Have four No. 1 seeds ever missed Elite Eight? Losses by Alabama, Houston seal NCAA Tournament history

For the first time in NCAA tournament history, there will be no No. 1 in the Elite Eight round.

With Friday’s losses of top two overall seeds Alabama and Houston in the Sweet 16, the highest remaining seed is 2-seeded Texas, who still need to face 3-seeded Xavier to secure their ticket to the Elite Eight. 3-seeded Gonzaga and Kansas State have already done so with wins on Thursday.

Is This the Least Chalky NCAA Tournament Bracket Ever? There is certainly an argument for it. Purdue became just the second 1-seeded player in tournament history to lose in the first round, falling to basketball darlings Fairleigh Dickinson. Arkansas was similarly merciless in the second round against 1-Seed Kansas, leaving only the Crimson Tide and the Cougars to carry the banner for 1-Seed and move forward.

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Neither team managed to advance through another round as both teams suffered Sweet 16 exits to secure a never-before-seen Elite Eight. With that, The Sporting News first breaks down the historical nature of this NCAA tournament and the closest comparisons March Madness could offer:

Did four 1-seeded players miss the Final Four?

Yes, four NCAA tournaments – including 2023 – have featured a Final Four with no 1 seed. Purdue was the first to lose this year, in the first round to 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson; Kansas lost in the second round to Arkansas by 8 seeds; and 1-Seeds Alabama and Houston lost in Sweet 16 to 5-Seeds San Diego State and Miami, respectively.

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The last time every 1-seeded player missed the Final Four was in 2011, when Ohio State, Pitt, Kansas, and Duke all lost. Only Kansas from the Southwest region made it into the Elite Eight, where the Jayhawks lost to the 11-man VCU.

The only other extended bracket-era tournament that didn’t feature top seeds in the Final Four was in 2006. The only other time in history that has happened was in 1980, when the tournament still featured 48 teams and was only in second year under the War Seeding format.

competition 1 seed round reached
2023 Alabama sweet 16
Houston sweet 16
Kansas Second round
Purdue First round
2011 Kansas Elite Eight
State of Ohio sweet 16
duke sweet 16
Pitt Second round
2006 memphis Elite Eight
Villanova Elite Eight
UConn Elite Eight
duke sweet 16
1980 LSU Elite Eight
Syracuse sweet 16
Kentucky sweet 16
DePaul Second round

MORE: March Madness schedule today: Times, TV stations, results for Friday’s NCAA Sweet 16 games

Did four 1-seeded players miss out on the Elite Eight?

The 2023 NCAA tournament is the first since seeding began in 1979 that no 1-seeded players made it into the Elite Eight. Each of the tournaments in 2011, 2006 and 1980 had at least one 1-seeded place in the Elite Eight:




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