This isn’t to be a buzz hating Cinderella, but…
Most likely, a No. 1 seed will cut the net at the end of “One Shining Moment.”
Since the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was held with 64 teams, a No. 1 seed has won 24 of the 37 championships. Kansas’ victory over North Carolina in last year’s tournament final was the fifth straight by a leader and the 11th in the past 15 seasons. A two seed (five times) and a three seed (four times) have won nine of their remaining 13 titles. The remaining four crowns have gone to four, six, seven and eight seeded teams.
The lowest seed to win a championship is Villanova, who won it all in 1985, the inaugural year of the 64-team format.
The 2021 Baylor-Gonzaga final matchup was the ninth meeting of two No. 1 seeds since 1985. North Carolina has played in four of those games, winning each of them (1982 vs. Georgetown; ’93 vs. Michigan; 2005 vs. Illinois; and 2017 vs. Gonzaga).
UCLA has been a top seed in three tournaments since 1985, winning the 1995 national championship. The Bruins were also No. 1 in 1990 (Elite 8 loss to Indiana) and 2008 (Final Four loss to Memphis).