What is the lowest seed to make Final Four? NC State can make history with March Madness run

Each year of March Madness, there's an expectation of a "Cinderella" team getting hot at the right time and making a run.

Some, such as NC State basketball this season, make it further than others.

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The 11 seed Wolfpack, who only made the NCAA Tournament by winning five games in five days at the ACC Tournament, clinched a berth in the Final Four on Sunday after defeating 4 seed Duke 76-64 in the Elite Eight. Previously, NC State beat 2 seed Marquette 67-58 in the Sweet 16.

Joining the Wolfpack in the Final Four this season are 1 seeds UConn and Purdue, plus 4 seed Alabama. Though the Wolfpack may not be considered a traditional Cinderella because of its national championship history, the fact remains that it has achieved something very few 11 seeds have in NCAA Tournament history.

With NC State delivering upsets left and right, here are the lowest-seeded teams to reach the Final Four:

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Lowest seed to make Final Four

The lowest seed to ever make the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament is an 11, which has happened six times.

NC State, who beat Duke on Sunday, is the latest 11 seed to reach the Final Four of March Madness, joining UCLA (2021), Loyola Chicago (2018), VCU (2011), George Mason (2006) and LSU (1986).

There have been seven double-digit seeds to make the Final Four, with 10 seed Syracuse make it there in 2016. However, a double-digit seed has never made it to the national championship game, so the Wolfpack will be looking to make history again when it faces Purdue on Saturday.

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What is the lowest seed to win March Madness?

The lowest seed to win the national championship was 8 seed Villanova in 1985. The Wildcats are also tied for the lowest seed to ever make the final game alongside North Carolina (2022), Kentucky (2014) and Butler (2011).

Villanova won the national championship in the first season of the NCAA Tournament's expansion to 64 teams, which has since been expanded to 68 teams.

History of lowest seeds in Final Four

Here's the results of the lowest-seeded teams to reach the Final Four:

  • 2024: (11) NC State vs. (1) Purdue

  • 2021: (1) Gonzaga 93, (11) UCLA* 90

  • 2018: (3) Michigan 69, (11) Loyola Chicago 57

  • 2011: (8) Butler 70, (11) VCU* 62

  • 2006: (3) Florida 73, (11) George Mason 58

  • 1986: (2) Louisville 88, (11) LSU 77

* First Four team

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Lowest seed to make Final Four, win March Madness: NC State can make history