Biggest March Madness upsets since 1982 | Sports

Every year, sports fans are consumed with March Madness and the thrill of the upsets that make—or break—their brackets.

Television commentator Brent Musburger wedded the NCAA tournament with the moniker during the 1982 men’s edition, describing upsets with a phrase used for Illinois’ state high school basketball tournament. It stuck, and now, every year, amateur bracketologists try to predict which teams will author Cinderella stories by taking down the big programs in the bracket.

March Madness matchups rely on seeding. To get into the Big Dance, a team must win its postseason conference tournament or be one of the 36 best at-large teams, as determined by the selection committee.

The NCAA divides the 68 teams into four regions, with each group ranked from #1 to #16 based on several factors, including their performances during the regular season and postseason tournaments. Since full seeding began in 1979, the NCAA has yet to complete the impossible task of sorting teams accurately, as every year has featured multiple upsets. compiled a ranking of the biggest men’s March Madness upsets since 1982 using Sports Reference data. Upsets were defined as wins by teams seeded five or more slots lower than their opponents and ranked according to seed difference. The difference between the squads based on Sports Reference’s simple rating system, which rates teams based on average point differential and strength of schedule, broke ties.

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