Oakland upsets Kentucky: Wildcats’ March Madness shortcomings add to history of No. 14 over No. 3 seeds

Down goes Kentucky.

For the second time in three years, the Wildcats have been upset by a double-digit seed in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after falling to No. 14 seed Oakland on Thursday, 80-76.

The Golden Grizzlies may have been the lower-seeded team, but as breakout tournament star Jack Gohlke said in the postgame interview, “We’re not a Cinderella.”

Oakland played with that attitude, controlling the entire game against Kentucky. Gohlke was on the brink of history with his 32-point explosion, ripping off 10 3-pointers on 20 attempts to shoot Kentucky out of the tournament. He finished just one triple shy of tying the NCAA Tournament record of most made 3-pointers in a game (11), held by Loyola Marymount’s Jeff Fryer.

MORE: Meet Oakland sharpshooter Jack Gohlke

The Wildcats’ inexperience was glaring, as freshman stars and top NBA Draft Prospects like Reed Sheppard, Rob Dillingham, and D.J. Wagner failed to step up to the moment.

Sheppard was invisible, finishing with just three points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field. Dillingham had 10 points on nine shots, while Wagner was held scoreless on five shots.

The upset loss adds to the list of recent shortcomings for head coach John Calipari and Kentucky in March Madness.

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Oakland’s upset of Kentucky adds to Wildcats’ recent March Madness shortcomings

March Madness has not been kind to Kentucky in recent years.

The Wildcats’ Round of 64 loss to Oakland marks the third consecutive year they have fallen short of the Sweet 16.

Last year, No. 6 Kentucky squeaked by No. 11 Providence in the first round but fell to No. 3 Kansas State in the Round of 32. In 2022, the Wildcats suffered a similar upset as this year, getting stunned by No. 15 seed Saint Peters as a No. 2 seed.

In 2021, Kentucky missed the NCAA Tournament altogether.

Believe it or not, despite all the talent that coach John Calipari brings in every year, the Wildcats have not reached the Final Four since 2015. That was the year they went undefeated going into March Madness behind a star-studded cast that was headlined by future NBA stars like Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker.

Kentucky hasn’t won a national championship since 2012 when Anthony Davis led the Wildcats to a title.

You can find the recent history of Kentucky’s March Madness shortcomings below.

Year Seed Round Eliminated Opponent
2014 8 National Championship No. 7 UConn
2015 1 Final Four No. 1 Wisconsin
2016 4 Round of 32 No. 5 Indiana
2017 2 Elite Eight No. 1 North Carolina
2018 5 Sweet 16 No. 9 Kansas State
2019 2 Elite Eight No. 5 Auburn
2020 No NCAA Tournament
2021 Missed NCAA Tournament
2022 2 Round of 64 No. 15 Saint Peters
2023 6 Round of 32 No. 3 Kansas State
2024 3 Round of 64 No. 14 Oakland

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History of 14 over 3 upsets in March Madness

Just as double-digit seed upsets are becoming more common across the board in March Madness, the same goes for No. 14 over No. 3 seeds.

Including Oakland’s upset over Kentucky, there have been six No. 14 over No. 3 upsets in the past 10 years.

The most recent 14-over-3 was Abilene Christian beating Texas in 2021 with a pair of free throws in the final second of the game.

Back in 2015, there were two 14-over-3 upsets in the same tournament. Georgia State stunned Baylor when RJ Hunter’s signature game-winning 3-pointer knocked his head coach and father, Ron Hunter, off of his stool. In the same tournament, UAB also pulled off a one-point upset over Iowa State.

You can find the complete history of No. 14 over No. 3 seeds below.

Year Winner Loser Score
1986 Cleveland State Indiana 83-79
1986 Arkansas Little-Rock Notre Dame 90-83
1987 Austin Peay Illinois 68-67
1988 Murray State NC State 78-75
1989 Siena Stanford 80-78
1990 Northern Iowa Missouri 74-71
1991 Xavier Nebraska 89-84
1992 ETSU Arizona 87-80
1995 Old Dominion Villanova 89-81
1995 Weber State Michigan State 79-72
1997 Chattanooga Georgia 73-70
1998 Richmond South Carolina 62-61
1999 Weber State North Carolina 76-74
2005 Bucknell Kansas 64-63
2006 Northwestern State Iowa 64-63
2010 Ohio Georgetown 97-83
2013 Harvard New Mexico 68-62
2014 Mercer Duke 78-71
2015 UAB Iowa State 60-59
2015 Georgia State Baylor 57-56
2016 Stephen F. Austin West Virginia 70-56
2021 Abilene Christian Texas 53-52
2023 Oakland Kentucky 80-76


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