Biggest Upsets of the 2016-17 NCAAB Season

Upsets are on everybody’s mind right now. As we fill out our brackets, the toughest part is nailing those big upsets that inevitably seem to happen every season. Is a 16-seed finally going to upset a 1-seed? Nah…I don’t think so. Everything else could potentially happen, but chances are that all of the 1s, 2’s, and 3’s will win their first round game.

Before trying to decide just how big of an upset you’ll be picking on your bracket, we wanted to take a look at the biggest upsets that occurred during the 2016-17 college basketball season.

Regular Season

Team Opponent Final Score Closing Moneyline Closing Spread
Delaware State St. John's 79-72 +3250 +22
VMI Tennessee Chat 80-64 +2750 +20
BYU Gonzaga 79-71 +2500 +20.5
Arkansas St. Georgetown 78-72 +2500 +22
Florida Atlantic Ohio State 79-77 +2125 +20.5
Savannah State Oregon State 93-90 +1500 +18
Detroit U Oakland 93-88 +1440 +18.5
NC State Duke 84-82 +1350 +16.5
UTSA Louisiana Tech 69-68 +1300 +17
Georgia Tech UNC 75-63 +1300 +17

This season, we saw five dogs of 20-points or more win straight up. By far the most notable was BYU upsetting Gonzaga to end their run at an undefeated season.


The moneylines definitely varied depending on your book and when you made the bet. With dogs of this size, you could easily pick up or leave a few units on the table depending on the line you took.

Several of these games weren’t even close. VMI beat Tennessee-Chattanooga straight up by 16 points and beat the spread by a whopping 36 points.

A couple of other big-name schools made this list aside from Gonzaga. Duke, who couldn’t live up to the incredibly high expectations set for them, fell to NC State in a nail-biter in late January thanks to Dennis Smith Jr.’s 32 points.

The 1-seed in the South bracket, UNC, also made the list with an ugly loss to Georgia Tech on New Year’s Eve. Despite being favored by 17 points, they lost by 12 in their ACC opener. Luckily for them, it appears that they’ve rebounded (pun intended) pretty well since then.


Team Opponent Score Closing Moneyline Closing Spread
Youngstown State Oakland 81-80 +795 +13.5
Campbell NC Asheville 81-79 +674 +12.5
Southern Utah Montana State 109-105 +447 +10
North Florida Lipscomb 91-85 +447 +9.5
Delaware Hofstra 81-76 +411 +9.5
TCU Kansas 85-82 +374 +9

Come on Oakland! First they get upset by Detroit as an 18.5-point underdog in the regular season. No big deal, it happens once. Despite that shocking loss, they earned the top seed in the Horizon League conference tourney. Smooth sailing until the conference finals, right?

Youngstown State upset them in their first game. What do you think the Oakland basketball community is more upset about, this or the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead? That is the real question, but I don’t think we will ever know. (Just kidding, they probably don’t care about a random school in Michigan)

Kansas was also taken down in their conference tourney game against TCU. The odds weren’t that crazy and would have surely been higher if Josh Jackson wasn’t suspended for the game, but still a noteworthy upset nonetheless.

If you take a look at our free odds page, you’ll see that there are several teams in the first round favored by at least 15 points, with North Carolina (-26.5 against Texas Southern) being the largest favorite. Florida State, the 3-seed in the West bracket, is not getting a lot of love against FGCU (the artist formerly known as Dunk City). Despite only getting 20% of spread bets, FSU has moved from -11.5 to -12. Although the public may have fond memories of this Cinderella team, the sharps feel that FSU will cover the double-digit spread.

They call it March Madness for a reason, but the chances of a huge favorite losing straight up are slim to none, so don’t get too crazy with your bracket.

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Hailing from Hill Valley, Biff became a millionaire over night after a trip to the race track on his 21st birthday. His gambling hot streak made him known as the "Luckiest Man on Earth". He is now the proud owner of the family friendly Pleasure Paradise Casino and Hotel.

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