FSU, Loyola-Chicago, Kansas State Set All-Time Records for Low Seeds in Elite 8

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2018

Loyola-Chicago guard Marques Townes celebrates victory after a regional semifinal NCAA college basketball game against Nevada, Thursday, March 22, 2018, in Atlanta. Loyola-Chicago won 69-68. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press

If you like upsets, the 2018 men's NCAA tournament is the one for you.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the combination of Florida State's victory over Gonzaga, Loyola-Chicago's win over Nevada and Kansas State's win over Kentucky ensures this year's Elite Eight will be the first in history with at least three teams seeded No. 9 or worse.

Florida State is the No. 9 seed in the West Regional, while Loyola-Chicago is the No. 11 and Kansas State is the No. 9 in the South Regional.

NCAA Director of Media Coordination David Worlock noted Saturday's clash between Kansas State and Loyola-Chicago will mark the first time in NCAA men's tournament history a No. 9 faces a No. 11.

While the East and Midwest Regionals have followed a much more traditional path with the two No. 1 seeds (Villanova and Kansas) and two No. 2 seeds (Purdue and Duke) still alive, Syracuse has the opportunity to join the trio of ninth-seeded or lower teams in the Elite Eight with a victory Friday.

The Orange are the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Regional and will face the Blue Devils after they ousted the third-seeded Michigan State Spartans in the second round.

Of the three Cinderella stories who have already reached the Elite Eight, Florida State deserves plenty of credit for the path it has taken. It beat Missouri soundly in a clash between Nos. 8 and 9 seeds, stunned the top-seeded Xavier Musketeers and then handled fourth-seeded Gonzaga on Thursday.

Kansas State faced less resistance, considering it didn't have to play top-seeded Virginia after the Cavaliers became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 in the UMBC Retrievers, but it still knocked off Kentucky on Thursday.

Loyola-Chicago, though, is the ultimate Cinderella still standing, considering the other schools are all in power conferences. The Ramblers beat Miami, Tennessee and Nevada to punch their first ticket to the Elite Eight since they were national champions in 1963.

They are three wins away from hanging another championship banner.

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