With a win over eighth-seeded North Carolina this evening (5:05 p.m. on CBS), No. 15 seed Saint Peter’s would become just the seventh double-digit seed to reach the NCAA Men’s Final Four.
The Peacocks’ miraculous run to the Elite Eight comes in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since an athletic department-wide rebrand in 2020, which sparked our interest in looking back at the logos of the six previous teams that reached the national semifinal – though it’s worth noting that none of them advanced to play for the title.
No. 11 LSU – 1985-86
The Tigers became the first double-digit seed to reach the Final Four, upsetting Purdue in double overtime in the first round on their home floor. That was followed by close wins over No. 3 seed Memphis State, No. 2 seed Georgia Tech and No. 1 seed Kentucky before losing to No. 2 seed and eventual national champion Louisville in the semifinals in Dallas.
No. 11 George Mason – 2005-06
After making the field as an at-large team, the Patriots beat three of college basketball’s best programs on their way to the Final Four. That included wins over No. 6 seed Michigan State, No. 3 seed North Carolina, No. 7 seed Wichita State and No. 1 seed UConn before falling to No. 3 seed and eventual national championship Florida in the semifinals in Indianapolis.
No. 11 VCU – 2010-11
Perhaps the most unlikely run of all, the Rams were the first team that played in the First Four to make it to the Final Four. That includes a win over fellow No. 11 seed USC in Dayton to reach the field of 64, followed by victories against No. 6 seed Georgetown, No. 3 seed Purdue, No. 10 seed Florida State and No. 1 seed Kansas before losing to No. 8 seed Butler in the semifinals in Houston.
No. 10 Syracuse – 2015-16
The Orange weren’t exactly the “Cinderella” you’re accustomed to, but a disappointing finish to the regular season and ACC tournament resulted in a No. 10 seed. Syracuse bounced back quickly, though, with wins over No. 7 seed Dayton, No. 15 seed Middle Tennessee, No. 11 seed Gonzaga and No. 1 seed Virginia before falling to conference foe and No. 1 seed North Carolina in Houston.
No. 11 Loyola Chicago – 2017-18
Quite possibly the most popular team to make a run in the tournament due to their team chaplain, 98-year-old Sister Jean, the Ramblers entered the tournament on a 10-game winning streak. They then knocked off No. 6 seed Miami (Fla.), No. 3 seed Tennessee and No. 7 seed Nevada by a combined four points and No. 9 seed Kansas State by 16 to reach the Final Four, where they fell to No. 3 seed Michigan in the semifinals San Antonio.
No. 11 UCLA – 2020-21
Like VCU before them, the Bruins became the second team in NCAA history to win five games in the tournament and not reach the national championship. Their journey began with a win over fellow No. 11 seed Michigan State in the First Four, followed by victories against No. 6 seed BYU, No. 14 seed Abilene Christian, No. 2 seed Alabama and No. 4 seed Michigan before falling to No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the semifinals in Indianapolis.
Photos courtesy of SportsLogos.net’s College Logos archive.