
Greatest March Triumph: (5) Indiana beats (1) Duke 74-73 (Sweet 16)
I will never forget this game because it was the game truly personified how much Kentucky fans despised Duke and how much they cared about them losing. Ten years after the Laettner shot, Kentucky fans came out to this one in droves just to cheer one of their biggest rivals to an upset victory over their most hated foe, Duke.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Maryland beats (5) Indiana (National Title Game)
After the Hoosiers pulled off the forementioned upset over Duke, I was cheering for them to go all the way and become the first 5 seed to win a national title (still hasn’t happened). Nevertheless, Maryland got the best of them in title game.
Greatest March Triumph: (3) Syracuse beats (2) Kansas 81-78 (National Title Game)
Syracuse was one of the first teams I cheered for as a young child, and even though my affection for them had died down over the years, I was really happy to see Boeheim get his first (and only) national title.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (3) Marquette beats (1) Kentucky 83-69 (Elite 8)
This was the second time Marquette broke my heart, and the hearts of all Kentucky fans, in the NCAA tournament as Dwyane Wade (pictured above) led the Golden Eagles to another upset victory over the Cats. This loss was even more heartbreaking than the first Marquette upset in 1994 because it came later in the tournament and denied the Cats a Final Four bid.
Greatest March Triumph: (2) UConn beats (1) Duke 79-78 (Final Four)
I am really not a UConn fan at all, but I must give them credit for denying two of Duke’s most obnoxious teams (1999 and 2004) national championships. This win was particularly satisfying as it denied my second least favorite Dookie of all-time, J.J. Redick, a national title.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (9) UAB beats (1) Kentucky 76-75 (2nd Round)
This one hurt real bad and if it wasn’t for the even more devastating loss I had in the second round of the following year’s tournament, this would have been the worst tourney loss of this decade. Kentucky was the # 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and looked primed and ready for a deep tourney run. However, UAB came out of nowhere to knock them off in the second round. The fact I had to experience this humiliating loss alongside my classmates while at the Governor’s School for Science and Math didn’t help matters.
Greatest March Triumph: (14) Bucknell beats (3) Kansas (1st Round)
The first great tourney upset that I got to enjoy with my future wife, as we watched this one together in the Davis Lounge on Wake Forest’s campus.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (7) West Virginia beats (2) Wake Forest 111-105 in 2OT (2nd Round)
This was the most devastating tourney loss this century for me and is on the short list of worst losses in my life. I was a freshman at Wake Forest ready to watch my Deacs make a deep tourney run and then this defensive meltdown happened. This loss dashed my only hope of seeing my alma mater win a national title in a major sport while I was a student there, as Chris Paul announced his departure for the NBA a few days later.
Greatest March Triumph: (11) George Mason beats (1) UConn 86-84 in OT (Elite 8)
The biggest Elite Eight upset ever, and I drunkenly beat my entire fraternity that it would happen two nights before!
Greatest March Heartbreak: (2) UCLA beats (3) Gonzaga 73-71 (Sweet 16)
The first March Madness collapse that literally left me sick to my stomach as Gonzaga let a 17 point lead slip away that culminated with a total meltdown in the final minute.
Greatest March Triumph: (11) VCU beats (6) Duke 79-77 (1st Round)
The biggest upset in what is one of the worst NCAA tourneys ever.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Florida beats (3) Oregon 85-77 (Elite 8)
The last team I remotely liked gets eliminated from the tournament to setup my least favorite Final Four of all-time.
Greatest March Triumph: (1) Kansas beats (1) Memphis 75-68 in OT (National Title Game)
I hated John Calipari before he came to Kentucky (and still don’t like him very much), so I was thrilled when Chalmers and Kansas stole the national title from them in this overtime thriller.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Kansas beats (10) Davidson 59-57 (Elite 8)
The same Kansas team that I was rooting so hard for in the title game played the villain two games earlier by ending Steph Curry and Davidson’s Cinderella tourney run.
Greatest March Triumph: (3) Villanova beats (2) Duke 77-54 (Sweet 16)
Seeing Duke get blown out by a lower seeded team was about the only joyful thing that happened in this otherwise lackluster tournament.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (13) Cleveland State beats (4) Wake Forest 84-69 (1st Round)
Besides the forementioned defeat to West Virginia in 2005, this was my worst loss as a Wake Forest fan, as the Deacons didn’t just get upset in the first round of the 2009 tourney, they got annihilated.
Greatest March Triumph: (9) Wake Forest beats (8) Texas 81-80 in OT (1st Round)
This is possibly the happiest I have ever been in a basketball arena as I witnessed Wake Forest win its first NCAA tournament game over a single digit seed in 14 years with an incredible Ish Smith game winner.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Duke beats (5) Butler 61-59 (National Title Game)
Its always devastating for me to see Duke win a national championship, but no Duke championship hurt worse than this one, as the Blue Devils beat the Cinderella Bulldogs in a title game that Butler really should have won.
Greatest March Triumph: (4) Kentucky beats (1) Ohio State 62-60 (Sweet 16)
It was quite refreshing to see Kentucky, who is usually the team who is getting upset in March, pull of a shocker of their own and beat the # 1 overall seed in dramatic fashion.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (3) UConn beats (8) Butler 53-41 (National Title Game)
It seems to happen a lot, but when there are three teams I really like in a final four or a regional semifinal, then the fourth team who I don’t like ends up winning it. That was definitely true in 2011, as Butler’s second consecutive Cinderella run to the title game fell short thanks to a horrible shooting effort against Kemba Walker’s Huskies.
Greatest March Triumph: (15) Norfolk/(15) Lehigh beat (2) Missouri/(2) Duke (1st Round)
A 15 seed had not beaten a 2 in over a decade, and then all of a sudden, we had two such victories occur within hours of each other. Each of these victories were extra sweet for me, as I predicted the Norfolk upset in the first game and then got to see Duke lose in the second.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) North Carolina beats (13) Ohio 73-65 in OT (Sweet 16)
At this point in time, no team seeded lower than 12 had ever reached the Elite 8, and the Bobcats were a shot a way from doing it (against one of the teams I hate the most) in this one.
Greatest March Triumph: (15) Florida Gulf Coast beats (7) San Diego St. 81-71 (2nd Round)
Dunk City, as they were called, was one of the great early round Cinderella NCAA Tourney stories of all-time. They had a charismatic coach with a supermodel wife and a cast of players who all seemed to be able to dunk like Michael Jordan and shoot like Larry Bird.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Louisville beats (9) Wichita State 72-68 (Final Four)
I attended this game in person wearing a Wichita State shirt and cheering my heart out in hopes the Shockers could become the first team seeded worse than 8th to make it to the national title game. Wichita seemed to be closing in on the upset late, as they held a double digit second half lead, but a late surge by Louisville ended the Shockers’ Cinderella run.
Greatest March Triumph: (8) Kentucky beats (2) Wisconsin 74-73 (Final Four)
Part of the immense exhilaration I experienced with this game had to do with the setting in which I watched it. I was attending a good friend’s wedding earlier in the day, so I was surrounded by close friends at a crowded Wilmington bar when Aaron Harrison drained his third game-winning three-pointer of this tournament. After the Cats’ defense held off the Badgers in the final seconds, the thrill of victory sent me yelling and screaming through the streets of downtown Wilmington. The magical Wildcat run came crashing down two days later (see biggest heartbreak moment below) but for that one night in Wilmington, all was right with the world.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (7) UConn beats (8) Kentucky 60-54 (National Title Game)
My Cats were so close for tying Villanova as the lowest seed ever to win a national championship. Nevertheless, Kentucky’s Cinderella run at a national title came up just short.
Greatest March Triumph: (14) Georgia State beats (3) Baylor 57-56 (1st Round)
R.J. Hunter’s final shot (pictured above) and his dad’s subsequent broken leg celebration is one of my all-time favorite moments in tournament history.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Wisconsin beats (1) Kentucky 71-64 (Final Four)
A Kentucky Final Four loss is bad enough but when it derails a historic 38-0 season then that moment becomes an all-time worst sports loss.
Greatest March Triumph: (2) Villanova beats (1) North Carolina 77-74 (National Title Game)
This moment was the greatest sporting event I have ever witnessed, and may ever witness, in person. My wife and I traveled to Houston in early April for a Final Four Babymoon that could largely be classified as disappointing for the first couple of days. The two national semifinal games were ugly blowouts featuring a largely uninterested crowd. The fanfest was weaker than usual, and the line was so long for the annual Sunday night concert that we weren’t able to get in. However, this amazing championship game with its incredible ending made up for all of that.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (6) Notre Dame/(3) Texas A & M beat (14) SFA/(11) UNI (2nd Round)
UNI and SFA’s first round wins were both incredible upsets. Unfortunately, as often happens, midnight strikes quickly on potential Cinderella stories and the heroes of the first couple of days of the tournament turn into the basketball equivalent of pumpkins by the end of the first weekend. That is exactly what happened this past year as all Friday Cinderellas Hawaii, SFA, UNI, and SFA all lost their second round games on Sunday. However, having these teams lose is one thing but having them snatch defeat from the jaws of a certain victory is entirely another. Both Stephen F. Austin and Northern Iowa possessed comfortable, multi-possession leads going into the final minute of each of their respective second round matchups. However, when all was said and done, Notre Dame knocked off the Lumberjacks at the buzzer and Texas A & M outlasted the Panthers in overtime. This was truly a heartbreaking day for me.
Greatest March Triumph: (7) South Carolina beats (4) Florida 77-70 (Elite 8)
Prior to this tournament, the Gamecocks had not won an NCAA tourney game in over three decades. Then, after limping into the tournament, they took me and the rest of their fan base on a magical carpet ride to the 2017 Final Four. The best moment on that ride had to be the final victory over Florida that brought Darius Rucker to tears in Madison Square Garden.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) North Carolina beats (2) Kentucky 75-73 (Elite 8)
I was a shot away from seeing my dream final four come to fruition in 2017, as my two favorite west coast teams, Oregon and Gonzaga, were about to join my two favorite non-alma mater schools, Kentucky and South Carolina, in Phoenix. My dad and I agreed that if those were the four schools to make the final weekend we would find a way to the games, as any potential outcome in that situation would be satisfying. Unfortunately, Luke Maye’s buzzer-beater (pictured above) not only dashed my dream final four but also set the table for the Heels to beat all of my other favorite squads in Phoenix en route to another UNC national title.
Greatest March Triumph: (16) UMBC beats (1) Virginia 74-54 (1st Round)
Ever since I became a sports fan in late 1991 (I was six years old at the time) I have been obsessed with the quest for the holy grail of all upsets. In over the thousands of years of recorded sports history, we had seen about everything, except this: a 16 seed beating a 1 seed in the men’s NCAA basketball tournament. UMBC finally accomplished this feat in 2018 in shocking fashion by not only beating the # 1 overall seed (Virginia) but by beating them by 20 points. The fact that it happened in my home state, which enabled me to pay tribute to the Retrievers by attending their second round game, made it even sweeter. There are embarrassing videos my wife captured of me jumping in the backyard fish pond and then screaming and crying as the game went final. This wasn’t just my top sports moment of 2018. It was a top five sports moment in my lifetime.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (9) Kansas State beats (16) UMBC 50-43 (2nd Round)
Like 2008 and 2014, this was a year where there was a direct correlation between my greatest March triumph and heartbreak. After UMBC won its epic 16 over 1 game, I drove four and a half hours to Charlotte to see if they could pull off a second consecutive miracle, and they almost did just that. The Retrievers were within one possession of taking the lead in this game throughout the second half, but they could never get over the hump. They ended up falling by a seven in a loss that was certainly made more disheartening by the fact I was in attendance to witness it. One thing I never thought about it over the years when imagining how amazing the 16 over 1 upset would be, was how quickly it would all be over. In less than 48 hours, UMBC and every college basketball sentimentalist from around the country went from celebrating the greatest win we have ever seen to hanging our heads in defeat in downtown Charlotte.
Greatest March Triumph: (2) Kentucky beats (3) Houston 62-58 (Sweet 16)
Though Kentucky’s 2019 tourney run ended in the following round, this was such a great victory for the Cats. I made quite the scene at the Surf City beach bar where I was watching this game when one of my all-time favorite Wildcats, Tyler Herro (pictured above), hit the game winner.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Duke beats (9) UCF 77-76 (2nd Round)
I have only watched Duke lose in-person in the NCAA tournament one-time and that was the great first round upset by Mercer in 2014. That Duke team wasn’t really a threat to win the championship though, unlike the 2019 Blue Devil squad who was heavily favored to win the championship all season long. That is why I began to get excited when UCF held a two possession lead in the final minute of that game. Unfortunately, Duke basketball ripped my heart out one more time when Zion made a layup while being fouled and then missed the free throw in such a way that R.J. Barrett was able to shove off without being caught and score the go ahead put back. UCF still had a great shot to win the game in the final seconds but they had two shots take heartbreaking bounces off the rim to come up just short. Fortunately, Duke ended up losing two games later in the Elite 8, but I was just a few seconds away from seeing them lose in an epic second round upset that I would remember forever.
Greatest March Triumph: (1) Hofstra beats (6) Northeastern 70-61 (CAA Title Game)
At first glance, you might wonder why the heck this random mid-major conference title game made this illustrious list. However, if you think about the year in which it took place (2020), it makes a lot more sense. This was the year of covid cancelled tournament (see more details on that below) so there wasn’t a lot to choose from as far March triumphs go. This win by Hofstra (seemingly) ended a lengthy NCAA tournament drought so that is why it tops the list amongst the minimal tourney action that occurred that season. Seeing the sign above that says ticket punched to the 2020 NCAA Tournament is pretty humorous in retrospect.
Greatest March Heartbreak: March Madness gets Canceled (Conference Tourney Week)
The biggest heartbreak of the 2020 tournament, and presumably of any March Madness of this current decade, isn’t a loss within the arena of a competition. Sadly, it was much worse. If the timing of the coronavirus had been different, this wouldn’t have affected me like it did, but because Covid-19’s arrival to American came the week the NCAA tournament was to begin, which is my favorite week of the entire year, this hit me like a ton of bricks. This one felt like over night the world had just decided to cancel Christmas. And in my world, that is exactly what happened. This might go down as the worst sports moment of my entire life…however, some people had it even worse than I did. A friend of mine is a Dayton alum that had waited his entire life for this once in a lifetime opportunity for this team to contend for a national championship. And then, all of a sudden, there was no national championship to contend for… so sad, on so many different levels.
Greatest March Triumph: (1) Gonzaga beats (11) UCLA 93-90 in OT (Final Four)
Even though they ended up losing the championship game to Baylor (see more on that in the greatest heartbreak entry below), this win had to be my top triumph of 2021 because of how good the game was and how elated I was at the result. In fact, I actually injured my leg celebrating the shot when I inadvertently crashed into my ping pong table.
Greatest March Heartbreak: (1) Baylor beats (1) Gonzaga 86-70 (National Title Game)
A true mid-major has never won an NCAA basketball championship in modern times and my beloved Gonzaga Bulldogs a game away from breaking down that barrier but also becoming the first undefeated college basketball national champion since Indiana in 1976. Alas, it was not meant to me as the Baylor Bears dominated this game from start to finish.
Greatest March Triumph: (15) Saint Peter’s beats (3) Purdue 67-64 (Sweet 16)
This Cinderella run by St. Peters was unquestionably the greatest run to an Elite Eight of all-time! To be honest with you, this Cinderella sorry started as a horrible moment for me, as Kentucky’s loss to St. Peter’s in their 2/15 matchup was devastating. Likewise, I am a Murray State fan so I was upset when the Peacocks knocked them off as well. However, once St. Peter’s took care of Purdue, I was all in on this amazing tournament run. Keep in mind that not only had a 15 seed never made it to the Elite 8 before March of 2022, but no 13 or 14 seed had ever played in the Elite 8 either. Even though the dream died an emphatic death against North Carolina in the Regional Finals, the fact that we got to at least ponder the possibility of St. Peter’s winning a Division 1 national basketball championship is truly incredible. As the lead SportsCenter anchor said on the night that the Peacocks knocked off the Boilermakers, “I know we like to use hyperbole in this business, but I can truthfully say, St. Peter’s is now three wins away from the greatest sports story of all-time!”
Greatest March Heartbreak: (5) Delaware/(13) BC beat (2) UNCW/(5) WFU (Conference Tourney Week)
This March Madness heartbreak combines two different losses that occurred on consecutive days. For most of 2021-22 basketball season, it looked like both my alma mater, Wake Forest, and my local team, UNCW, would both be playing in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Then, in a matter of 24 hours both of their tourney hopes were dashed as UNCW lost a heartbreaker in the CAA championship game to Delaware and Wake Forest lost a chance at an at-large bid with their own gut-wrenching upset loss to Boston College in the first round of the ACC tournament.
Greatest March Madness Triumph: (16) Fairleigh Dickinson beats (1) Purdue 63-58 (1st Round)
This was the biggest upset in NCAA tourney history by point spread, team ranking, or any other quantifiable measure you want to use. This win was made extra special by the fact that I got to watch it with my son inside an arena of a different NCAA tournament game (Kentucky vs. Providence). That is truly a memory I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
Greatest March Madness Heartbreak: (5) San Diego State beats (9) Florida Atlantic 72-71 (Final Four)
So heartbreak and so gut-wrenching. Florida Atlantic was seconds away from becoming the first seed from the bottom half of the bracket (teams seeded 9-16) to make an NCAA title game. However, it all came crashing down thanks to a late San Diego State surge that culminated in the only true buzzer beater of this entire tournament. My son’s reaction to this loss (see picture above) says it all!
March Triumph Stats:
|Greatest Annual March Triumph by Round|
|Missing Seeds for triumphant team: 6, 12, 13|
|Top Winners: Kentucky- 6, Gonzaga- 2, UConn- 2, Nova- 2,|
|Top Losers: Duke- 8, Purdue- 2, UCLA- 2|
|Greatest March Triumph by Decade|
March Heartbreak Stats:
|Greatest Annual March Heartbreak by Round|
|Missing Seeds (victims only): 6, 15|
|Top Perpetrators: Duke- 3, UNC- 2, UConn- 2, Florida- 2, Marquette- 2|
|Top Victims: Kentucky- 11, Butler- 3, Wake- 2, Gonzaga- 2|
|Greatest March Heartbreak by Decade|
Finally, here is the full list of the my greatest March Madness triumphs and heartbreaks for each year without the illustrations or descriptions above. I thought some of you may want to look at this to more easily be able to compare different seasons over time.
|Greatest March Triumph||Greatest March Heartbreak|
|1992||(2) Indiana beats (1) UCLA 106-79 (Elite 8)||(1) Duke beats (2) Kentucky 104-103 (Elite 8)|
|1993||(15) Santa Clara beats (2) Arizona 64-61 (1st Round)||(1) Michigan beats (1) Kentucky 81-78 in OT (Final Four)|
|1994||(9) Boston College beats (1) North Carolina 75-72 (2nd Round)||(6) Marquette beats (3) Kentucky 75-63 (2nd Round)|
|1995||(E1) Kentucky beats (W1) Arkansas 95-93 in OT (SEC Title Game)||(2) Arkansas beats (7) Syracuse 96-92 in OT (2nd Round)|
|1996||(1) Kentucky beats (4) Syracuse 76-67 (National Title Game)||(5) Miss. State beats (13) Princeton 63-41 (2nd Round)|
|1997||(14) Chattanooga beats (6) Illinois 75-63 (2nd Round)||(4) Arizona beats (1) Kentucky 84-79 in OT (National Title Game)|
|1998||(2) Kentucky beats (1) Duke 86-84 (Elite 8)||(14) Richmond beats (3) South Carolina 62-61 (1st Round)|
|1999||(1) UConn beats (1) Duke 77-74 (National Title Game)||(1) Michigan State beats (3) Kentucky 73-66 (Elite 8)|
|2000||(10) Gonzaga beats (2) St. John’s 82-76 (2nd Round)||(5) Florida beats (12) Butler 69-68 in OT (1st Round)|
|2001||(15) Hampton beats (2) Iowa State 58-57 (1st Round)||(6) Southern Cal beats (2) Kentucky 80-76 (Sweet 16)|
|2002||(5) Indiana beats (1) Duke 74-73 (Sweet 16)||(1) Maryland beats (5) Indiana (National Title Game)|
|2003||(3) Syracuse beats (2) Kansas 81-78 (National Title Game)||(3) Marquette beats (1) Kentucky 83-69 (Elite 8)|
|2004||(2) UConn beats (1) Duke 79-78 (Final Four)||(9) UAB beats (1) Kentucky 76-75 (2nd Round)|
|2005||(14) Bucknell beats (3) Kansas (1st Round)||(7) West Virginia beats (2) Wake Forest 111-105 in 2OT (2nd Round)|
|2006||(11) George Mason beats (1) UConn 86-84 in OT (Elite 8)||(2) UCLA beats (3) Gonzaga 73-71 (Sweet 16)|
|2007||(11) VCU beas (6) Duke 79-77 (1st Round)||(1) Florida beats (3) Oregon 85-77 (Elite 8)|
|2008||(1) Kansas beats (1) Memphis 75-68 in OT (National Title Game)||(1) Kansas beats (10) Davidson 59-57 (Elite 8)|
|2009||(3) Villanova beats (2) Duke 77-54 (Sweet 16)||(13) Cleveland State beats (4) Wake Forest 84-69 (1st Round)|
|2010||(9) Wake Forest beats (8) Texas 81-80 in OT (1st Round)||(1) Duke beats (5) Butler 61-59 (National Title Game)|
|2011||(4) Kentucky beats (1) Ohio State 62-60 (Sweet 16)||(3) UConn beats (8) Butler 53-41 (National Title Game)|
|2012||(15) Norfolk/(15) Lehigh beat (2) Missouri/(2) Duke (1st Round)||(1) North Carolina beats (13) Ohio 73-65 in OT (Sweet 16)|
|2013||(15) Florida Gulf Coast beats (7) San Diego St. 81-71 (2nd Round)||(1) Louisville beats (9) Wichita State 72-68 (Final Four)|
|2014||(8) Kentucky beats (2) Wisconsin 74-73 (Final Four)||(7) UConn beats (8) Kentucky 60-54 (National Title Game)|
|2015||(14) Georgia State beats (3) Baylor 57-56 (1st Round)||(1) Wisconsin beats (1) Kentucky 71-64 (Final Four)|
|2016||(2) Villanova beats (1) North Carolina 77-74 (National Title Game)||(6) Notre Dame/(3) Texas A & M beat (14) SFA/(11) UNI (2nd Round)|
|2017||(7) South Carolina beats (4) Florida 77-70 (Elite 8)||(1) North Carolina beats (2) Kentucky 75-73 (Elite 8)|
|2018||(16) UMBC beats (1) Virginia 74-54 (1st Round)||(9) Kansas State beats (16) UMBC 50-43 (2nd Round)|
|2019||(2) Kentucky beats (3) Houston 62-58 (Sweet 16)||(1) Duke beats (9) UCF 77-76 (2nd Round)|
|2020||(1) Hofstra beats (6) Northeastern 70-61 (CAA Title Game)||March Madness gets Canceled (Conference Tourney Week)|
|2021||(1) Gonzaga beats (11) UCLA 93-90 in OT (Final Four)||(1) Baylor beats (1) Gonzaga 86-70 (National Title Game)|
|2022||(15) Saint Peter’s beats (3) Purdue 67-64 (Sweet 16)||(5) Delaware/(13) BC beat (2) UNCW/(5) WFU (Conference Tourney Week)|
|2023||(16) Fairleigh Dickinson beats (1) Purdue 63-58 (1st Round)||(5) San Diego State beats (9) Florida Atlantic 72-71 (Final Four)|
Thanks everyone for following all of my March Madness coverage this year!