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NCAA tournament: No. 15 St. Peter’s is the lowest seed to make Elite 8

Saint Peter’s did what no No. 15 seed had ever done before when it advanced to the Elite Eight with a 67-64 win over Purdue on Friday night.

The Peacocks became the first of three No. 15 seeds to advance from the Sweet 16 with the victory and are, by far, the lowest seed to make the Elite Eight.

Until St. Peter’s, no team seeded lower than No. 12 had ever made the Elite Eight. Oregon State became the second No. 12 to make the Elite Eight in 2021 after Missouri was the first No. 12 seed to accomplish the feat in 2002.

Overall, just 15 teams seeded at No. 10 or lower have made the Elite Eight since the NCAA started seeding the men’s tournament. And no team lower than No. 11 has made the Final Four. Five No. 11 seeds have made the national semifinals. The last team to do it was UCLA in 2021.

Here’s a list of all the double-digit seeds to make the Elite Eight. If St. Peter’s wins Sunday, the Peacocks will be the biggest Cinderella in NCAA tournament history.

St. Peter’s is the lowest seed to ever make an Elite Eight in the men’s NCAA tournament. Photo by Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Lowest seeds to make the Elite Eight

No. 11 LSU (1986): The Tigers became the first double-digit seed to make the Final Four nearly 40 years ago. After losing to Kentucky in the SEC tournament, the Tigers took out the Wildcats in the Elite Eight before losing to Louisville in the Final Four.

No. 11 Loyola Marymount (1990): Loyola lost 131-101 to UNLV in the Elite Eight after a tournament run following the death of Hank Gathers. That loss to UNLV is the last time Loyola Marymount played in the tournament.

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No. 10 Providence (1997): The Friars knocked off Duke in the second round but lost 96-92 to Arizona in overtime.

No. 10 Gonzaga (1999): The Bulldogs emerged onto the scene this season with upset wins over Stanford and Florida before a five-point loss to eventual national champion Connecticut.

No. 11 Temple (2001): The Owls beat Texas, Florida and Penn State before losing 69-62 to Michigan State in the Elite Eight.

No. 10 Kent State (2002): The Golden Flashes scored an eight-point win over Oklahoma State in the first round, beat Alabama by 13 in the second and then Pitt in OT in the Sweet 16 before losing 81-69 to Indiana.

No. 12 Missouri (2002): The Tigers won each of their first three games of the tournament by at least nine points before losing 81-75 to Big 12 rival Oklahoma.

No. 11 George Mason (2006): The Patriots became the first No. 11 seed to make the Final Four with a win over North Carolina in the second round, and an OT win over UConn in the Elite Eight. George Mason then lost to Florida 73-58 in the national semifinals.

No. 10 Davidson (2008): Stephen Curry’s Wildcats beat Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin before losing by two to Kansas in the Elite Eight.

No. 11 VCU (2011): The Rams got to the Final Four after playing in a play-in game simply to make the main NCAA tournament bracket. VCU beat Purdue by 18 in the second round before beating Kansas by 10 in the Elite Eight. The Rams lost to Butler in the Final Four.

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No. 11 Dayton (2014): The Flyers took down in-state rival Ohio State before beating Syracuse in the second round. A 10-point win over Stanford in the Sweet 16 propelled them to the Elite Eight before a 10-point loss to Florida.

No. 10 Syracuse (2016): The Orange had to play two fellow ACC teams in the tournament. After upsetting Gonzaga in the Sweet 16, Syracuse beat Virginia in the Elite Eight before losing to North Carolina in the Final Four.

No. 11 Xavier (2017): The Musketeers beat Florida State by 25 in the second round before a two-point win over Arizona in the Sweet 16. The run came to an end with a 24-point loss to Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.

No. 11 Loyola Chicago (2018): The Ramblers beat Miami and Tennessee in the first two rounds of the tournament before taking down Nevada in the Sweet 16. Those three wins were by a combined four points before a 16-point win over Kansas State in the Elite Eight. The Ramblers lost 69-57 to Michigan in the Final Four.

No. 12 Oregon State (2021): The Beavers got into the Big Dance by winning the Pac-12 tournament. They then beat Tennessee and Oklahoma State in the first two rounds of the tournament before knocking off Loyola by seven. Oregon State fell 67-61 to Houston in the Elite Eight.

No. 11 UCLA: The Bruins lost on Friday night to North Carolina as a No. 4 seed and failed to get back to the Final Four for a second consecutive year. UCLA beat No. 1 seed Michigan in the Elite Eight before losing to Gonzaga in an epic Final Four game.

No. 15 St. Peter’s (2022): The Peacocks pulled off a stunner in the first round with a win over Kentucky and then beat Murray State in the second round. The win over Purdue on Friday night in the Sweet 16 meant that St. Peter’s did what Florida Gulf Coast and Oral Roberts couldn’t do in the third round of the tournament.

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