What is the biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history?

Listing the five biggest comebacks in NCAA Tournament history.

Colgate players run a drill during open practices for 2024 NCAA Tournament teams at FedExForum in
Colgate players run a drill during open practices for 2024 NCAA Tournament teams at FedExForum in / Chris Day/The Commercial Appeal / USA

There isn't much more exciting in sports than a miraculous comeback to win a big game. Watching a team that appeared to be out of it all of a sudden wake up and steal a game they had no business winning can be exhilarating.

We know that Drexel University set the all-time record for the biggest comeback in NCAA Division 1 history, defeating the University of Delaware after trailing by as many as 34 points back in 2018.

Regular season comebacks are one thing. Coming back on the biggest stage in March Madness is a whole other story. The competition is tougher, the lights are brighter. These five teams deserve tons of credit for pulling off the biggest comebacks in tournament history.

Biggest comebacks ever in March Madness


Winning Team

Losing Team

Biggest Deficit



No. 14 BYU

No. 14 Iona

25 points

First Four


No. 1 Duke

No. 3 Maryland

22 points

Final Four


No. 7 Nevada

No. 2 Cincinnati

22 points

Round of 32


No. 4 Louisville

No. 7 West Virginia

20 points

Elite Eight


No. 2 UCLA

No. 3 Gonzaga

17 points

Sweet 16

The biggest comeback in March Madness history occurred back in 2012, and it was in a First Four matchup. The First Four is often not must-see TV by any means, but this matchup turned out to be the most entertaining one of that tournament. BYU trailed by as many as 25 points and came back to punch their ticket into the Round of 64. Unfortunately, they wound up losing to No. 3 Marquette in the Round of 64.

The latest large comeback on this list came in the final four in an unbelievable game between No. 1 Duke and No. 3 Maryland. The Terps led by as many as 22 points on the Blue Devils and looked destined to appear in the National Championship Game, but it just wasn't meant to be. Duke advanced to the National Championship Game with their win, and then defeated Arizona the following game to win the National Championship.

The most recent massive comeback came in 2018 in a thrilling second-round matchup between No. 7 Nevada and No. 2 Cincinnati. The Bearcats were up by as many as 22 points and were up by 12 at the half, but Nevada stormed back to outscore Cincinnati by 14 in the second half and win the game. They'd make a run to the Sweet 16 but ran into Sister Jean and Loyola Chicago, bowing out there.


Watching March Madness is even better when you have a few bucks on the line and DraftKings is offering you $150 to get started. Justclick this link and sign up for DraftKings, deposit $10 or more into your account and wager $5 on any game you want. Just for doing that, you get $150 in bonus bets to use as you see fit. Just make sure to sign up for DraftKings now because this deal ends soon.