Which State Produces the Most NCAA Cinderella Teams?

Which State Produces the Most NCAA Cinderella Teams?
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

More than anything else, the start of March means one thing: Madness.

The college basketball season is heating up with key regular season games and positioning for seeding in conference tournaments. So, folks who enjoy Pennsylvania sports betting are turning their attention to figuring out who will be this year’s Cinderella teams in the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament when the 68-team field is announced on Selection Sunday, March 17.

PennStakes.com – your source for PA online casinos - compiled a list of every double-digit seed to make the Sweet 16 since 2000. If history tells us anything, those  teams will come from one of the following states: 

Double-Digit Seeds in Sweet 16 Since 2000

These tables are compiled by Penn Stakes.com and are not available on any of the fine Pennsylvania sports betting apps.

Seed/SchoolYear State
10/Seton Hall 2000 New Jersey
10/Gonzaga 2000 Washington
10/Georgetown 2001 Washington DC
11/Temple 2001 Pennsylvania
12/Gonzaga 2001 Washington
10/Kent State 2002 Ohio
11/Southern Illinois 2002 Illinois
12/Missouri 2002 Missouri
10/Auburn 2003 Alabama
12/Butler 2003 Indiana
10/Nevada 2004 Nevada
10/NC State 2005 North Carolina
12/Milwaukee 2005 Wisconsin
11/George Mason 2006 Virginia
13/Bradley 2006 Illinois
10/Davidson 2008 North Carolina
12/Villanova 2008 Pennsylvania
12/Western Kentucky 2008 Kentucky
12/Arizona 2009 Arizona
10/Saint Mary’s 2010 California
11/Washington 2010 Washington
12/Cornell 2010 New York
11/VCU 2011 Virginia
12/Richmond 2011 Virginia
10/Florida State 2011 Florida
12/Marquette 2011 Wisconsin
10/Xavier 2012 Ohio
11NC State 2012 North Carolina
13/Ohio 2012 Ohio
13/La Salle 2013 Pennsylvania
12/Oregon 2013 Oregon
15/Florida Gulf Coast 2013 Florida
10/Stanford 2014 California
11/Tennessee 2014 Tennessee
11/Dayton 2014 Ohio
11/UCLA 2015 California
11/Gonzaga 2016 Washington
10/Syracuse 2016 New York
11/Xavier 2017 Ohio
11/Loyola Chicago 2018 Illinois
11/Syracuse 2018 New York
12/Oregon 2019 Oregon
12/Oregon State 2021 Oregon
11/UCLA 2021 California
11/Syracuse 2021 New York
15/Oral Roberts 2021 Oklahoma
11/Michigan 2022 Michigan
11/Iowa State 2022 Iowa
10/Miami 2022 Florida
15/St. Peter’s 2022 New Jersey
15/Princeton 2023 New Jersey


States with Double-Digit Seeds in Sweet 16

Ohio 5
California 4
New York 4
Washington 4
Illinois 3
Florida 3
Pennsylvania 3
North Carolina 3
Virginia 3
New Jersey 3
Oregon 3
Wisconsin 2


Pennsylvania Cinderella Stories

There have been three Pennsylvania double-digit seeds to make the Sweet 16 since 2000, most recently the 13th-seeded La Salle Explorers, who accomplished the feat in 2013.

La Salle picked up a surprise 63-61 victory over fourth-seeded Kansas State in the  West Regional and followed it with another two-point win, 76-74, over 12th-seeded Mississippi. The Explorers then went to the Sweet 16 in Los Angeles but lost, 72-58, to ninth-seeded Wichita State.

The 12th-seeded Villanova Wildcats had a similar run in 2008. They opened with a 75-69 victory over fifth-seeded Clemson and then upended 13th-seeded Siena, 84-72, to advance to the Sweet 16 in Detroit. The run ended with a 72-57 loss to the eventual National Champion, top-seeded Kansas.

In 2001, the 11th-seeded Temple Owls, under the late John Chaney, made an improbable run to the Elite Eight. The Owls started with a 79-65 victory over sixth-seeded Texas in the first round of the South Regional. They then walloped third-seeded Florida, 75-54, to advance to the Sweet 16 in Atlanta. 
The Owls then upended seventh-seeded Penn State, 84-72, to advance to the Elite Eight, before losing to top-seeded Michigan State, 69-62.

By the way, Ohio led the list with five double-digit seeds to reach the Sweet 16 since 2000, followed by California, New York and Washington (four each).

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Looking Ahead to More Madness

This year, the NCAA First Four will take place March 19-20 in Dayton, Ohio, with the first and second rounds tipping off March 21-24.

BetRivers PA has UConn (+500) atop its oddsboard to win the NCAA men’s tournament, followed by Purdue (+650) and Houston (+900).

The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight will be on March 28-31 with the Final Four at State Farm Stadium in Phoenix April 6, followed by National Championship Monday on April 8.

If you do decide to make a wager on March Madness, be sure to have PA sportsbook promo codes nearby.

Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Must be 21+ to participate & present in PA. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER. Visit BetMGM.com for Terms & Conditions. US promotional offers not available in NY, NV, or Puerto Rico.


Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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