5 March Madness Upsets of the Last 5 Years

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March Madness is a favorite time of year for many in the world of sports. Juggernaut teams are taken down, and Cinderella stories are born out of thin air. From buzzer beaters to unlikely beat downs, here are 5 of the best March Madness upsets of the last five years.

1. #15 MTSU vs. #2 Michigan State

First Round on March 18, 2016

During their 2015 to 2016 campaign, Michigan State was heavily favored to bring the title back home to East Lansing. Boasting a Big Ten tournament championship and Big Ten Player of the Year Denzel Valentine, the Spartans were in a prime position to go all the way.

However, there would be no green and white confetti falling that year. MTSU, a team from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, had other plans for the Spartans. The Blue Raiders shocked the basketball world as they took down Spartans, becoming just the eighth #15 seed to defeat a #2 seed. The Tennessee team later fell to the #10 seeded team, Syracuse Orange, in the Second Round.

2. #14 Georgia State vs. #3 Baylor

First Round on March, 19, 2015

Georgia State was to make its third NCAA Tournament appearance, its first appearance in 15 years. Kansas also had a relatively good season, advancing to the semi-finals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Enter the father and son duo that was Ron and RJ Hunter. Ron Hunter was the coach of the Georgia State Panthers and father of the team’s star player, RJ Hunter. Hunter was averaging 19 points a game and was named Sun Belt Player of the year for two years running.

The teams traded blows passing surpassing each other every couple minutes. But with the game down to the wire, RJ Hunter launched a perfect trey in the final seconds. Baylor had fallen out of the tournament, and Ron Hunter had fallen out of his chair in disbelief. Check out the disappointment in this video from NCAA.

3. #10 Syracuse vs. #1 Virginia

Elite Eight on March 27, 2016

A lot of people doubted Syracuse throughout the 2016 tournament; however, after navigating through three games against Dayton, MTSU, and Gonzaga, people started to change their opinions of the Orange. But how could a lowly 10 seed take down a goliath in Virginia?

The Cavaliers got off to a quick start going up 14 points on the Orange in the second half with nine minutes to play. Doubts about Syracuse began creeping in again. How could they overcome such a deficit?All it took was one star player on Cuse’s team: Malachi Richardson. Richardson began putting on a show, scoring 23 points and crushing Virginia’s hopes and dreams. Jim Boheim had done it again. He had brought his team back to the final four for a fifth time.

4. #7 South Carolina vs. #2 Duke

First Round, March 19, 2017

Duke was the undisputed #1 team in the preseason. Coach K’s team had won the ACC tournament and was cruising into the tournament. They were one of the favorites to bring back glory to Durham for a sixth year.

Undeserving & unworthy, these are the words people said against the Gamecocks when they were selected as #7 seed in the tournament. Many people would eat their words and apologize to the Carolina team as the tournament progressed. First they knocked off #10 Marquette, their first tournament win in 44 years. Then when they took down Duke, and everyone began paying attention to the greatness of Frank Martin’s team. Carolina forced 18 turnovers and scored 88 points. Led by SEC player of the year, Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina was heading to the Sweet Sixteen.

5. #15 FGCU vs. #7 San Diego State

Round of 32 on March 24, 2013

Florida Gulf Coast, is that even a school? That’s what everyone thought until the team nicknamed “Dunk City” became the first #15 seed to make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

The little team from Florida took down the #2 seed Georgetown Hoyas, and they were hungry for more.

Their next opponent was #7 seed San Diego State, which at the time still seemed like tough team to beat. But the eagles proved everyone wrong, again. They shot the Aztecs out of the building and became the first #15 seed ever to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Relive the action in this NCAA video!