March Madness Upsets – Top 10 Betting Upsets

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Updated: March 1, 2021

Jason Logan
Clock Icon Mar 1, 2021 – 8:03 AM ET

If there’s one thing March Madness is known for it’s the upsets. It seems like every NCAA Tournament features a few surprise results in the opening two rounds, as lesser-known mid-major teams take down some of the higher-ranked power conference programs in the country.

March Madness upsets are a huge reason why basketball fans love betting on the NCAA Tournament, and we recap the biggest NCAA Tournament shockers of the past two decades, according to the point spreads.

Ten biggest betting upsets in March Madness history

These 10 infamous March Madness upsets not only busted their share of brackets but also blew up the bankrolls of those who bet against these all-time great NCAA Tournament underdogs. 

The 10 biggest March Madness upsets since 2000:

No. 10: Duke vs Indiana (+13) 2002 / Duke vs Mercer (+13) 2014

Funny enough, a pair of Duke losses tie for the 10th biggest upsets since 2000. It’s even funnier if you’re among the legions of Duke haters.

The No. 1 Blue Devils blew a 17-point lead to lose 74-73 to the No. 5 Hoosiers in the Sweet 16 of the 2002 tournament – a finish best known for Jay Williams missing the free throw on a potential game-winning 4-point play.

Twelve years later, the No. 3 Dukies were stunned 78-71 by No. 14 Mercer in the Round of 64 with the little-known Bears out of the Atlantic Sun Conference cashing in as +850 moneyline underdogs. This upset was just two years removed from the Blue Devils’ loss to Lehigh as 11.5-point chalk in the opening round of the 2012 tournament.